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: Brunswick, ME, 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. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Thursday, June 30, 2011


On April 23, 2011 in NYC, a performance action was held to protest the dangerous war games that the U.S. and South Korea were holding off the Korean peninsula. These massive, provocative actions involving over 200,000 troops, simulate attacks on North Korea. Last year, such "games" led to the deaths of troops and civilians. The Korean War was only stopped temporarily by an armistice in 1953, no peace treaty was ever signed, so the U.S., North and South Korea remain technically at war. The only solution is diplomacy and a peace treaty.

For more info and what you can do: and


NASA and Pentagon militarizing space for Space Warriors: ORS-1 is the Operationally Responsive Space Office’s first operational satellite. Rapidly developing and fielding ORS-1 is an important step to demonstrate the capability to meet emerging and persistent war-fighter needs on operationally relevant timelines.

NASA has announced a launch window of June 28-July 10 at their Wallops Flight Facility (Goddard Space Flight Center, Virginia) for the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS-1) first surveillance and reconnaissance satellite.

I'd call this new space warfare system - full spectrum dominance plus 2.

Goodrich ISR Systems of Danbury, Conn., was tapped as the satellite’s prime contractor. The U.S. Air Force’s Space Development and Test Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., is managing the program on behalf of the Pentagon's ORS Office.

One idea behind ORS appears to be speeding up the process of building and launching new warfighting satellites. The Kirtland AFB website says, "ORS-1's genesis began in October 2008 following a dialogue between U.S. Strategic Command and USCENTCOM. The latter identified a requirement for enhanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets and requested assistance from the former. Then, USSTRATCOM turned to the ORS office to examine possible solutions. ORS-1 became the agreed upon answer. In the 30 months since its initiation, the satellite has gone from the drawing board to almost ready for launch, a remarkable milestone considering most spacecraft take 7 - 10 years to design, develop, assemble, and eventually operate in the cosmos. ORS-1 has, so far, lived up to its spelled-out name."

The Air & Space Power Journal (2006) gives us more clues to the thinking behind ORS. It's more of the same old control and domination lingo. They report:

In future conflicts, military space forces will likely face challenges ranging from defending against opposing systems to dealing with rapidly changing technology and support needs. The Air Force describes its vision for responding to these challenges as operationally responsive space (ORS). Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom clearly demonstrated the force-multiplication effect of space systems on US military capabilities. Precision-guided munitions; global, high‑speed communications; and enhanced situational awareness all contributed to the rapid destruction of the Iraqi military. Unfortunately, future opponents observed the United States’ dependence on space systems. To win the next war, this nation must prepare to respond to opposing space and counterspace systems. Gen Lance Lord, USAF, retired, former commander of Air Force Space Command, points to ORS as one way of shaping this response. According to a draft study of ORS, it “will provide an affordable capability to promptly, accurately, and decisively position and operate national and military assets in and through space and near space. ORS will be fully integrated and interoperable with current and future architectures and provide space services and effects to war fighters and other users. ORS is a vision for transforming future space and near space operations, integration, and acquisition, all at a lower cost.”

The price tag for this one satellite grew from $68 million to $162 million before all was said and done. (That doesn't include the cost of launching which doesn't come cheap.)

Democrats and Republicans alike love all this high-tech war making investment. It's virtually the only thing America does anymore. Democrats talk about supporting social programs but then keep voting along with the other war party to keep the military production lines humming along. One leading Democrat, a huge space technology booster, was at the dedication ceremony for ORS-1. “This is indeed a happy occasion for our U.S. military, which will be safer because of this program,” Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) said. “It is a happy day for the scientific community, which has shown a new concept of faster, quicker, cheaper can be done. And it’s also a happy day for the taxpayer."

Yeah, the taxpayers are just thrilled. The truth is they know nothing about ORS-1 or its mission of enabling endless war. They know nothing about the cost of the program - either for this satellite or for those that will come after it.

Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn (former chief at Raytheon) is a big promoter of ORS. Needless to say, Raytheon is hugely invested in the new program and stands to make a mint from it.


Ray McGovern and Ridgely Fuller on the grounded boat in Greece

I am writing this at 3:30am having just completed my third night watch...I thought I was quite formidable as only I, with my flashlight, stood at the stern defending "The Audacity of Hope" against Israel, the world's 4th strongest military armed by the U.S., world's strongest military....and,yes, against blackmailed, beleaguered Greece....WOW....during my watch the police came by twice..we now seem be part of their routine patrol..They now demand that we are locked inside the pier gate between 9pm and dinner was crackers and peanut butter

I have pretty much been on the boat for the past 48 hours and we get many 'visitors': police demanding the passports of those aboard;'fishermen' truly outfitted in the iconic Greek striped jerseys fishing at the end of the next pier in very filthy water ..They use wadded bread as bait and by the end of the day had caught 3-4 two inch fish. Also,the son of the owner of the boat next to ours told me a stranger came by asking for the whereabouts of a boat while carefully panning our ship with his video camera. Most unusual, several days ago a woman accompanied by several men offered the crew 1000 euros each to leave the ship for several hours..unsuccessful, she returned the next day offering 500 (her strategy?) and when still no success apologized for her attempted bribery by trying to deliver several bags of groceries on board!

