Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush & Obama's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


July 4 in the US is hot dogs, parades, flag waving and baseball. Glory and the pride of empire. Not so around the world.

There are more than 800 US military bases worldwide and in most of these places there are local citizens movements organizing to shut the bases down and send them home.

As we approach the July 4th let's just focus on two of these bases, and communities, for a moment.

In Northern England, up in Yorkshire, is the US Menwith Hill spy base run by the National Security Agency (NSA). The golf ball looking radomes are used to cover huge satellite receiving devices that are intercepting all phone-fax-email traffic from Europe. The US does industrial espionage from this base. And in addition, upgrades are being made at this base to allow for its participation in the US Star Wars program.

The British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament says, "US Missile Defence bases at Menwith Hill and Fylingdales in Yorkshire make Britain a front line target in future US wars. And they operate outside British law and Parliamentary scrutiny. By allowing these bases to be crucial components of the system the UK is complicit in the US military agenda and has put Britain in the front line in any future US war. It has already sparked controversy and provoked a new nuclear arms race, with an increased danger of nuclear weapons use. A potential aggressor could seek to destroy US Missile Defence facilities in Europe in the context of an imminent war with the US."

On July 4 our friends in North Yorkshire will hold their annual "Independence from America Day." We send them our best wishes.
I've written before about Vincenza, Italy where the US is expanding its military base to create a larger hub for expected American military actions in Africa in the coming years to control their resources. Residents in Vincenza have been organizing a vigorous campaign to oppose the base and on July 4 they too will be calling for independence from America.

According to an organization called US Citizens for Peace & Justice, based in Rome, Italy, "On July 4th, just days before Obama arrives in Italy for the G8 summit, Vicenza will celebrate its own 'Independence Day,' that is, independence from the U.S. military! After three years of determined opposition to the construction of a new base in their city, the people of Vicenza show no signs of letting up. They have called for a national demonstration with a protest march that will literally surround the site of the new base."

For years the citizens in many countries saw the US military as protectors. But now there is growing awareness that the US bases in their communities are part of the aggressive endless war plan of the US for control and domination of the resources and people of the world. There are few illusions about US troops being used to promote democracy and freedom.

I'm sure that similar events will be held at US bases in South Korea, Australia, Guam, Japan, Okinawa and other places on July 4.
When the people of the world stop believing in US empire it will collapse. Empire is unsustainable in the long-term and always falls.

Here in the US we must raise our voices in unity with our peaceful friends around the world. No more empire. No more war. Bring all the troops home and close the bases. Use our tax monies to fund human needs and to deal with climate change.

In the spirit of July 4, we all want independence from the military industrial complex!


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