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.

Monday, January 10, 2011

EMPIRE OF ISLAND BASES

One of the many photos the Navy has set up inside the busy tourist-filled Jeju Island airport as a way to "promote" the planned base in the Gangjeong village. These Aegis destroyers, built at Bath Iron Works in Maine, are outfitted with missile offense systems and will be used to surround China's coastline Yang Yoon-Mo, movie critic, has been living on the rocky coastline of Gangjeong village for many months trying to protect this area from being covered with cement to create piers to dock U.S. Navy Aegis destroyers. (Click on this image for the full beautiful view of this coast) Yang Yoon-Mo (on the right) was just released from jail on Jeju Island, South Korea after having been arrested on Dec 27 for attempting to block cement trucks

  • As previously reported, on December 27 thirty-four Gangjeong villagers and supporters were arrested for protesting against 66 cement trucks that were the first wave to begin covering their sacred coastline for the planned Navy base. All were released that day except for Yang Yoon-Mo, a movie critic who has been living on the rocky coastline for many months. The government had additionally charged him with several minor offenses from past protests, and maintained his seaside encampment was illegal, thus he was facing very stiff fines. Yang was refusing to pay the fines but Jeju activists raised the funds and sprung him from jail yesterday.

  • I was going to drive south to Andover, Massachusetts on Wednesday for a meeting with local activists to discuss the Global Network's 19th annual space organizing conference that is planned to be held in that community on June 17-19. The event is to be called: Raytheon, Missile Offense, and Endless War. But the weather reports indicate a big snow and wind storm sweeping through New England that same day so best I not try to make that drive. I hope to be able to reschedule it for later in the week as I need to get things moving along for the event. Our Global Network members are expected to attend this conference from all over the U.S. and around the world. Raytheon is headquartered in Massachusetts and has a "missile defense" production facility located in North Andover.

  • Peace activists in Hawaii are clear about the growing U.S. militarism in the Asian-Pacific region because the Pentagon's Pacific Command (PacCom) is headquartered there. Kyle Kajihiro, who works for the AFSC in Hawaii writes:

    Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary said “There’s no question in my mind that the importance of this region, the Asia-Pacific region and in particular Hawaii, and the vital role it will play in the future is not going to diminish.” This means that the threat of militarization will continue or worsen for places like Korea, Okinawa, Guam and Hawai’i. Peace and justice movements in this region will have to grow our movements and strengthen our networks within the region and with allies in the U.S. We need to call on peace and justice movements within the U.S. to understand developments in the Asia Pacific region, and especially the importance of small island bases in the expansion and maintenance of U.S. empire, and to step up their own efforts to dismantle the oppressive “empire of bases” (to borrow a phrase from the late Chalmers Johnson). Now that fiscal realities are finally forcing some in Washington to consider the taboo subject of cutting the military budget, the U.S. peace and justice movements have an opportunity to advocate for the reduction of the military troops and bases around the world.



Raytheon's Patriot (PAC-3) missile offense system is being deployed by the Pentagon in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Poland, Israel and seven other countries.

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