For those of you who think I am having too good a time..yesterday I cleaned toilets and organized life jackets. Today I helped the nurse arrange the medical supplies and ran errands for the crew. We are well stocked and ready to sail..please everyone: email and demand we be allowed to sail..we have been inspected but, needless to say, haven't received any word of required changes.

Since I have been on the boat so much I am quite ignorant of the bigger picture..Or course, we know the Irish ship has also been subjected to sabotage by way of its propeller shaft in a manner that could have resulted in the boat sinking when at sea and that Syntagma Square became quite confrontational. A fellow passenger who has spent time with teargas in the West Bank, says the Greek police were supplied by Israel last week and so are using the same internationally outlawed brand. I don't have any word on how Riot Dog fared..It has been interesting talking with the Greek people when I can..their economic plight is dire..think Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine in terms of how the crisis was created by the powerful economic elite who now profit from the extreme privatization (think their islands) and further impoverishment of the population. I am sure I let you know how impressed I was by the different ages, dress etc that have come to the Square to oppose the government..

You might also know that now the Israeli press is reporting that the Americans aboard the Audacity have "violent intentions" including spraying their commandos with acid. In response we are inviting press aboard the Audacity tomorrow to inspect the boat for any potential weaponry and to interview passengers regarding their intent please keep checking for updates..especially as I have less ability to connect online..

Take care,

Ridgely Fuller
Waltham, Massachusetts

Wednesday, June 29, 2011



On Feb 20, 2008 the USS Lake Erie (Aegis warship) fired a modified tactical Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) at a malfunctioning U.S. spy satellite. The impact occurred at about 150 miles above the Pacific Ocean and at an impact velocity of around 22,000 mph.

We were told at the time that the falling satellite had to be taken out because the hydrazine fuel on-board would be a danger to people on Earth if it fell near them. (Later I was to read in one article that the fuel tank was nearly empty at the time of the shoot down.)

Many of us have long maintained that the test was really intended to prove that the Pentagon had developed anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons capability.

The Aegis warship that did this ASAT test, with the SM-3 "missile defense" system on-board, is the same kind of Navy ship that will be deployed on Jeju Island in South Korea and is being used to surround China's coastal region. They are also the same ships that recently began maneuvers in the Black Sea creating tensions with Russia as the U.S. and NATO militarily encircle that nation.

The Russian and Chinese don't believe that these systems are really for defense. They correctly understand that "missile offense" is an integral part of U.S. first-strike attack planning.


Jared Ball is an assistant professor of communication studies at Morgan State University where his research interests include the interaction between colonialism, mass media theory and history, as well as, the development of alternative/underground journalism and cultural expression as mechanisms of social movements and political organization. Ball is a columnist with, and produces a weekly radio column for


This morning we have learned that Sung-Hee Choi's trial has been postponed again. It is now scheduled for July 15. It is startling that she remains in jail while awaiting trial, especially considering she was arrested for holding one end of a banner. It seems obvious to me that the South Korean government considers her international solidarity work to be problematic enough that they want to keep her in jail during this pre-trial period. Quite a compliment to her but unusually cruel as well.

We also got word this morning that the $2,900 that I wired to Gangjeong village yesterday to help purchase another inflatable boat has been received. With the exception of $500, all of those funds were donated by the Global Network and our members. Thanks to all of you who contributed. We will look forward to seeing a photo of the new boat soon.

The Global Network yesterday purchased a plane ticket for Matt Hoey (Massachusetts) to be our next board member to travel to Gangjeong village on Jeju Island. He will go in late July and stay there for two weeks. He is very excited and has been doing great work on the Facebook page that MacGregor Eddy first created.

We have received an invitation from the Gangjeong leaders to hold our 20th anniversary Global Network space organizing conference in their village in 2012. At our recent meeting in Andover we agreed to do so and suggested we come soon after the first of the year. Today we heard that late February would be a good time. Our boards will have to discuss the exact timing. It would be great to bring the Global Network leaders to Jeju Island.

Yesterday I read that Yang Yoon-Mo is slowly eating more solid food after his 70 day hunger strike that nearly killed him. Plans seem to be for him to move to a Buddhist center at some point to further his recovery process.

I've lately been seeing articles about Jeju Island appear in many movement publications. It is good to see that word is spreading far and wide. More of this is still needed. In addition, more peace groups need to send people to visit Gangjeong village. The construction of the Navy base there will surely be a trigger for a wider arms race in the Asia-Pacific region. People need to experience this calamity first hand.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


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We got the word yesterday that Peggy Akers (Maine Veterans for Peace) will loan us her van for the 30-day Bring Our War $$ Home (and put 'em to work) Care-a-Van that we are now organizing. I plan on doing most of the 30 days, driving from one end of the state to the other, attending as many events as possible. Already local peace groups are lining up events.

