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

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

THE DESTRUCTION OF ANOTHER ISLAND


I visited Vieques, Puerto Rico in 1999 during the time of the protest movement to stop the U.S. bombing of the island. Protest camps were set up all over the island and activists came from around the world to join the peaceful occupation.

At the time I wrote this in my trip report:

As we walked here and there we saw the enormous evidence of years of destruction on the island. Bombs -- exploded and unexploded - were everywhere. Wetlands were drained and bombed. Trucks, tanks, and planes were scattered everywhere as targets. One tank is now being used to hold up a tarp for shelter at one hill-top camp. As we looked out over the beautiful ocean beyond Vieques we saw a U.S. navy submarine in the near distance probably sending a warning to the occupiers.

When it was time to leave the island to return home our fishing boat anchor got caught on a bomb on the ocean floor. Our captain very carefully worked the anchor free and you could see the fear on the faces of the passengers. We saw bombs sticking up out of the water near the shore and we saw tiny islands just off Vieques that had been blasted to bits. In fact, endangered coral reefs are being destroyed all around Vieques from the years of bombing by the Navy.

There was a complete lack of respect for the human and environmental consequences of what they did to the island.

You will see in this video there is now a severe toxic legacy in Vieques that the U.S. does not want to take responsibility for.

As we look ahead to the construction of a Navy base on Jeju Island, South Korea we know that the pristine waters will be polluted and the coral reefs will be negatively impacted by the presence of military ships - both the South Korean and U.S. navies will utilize the base. The military is the biggest polluter in the world today.

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