September 11 - October 10 will mark the 10th year of the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan which is still costing you taxpayers out there more than $10 billion every month. A steep price to pay for just one corner of this crumbling empire.

On days that the Care-a-Van has no special event to connect to we will drop our big banner over a highway overpass or go leaflet the students about tuition increases and growing student debt at a nearby college campus. Or we might go stand in front of a local unemployment office with our banner or even take it to the entrance of a local hospital or shopping mall. I love doing things like this - thinking and putting in motion ways to capture as much public imagination as possible around a particular issue. It's a challenge I really get up for. Some will yell "Get a life!" but this is my life and I enjoy it.

It's really all about making folks have to deal with the cost of endless war. Many people in our country don't want to think about it or they do their best to push the reality of war and occupation away from them when the subject impedes their mind space. I want to do lots of impeding during this Care-a-Van.

Now that we have the van the next step is to find a crew of folks who will come along for the ride to help hold the banner, hand out leaflets, attend the local group events we visit, and more. It's kind of like a peace walk except alot more mobile. It should be tons of fun.

I organized something like this back in the summer of 1997 prior to the Cassini space mission plutonium launch. We called it "Cassini Camp" and had a good group of friends come to the space center in Florida for a week of door-to-door leafleting, holding signs at busy intersections during rush hour, vigils at the Kennedy Space Center tourist facility, and more. We got alot of media coverage as we took the plutonium launch question right into the heart of the "Space coast" community. Just before the launch happened 74% of the Central Florida "space coast" community voted against the plutonium mission in a Sunday telephone poll done by the Orlando Sentinel newspaper where more than 1,200 people responded to the question. So we felt that our hard work had paid off.

It's real grassroots organizing except this time it will be done on a statewide basis. Imagine that we'll have radio ads running at the same time as the Care-a-Van will be cruising around the state. One will reinforce the other. I'm getting excited. It's an organizers dream come true.

Monday, June 27, 2011



Spouting the Israeli line, Hillary Clinton reveals herself to be a supreme political hack once again.

The State Department called the Gaza aid flotilla "irresponsible and provocative" and warned that U.S. delegates on-board could face "fines and incarceration.”

These flotillas are showing the world the arrogance and hypocrisy of the U.S. and Israel.

Let the ships sail freely into Gaza. Any interference with them is criminal.


Hey, Afghanistan, Afghanistan
Afghanistan, Afghanistan
Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Afghanistan

Yesterday I got a letter from my friend fighting in Afghanistan
And this is what he had to say
"Tell all my friends that I'll be coming home soon
My time'll be up some time in June"
"Don't forget", he said, "To tell my sweet Mary
Her golden lips are sweet as cherry"

And it came from, Afghanistan, Afghanistan
Afghanistan, Afghanistan
Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Afghanistan

It was just the next day his mother got an email
It was addressed from Afghanistan
Now Mistress Brown, she lives in the USA
And this is what they wrote and said
She said "Don't be alarmed", she told her the email said
'But Mistress Brown, your son is dead'

And it came from Afghanistan, Afghanistan
Afghanistan, Afghanistan
Afghanistan, Afghanistan, hey, Afghanistan
Somebody please stop that war now

In Iraq, in Jerusalem, in Libya, in Syria
In Pakistan, in Sudan
People got to stop the war
People got to stop the war

I remember Vietnam, I remember Vietnam
I remember Vietnam, I remember Vietnam
Somebody stop the war, stop the war, stop the war

BLEEDING $$$$$$$

  • It was a busy weekend for me with meetings, movie, and dinner with friends. A little bit of baseball as well. My Orioles are still in last place, 14th year of losing record.
  • We had a planning meeting of our Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home up in Waterville on Saturday. Had good attendance and some new folks turned out which is always nice to see. It helps to move the meeting around the state now and then. One woman came from way south in Biddeford. It was her first meeting. We are now organizing a month long event to be called: Bring Our War $$ Home (and put 'em to work) Care-a-Van during the period of September 11 - October 10. We are asking local groups around the state to organize some kind of event during this period that will make the connection between endless war and fiscal crisis here at home. Already organizations are lining up dates for local events which is exciting. Herb Hoffman has spoken to Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) about coming to Maine for two days during this period and he has tentatively agreed. Singer/songwriter David Rovics will be coming to Maine as well. We've now got to find a van that we can use to run up and down the state during this month of actions to bring our team of Care-a-Vaners to the local events.
  • In the old, but still unbelievable, news category....... The Iraqi and US governments have been unable to account for a substantial chunk of the billions of dollars in reconstruction aid the Bush administration literally airlifted into the country. Special inspector general for Iraqi reconstruction Stuart Bowen told the Los Angeles Times the missing $6.6 billion may be "the largest theft of funds in national history." Iraqi officials say it was the US government's job to keep track of the funds, which were brought in as an emergency measure to keep basic infrastructure going after Saddam Hussein's ouster. Witnesses testified that millions of dollars were shoved into "gunnysacks" and disbursed to Iraqi contractors on pick-up trucks, with what seemed to be little financial controls or accounting on the part of the US government. Just imagine how far $6.6 billion could have gone in funding education, health care, job creation and the like.
  • Brother Song, the South Korean activist that got beat up for trying to climb on-board the dredging barge off the Jeju Island coastline, has requested that international supporters raise $3,500 to help them buy another inflatable boat and motor so they can do a better job of reaching these vessels. They go out and try to plead with the workers and a couple times have succeeded in getting them to stop work. So far we've raised just over $2,500. If you'd like to donate just hit the Donate Now! button here on the blog and in the comments say it is for the boat.

Sunday, June 26, 2011



Saturday, June 25, 2011


Sorry about these commercials on these videos. I don't know how to remove them. But the videos are good.

See more on this whole Greek banking-debt scam here


On Friday evening, June 24, 2011, a forum entitled, "Eyewitness Libya," was held in Washington, D.C., at the Festival Center. It featured former-Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who has just returned from a fact-finding mission to that country. The event was sponsored by the ANSWER Coalition.


GN Chairperson Dave Webb (CND UK) produced a powerful video that he showed to begin our recent conference in Massachusetts.

For reasons I don't understand he has not been able to get it on YouTube but it is now available for downloading.

Just click here for the download. It might first require you to download a special player program (Adobe Shockwave) but just follow instructions to do that.

Friday, June 24, 2011



Thursday, June 23, 2011


Agneta Norberg (Swedish Peace Council) received the Global Network's "Peace in Space Award" at our recent conference

Our 19th annual space organizing conference, entitled Raytheon, Missile Offense, & Endless War: Working Together to Demilitarize and Create a Sustainable Future, began on Friday, June 17 with a 1½ hour afternoon vigil outside the gates of Raytheon in Andover, Massachusetts. Over 65 people joined us at the gates as the workers poured out of Raytheon in their cars. Luckily the rain did not pour down upon us as we stood under threatening skies. It is known that 4,500 people work at the Andover facility where they build “missile defense” systems like the PAC-3 (ground-based launchers) and SM-3 (Aegis destroyer based) interceptor missiles that are now being deployed near the borders of Russia and China.

Arthur Brien from the Merrimack Valley People for Peace was glad to see so many people at the vigil. He has been holding a weekly vigil at Raytheon’s gates for 20 years – often alone.

A reporter from a local weekly newspaper came to the vigil to take photos and interview Global Network (GN) leaders from around the world that had come for the conference. The daily newspaper in Andover told us they’d likely not be able to give any coverage to the conference due to the fact that the Boston Bruins has just won the professional hockey championships. A convenient excuse indeed in this company town.

Following the vigil we had a supper at the Unitarian Church in Andover and heard speeches by John Schuchardt from the co-sponsoring North Shore Coalition for Peace & Justice. Art Brien also spoke and received a standing ovation from those in attendance. Local activist Mary Kate Small sang peace songs and then GN board member Loring Wirbel from Colorado Springs gave us more information about Raytheon’s key role in moving the arms race into space.

On June 18 we moved the conference to nearby Merrimack College where just over 100 people turned out. Two plenary sessions offered us a chance to share reports from GN leaders from six countries and across the U.S. We learned even more about Raytheon’s growing role in developing new technologies for crowd control, reconnaissance and surveillance, and for missile offense. New generations of robotic weapons, drones, and other nano-technology weapons are being created at academic institutions where “university-corporate partnerships” are increasingly being sold as a solution to fiscal problems at these schools. The lines between military and local law enforcement are being blurred as new “dual use” technologies are being created to spy on the public and suppress public dissent.

The issue of NATO expansion and the surrounding of Russia and China with “missile defense” systems, and the likelihood of a new arms race, were major themes of the conference. We heard from GN leaders in Canada, Sweden, England, Germany, Japan, and India – each one with a similar story about growing militarization of their societies and harsh cutbacks in social spending. Each of these nations, to some degree or the other, is being dragged into “partnerships” with the U.S. and the ever-expanding NATO as endless wars move from Iraq to Afghanistan to Yemen and now Libya.

The four workshops helped everyone dig deeper into the key themes of the conference. Topics discussed were cyber warfare (the U.S. now claims that an attack on its computers will be taken as an act of war), drones, missile offense expansion, the Bring Our War $$ Home campaign, and students speaking out on the domestic impacts of space militarization. As it turned out, the National Conference of Mayors was meeting the same weekend and on June 20 passed a Bring Our War $$ Home resolution that brought coverage of that issue to the front pages of the New York Times (June 22) and was the top story on the CBS evening news (June 20) as well as being reported in many other mainstream media outlets. The GN was instrumental in helping to initiate and spread the Bring Our War $$ Home campaign that was born in Maine.

On the evening of June 19 a second conference dinner was held at another Unitarian Church – this time in North Andover. War Resisters League/New England leaders Joanne Sheehan and Rick Gaumer cooked both of our dinners during the conference. It was wonderful having them with us and their good cooking was much appreciated by all. Two Peace in Space awards were presented after dinner to long-time GN board member Agneta Norberg (Sweden) and to the Merrimack Valley People for Peace. Art Brien accepted the award on his group’s behalf. GN chairperson Dave Webb (England) surprised all of us by presenting me with a Peace in Space award as well.

One dinner time highlight was the story telling by John Stewart (Florida) who did his comedic rendition of the time in 1997 when he and I and a few others from the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice led the CBS-TV 60 Minutes film crew and NASA security around the Kennedy Space Center tourist facility as we protested the deadly launch of 72 pounds of plutonium-238 on the Cassini space mission. People loved John’s bit.

Following the dinner we walked across the street to the Old Center Hall where we had a magnificent concert to cap off the evening. Boston-area Veterans for Peace leader Pat Scanlon and friends performed some of his rousing anti-war songs. Then we heard from a young man named Andrew McGarrah who sang a brilliant Sadako song in a tribute to the young girl who died trying to fold 1,000 paper cranes following the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Our special guest, Japanese folksinger Tetsu Kitagawa, blew our hearts wide open with his wonderful songs – one of which is a tribute to the anti-militarist Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution that the U.S. is pressuring the Japanese government to dump so they can be dragged into the increasingly aggressive global NATO war making alliance. The wonderful thing about Kitagawa was that he spent the entire day with us at the conference. He spoke little English but sat through all the plenary sessions and workshops with his translator. Rarely do you see such a “star” do that. We must thank the AFSC’s Joseph Gerson for arranging to bring Kitagawa to the event.

On the final day, June 19, we held our annual membership business meeting. Finding a meeting place on a Sunday in Andover was not easy and we settled on a local Chinese restaurant, which had a large meeting room. Thirty of us met to review the past year and make plans for 2012.

One major item of discussion was our annual Keep Space for Peace Week (October 1-8), which this year is during the 10th “anniversary” of the war in Afghanistan. We decided to connect our poster theme and promotion of space week to the war and in particular to the fact that drones utilize military space satellites to carry out their deadly missions which often result in killing scores of innocent people. The week will again be co-sponsored by WILPF.

Three women from Sweden were at the meeting, one of whom (Ingela Martensson) was for a time a parliamentarian for the Liberal Party in the Swedish parliament. She volunteered to do all she could to bring the space weaponization issue to the EU body during Keep Space for Peace Week. Dave Webb, who also chairs CND in the UK, was extremely excited about this and wants to work with Ingela on that project.

We also discussed the need to undertake more work around the issue of the corporatization and militarization of academia and dreamed of the possibility of hiring, at the least, a part-time worker to help us do campus organizing around this growing problem. Regina Hagen (Germany) reported that students in her country have recently been organizing to oppose similar trends there. It would be good to connect students around the world on this issue.

As we met our GN board member Sung-Hee Choi (South Korea) remains in jail on Jeju Island for holding a banner that read “Touch not one stone, not one flower”. Another board member, MacGregor Eddy (California) was just preparing to return home after her 10-day solidarity visit to Jeju where she represented the GN. Due to the generosity of our members and supporters our recent travel fund appeal for MacGregor’s visit to Jeju had brought in enough money to send another person to the island. We decided to send Matt Hoey (Massachusetts) in late July and I have begun to talk with leaders of Korean-American organizations about sending representatives as well. A church group in Germany that I have been in contact with about Jeju will also send a person to be part of this international delegation.

Just prior to our conference we had received an email from GN board member Wooksik Cheong who lives in Seoul, South Korea. He said that leaders from the Gangjeong village on Jeju Island had requested that the GN consider holding our 2012 annual space conference there in solidarity with them. We discussed this amongst several other offers we have received from India, Sweden, Japan, and Hawaii to host future meetings.

We decided to send word to Jeju Island that we would like to meet there though because of the crucial situation we felt meeting earlier than normal in 2012 might be best. Jeju Island is one of those striking situations where the deployment of missile offense systems on Navy destroyers to surround China’s coastline converges with many other important issues. Coupled with the disastrous environmental consequences of building a Navy base on this pristine environmental treasure, is the need to support the beleaguered yet determined people in the Gangjeong farming and fishing village. This coming together of such a set of issues just cannot be ignored.

We also decided to tell organizers in Hawaii that several of our GN leaders could stop there on the way to Korea for a mini-conference. Hawaii has become a key “missile defense” testing ground and we feel it important to learn more about their local situation and strengthen our links with activists in that heavily militarized and isolated state.

We also decided to do our best to send as many of our GN leaders as possible to India in October 2012 for a space issues conference that will be organized by our board member J. Narayana Rao as his country barrels headfirst into Star Wars. And we gave our friends in Sweden the go-ahead to begin organizing for a 2013 space conference in their country as the development of a space launch, test range, and tracking facility in northern Sweden is expanding, largely due to its proximity to the Russian border.

There was a wonderful spirit at this conference and it was clear that the leadership of the GN understands the necessity to step-up our efforts around the globe if we hope to prevent the weaponization of space and stop endless war. When one person wondered if we could really afford to send GN representatives to all of the proposed events in 2012, Lotus Yee Fong (California) said, “With the U.S. surrounding Russia and China, how can we not do everything we possibly can to prevent war with them?”

Lotus is exactly right. We should not be limited by worries about funding at this time. The Global Network has always done a lot of work with a very meager budget. We must keep making the links between space technology and “conventional” war on the Earth below. We should continue to show solidarity with those working so hard to resist space militarization from Jeju Island to Hawaii to Sweden and to India. We need one another now more than ever.

I say build it and the support will come from our members to do this sacred work. Let our 20th year in the Global Network be our most active yet. Thanks to all.


My computer was taken down for the past 24 hours by some top-notch cyber hackers. My computer doctor told me he'd never seen any virus like the one that hit me yesterday. It knocked out by access to email and to the Internet and somehow also knocked every other computer in the house off-line.

Needless to say I've now got a backlog of emails a mile-long waiting for me. Do I believe that the military industrial complex was responsible for this hit? Yes, I do. Does my computer doctor think it was someone from inside the military industrial complex that knocked out my computer? Yes, he does.

Do I expect it to happen again? Yes, I do.

Conference Videos: In the meantime GN board member Loring Wirbel (Citizens for Peace in Space, Colorado Springs) has created a page on YouTube for videos he recorded of many of the talks at our recent conference. You can see them here

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Mayor Kang of the Gangjeong village tries to climb on-board the dredging ship that is preparing to destroy the soft coral reefs just off Jeju Island. The people are giving it their all and need our support more than ever.

  • No one is quite sure why Sung-Hee Choi's trial date has been changed to June 29. She's been in jail a long time now for just holding a banner. I think they are keeping her locked up because of her blog and organizing activity that was dramatically helping to spread word about Jeju Island all over the world. But if the right-wing South Korean government of President Lee thinks keeping her in jail will cut off that link they are wrong. The Facebook page has now taken over that role and increasing visits to the village by South Koreans is leading to more spontaneous protests around their country in support of Jeju Islanders.

  • Obama is going to make his weak Afghanistan speech today where he will propose to keep this quagmire going for many years to come. He will suggest the removal of 5,000 troops this summer with an additional 5,000 by the end of the year. That would leave 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan along with NATO forces and the mercenary forces that are hired by private contractors. So the more than $10 billion a month occupation will continue. Despite a few notable exceptions, the Republicans and Democrats in Congress will do all they can to keep this disaster going. Forget the crumbling economy at home. How can anyone now say that voting for Obama in 2012 will bring us change?
  • These same political hacks in Washington keep nagging at us about the growing debt crisis. But when it comes to massive Pentagon war spending they remain largely silent. Recent polls show that 73% of the American people support a withdrawal from Afghanistan. The people are not stupid and understand the links between endless war spending and fiscal crisis. The people don't want their Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and what is left of the social safety net dismantled. But the corporate hacks, posing as elected officials, by and large are out to bring feudalism back to America. I am more than fed up with corporate minions pretending to be "liberal Democrats". God, they disgust me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Global Network 19th Annual Conference Joint Declaration

At a time when the Obama Administration would like to stress its adherence to a more multilateral National Space Policy, the members of Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space remind us that the real global situation in space militarization should still be disturbing, when we see the real-world plans of the U.S., its NATO allies, and industrial nations worldwide. Even as the four years of an unprecedented recession have cut into commercial space enterprises, military budgets continue unabated, and are approaching $1 trillion annually in the U.S. The knee-jerk air-assault responses to the Libya crisis, followed by the SEAL assault on the Bin Laden compound in Pakistan, show that even as citizens of the Middle East and Maghreb nations rise in largely nonviolent campaigns for change, the U.S. and its NATO allies respond with integrated air, sea, and ground assault campaigns that use the theaters of space in virtually every aspect of military strategy.

Global Network points out that, even as concern about long-range missile-defense networks in some regions has abated, the U.S., NATO, Israel, and other nations have increased the development pace on tactical land-based systems like the PAC-3 missile, and sea-based Aegis systems using SM-3 interceptors. Spy satellite launches from the National Reconnaissance Office have continued at a rapid pace, as have classified space-plane tests from the Air Force and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The space plane tests, in particular, are elements of a new Pentagon program called Conventional Prompt Global Strike, managed through the U.S. Strategic Command and highly favored by Obama. This mission seeks the ability to strike anywhere on the planet in a two-hour window. These developments are actually offensive. They are destabilizing, promote a new arms race, and siphon money from domestic needs without enhancing true security.

Trends in warfare in 2011 make it clear why Global Network has chosen Raytheon Corp. this year as representative of the large military-industrial giants we oppose. Raytheon is critical in development of the PAC-3 and SM-3, it produces elements of land- and space-based missile defense such as the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, and it outsources much intelligence processing from the National Reconnaissance Office and National Security Agency. As the Pentagon turns to space for Global Strike purposes, Raytheon is on the front line.

Global Network commits itself in 2011, a year of global citizen uprisings, to peaceful support of nonviolent struggle. GN supports the efforts of citizens in South Korea, Japan, Guam, and other nations in their struggle to remove U.S. bases, and calls on the U.S. and NATO to avoid military options in the Middle East and Africa. GN calls for an end to missile defense, negotiations for a treaty to ban weapons in space, the removal of U.S. troops from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, an end to global-strike plans, a reduction in military budgets worldwide, and a reorientation of space use to emphasize peaceful purposes.

- This meeting took place in Andover, Massachusetts on June 17-19, 2011. More than 100 people from eight countries attended the conference entitled Raytheon, Missile Offense, and Endless War: Working together to demilitarize and create a sustainable future.


Villagers are trying to stop the barges from taking measurements as they prepare to begin the dredging that will destroy the coral reefs off Jeju Island.

The sea floor will be dredged in order to extend the piers far from shore and to allow the huge U.S. Aegis destroyers and aircraft carriers to port there once the base is completed.

Global Network board member Sung-Hee Choi's trial has been postponed again until June 29 as she remains in jail for holding a banner while trying to block Navy base construction.

An interesting article was posted on the Jeju Island support Facebook page this morning called Endless War Wastes Money - and Lives written by former U.S. Senator Ernest Hollings (D-SC). It is obvious that he is paying attention to what is going on in the Asia-Pacific these days as he mentions the struggle on Jeju Island. He writes:

Now I have come across Zbigniew Brzezinski's 1997 book, "The Grand Chessboard," describing Eurasia, including the land mass of Russia and China. Brzezinski writes: "For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia. ... Now a non-Eurasian power is pre-eminent in Eurasia -- and America's global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained."

Thus, the U.S. policy of encirclement of Russia and China. Apparently, it's being implemented with President Obama promising missiles for Poland; establishing a naval base with South Korea on Jeju Island; and staying in Afghanistan.



Monday, June 20, 2011


Bring Our War $$$ Home Rally from William Hughes on Vimeo.

Maine's Lisa Savage leads off the Baltimore rally to Bring Our War $$ Home during the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting. About 15 mayors have brought a Bring Our War $$ Home resolution to the meeting and as I type this they are preparing to have a floor debate over the resolution.

The campaign began here in Maine two years ago and has spread across the country since then. Bring Our War $$ Home resolutions passed in the Maine communities of Deer Isle, Portland, and School Administrative District #74 (Solon), followed by Northampton and Amherst, Massachusetts and, most recently, by Hartford, Connecticut.

See a news report here and here and here

Update: At 11:52 am today the U.S. Conference of Mayors overwhelmingly passed the Bring Our War $$ Home resolution. Now we need to get folks to take them to their local cities and towns for passage at those entities. It was the lead story on the CBS evening news tonight.


New barges are being brought into the ocean area just off the coast of the Gangjeong village on Jeju Island. They are preparing to put a huge cement structure called a Caisson into the water which will be part of the piers being built.

When village protester Brother Song tried to get on the barge 20 Samsung Construction and Navy employees attacked and beat him with bamboo clubs. He was injured and passed out. The emergency medical service came and took him to the hospital. The village people are angry about Brother Song's beating and went to the Naval base office where they held a mass protest.

The village people told the Navy to remove the barge. Even though Brother Song was injured, the Samsung Construction guys answered, "What's the big deal?"

One supporter reported on the Save Gangjeong Facebook page, "I just got off the phone with Brother Song and he is okay. He woke up and although he says he is bruised up and hurt his hip, he doesn't have any broken bones even though he was kicked and beaten and pushed off the barge and fell onto another boat below. The villagers have asked him to rest in the hospital now so he is doing that. He thanks everyone for their support and urges us to keep on resisting."

MacGregor Eddy returns home today after ten days in the Gangjeong village doing support work. We thank her for making the trip and carrying the Global Network's messages of solidarity to Jeju Island.

At our annual Global Network membership meeting yesterday we made the decision to send another of our board members to Jeju Island at the end of July. We have asked Matt Hoey to go to Jeju and to continue the work that MacGregor started for us. He has agreed to go. We are strongly urging other organizations around the world to send representatives to Gangjeong village during the last week of July. So far we have heard from German church groups and from Korean-American organizations that they will also be sending representatives during late July. Please let us know if you are interested and we can help make arrangements.

Things are really starting to heat up in the village so we all need to step up our support work. The first thing we need to do is get more people to know about this situation so please share this information and send people to the Facebook page. We also need to get some international media coverage of this crisis so any assistance you can give would be helpful.

Brother Song has also requested international assistance in raising $3,500 for another boat that they can use to protest the barges that are increasingly working offshore. If you are inclined to help with that fundraising please let us know.

By the way, be sure to boycott Sumsung products!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Chow time
The young women who spoke about social impacts of spending on space militarization. Vanessa Lynch (Massachusetts), Manashi Mohanty (India) and Nicole Moreau (Maine). Tamara Lorincz (Canada), J. Narayana Rao (India), and Matt Hoey (Massachusetts)
Dave Webb's opening bit about Raytheon....he promises to put it on YouTube
Carol Urner (Oregon) talking about the need for U.N. treaty to ban weapons in space
The registration table with banner for Fukushima
Offering instructions on how to find the toilets.........

Just a few of the many photos taken by Marian Stanton...see more here

Here are more confab photos by Nicole Moreau here


Joyce Katzberg (Rhode Island)singing
Pat Scanlon and Friends
Our cooks Joanne Sheehan and Rick Gaumer, longtime WRL leaders from Connecticut
The gang at the end of the day...missing the folks from the Cyber Warfare and Drones workshop
Dud Hendrick (Maine) prepares the students for their workshop
Tetsu Kitagawa and other Japanese singing
Atsushi Fujioka (Japan) and Regina Hagen from Germany
GN Chairperson Dave Webb from UK talking about Fylingdales protests
The gang at a plenary session
Vanessa and MB
Veterans for Peace at the Raytheon vigil
International friends preparing for vigil
Three generations of the Fitzgerald family (from Maine) at the vigil
Cathy Mink (Maine) and Alice Slater (New York City). Many cars going by honked their approval at the vigil
Boryana Tacconi (Massachusetts) showing off cakes made by her husband

Agneta Norberg (Sweden) with her map of U.S. bases (click on it for better view)


Saturday, June 18, 2011


Plenary panel discussing U.S. deployments of "Missile Defense" systems surrounding Russia and China
Protest outside the Raytheon production plant in Andover, Massachusetts where "Missile Offense" systems are built

Friday, June 17, 2011


Letter from Choi Sung-Hee to Peace Activist MacGregor Eddy
Written June 12, 2011
Choi Sung-Hee is imprisoned on Jeju Island for her role in a nonviolent protest.

Dear MacGregor,

What a surprise to see you in the court room on June 10 and in the meeting room in the prison June 11 as well! I so thank you that you came to the Gangjeong village, Jeju Island, to share the Global Network's and your solidarity with the villagers and activists here. Please send my thanks to Global Network as well, and to Bruce Gagnon.

It was like I had a million friends when I saw a June 9 article in a Jeju newspaper called the "Jeju Domin Ilbo", that 111 orgnaizations led by the GN had signed the statement on the solidarity with the Gangjeong villagers. I really hope that you can see and talk to many wonderful people here.

What I dream and hope by your visit is that you may inform the villagers and activists of how space is militarized and weaponized, and how important it is to convert war budget to people's welfare budget. Sorry that I wish too much by your visit here. I just want to express how excited I am and how grateful for your visit.

Regina Hagen, along with other friends, sent kind emails from Germany and I want to express my great thanks to all the GN members. I am sorry that I can't go to Andover. But I will be with all of you from the bottom of my heart.

Love, Sung-Hee

From MacGregor Eddy: This is only part of her letter, there is a long discussion of the details of the relationship between the USA and the ROK (South Korea) which Sung-Hee is revising now because the situation has changed. Regina Pyon and I will post the new, revised statement from Sung-Hee as soon as we get it from Dora.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Leah Bolger of Veterans for Peace spoke during the "Rally for Bradley Manning" at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas on June 4.

Pfc. Bradley Manning of Oklahoma has been in US military custody without formal charges for over a year. Manning allegedly leaked US secret diplomatic cables to Wikileaks.

For more information on Veterans for Peace, visit


Jeju Catholic parish leader, Bishop Kang Woo Il said, "Gangjeong is a holy and living place where we can hold Mass anytime and as the parish leader I will allow mass at anytime."

We are packing up the car and preparing to head south to Massachusetts for the Global Network conference. This morning an email was waiting for me from GN board member Wooksik Cheong in Seoul, South Korea saying, "They [villagers] asked me that it is possible of next international conference of GN to be held Gangjeong? They think the int'l meeting will be a big help for stopping a base construction."

I immediately wrote him back and said that we would discuss the invitation at our meeting this weekend. How could we dare say no?

Professor Yang Yoon-Mo is now in his 67th day of hunger striking and appears to be in the hospital. We are all gravely concerned about him. Sung-Hee Choi, still in jail, has resumed her hunger strike in solidarity with Yang. The villagers are deeply worried about her as they have depended on her so heavily to be their link to the international peace community. She has brought people from all over the world repeatedly to the Gangjeong village and has been a key person in helping spread their message far and wide.

They all will be on our minds this weekend as we meet in Massachusetts. Looks like we have GN leaders coming from eight countries and from throughout the U.S. - from Florida to Oregon. We are grateful to the Merrimack Valley People for Peace for hosting us in their neck of the woods.

We meet our GN chairperson Dave Webb (CND) from England at noon today to go over everything before the conference begins on Friday with a protest vigil at Raytheon in Andover as the workers leave the facility. We are fortunate that Joanne Sheehan (War Resisters League), and renowned peace movement cook, will be preparing our dinners on Friday and Saturday night. It should be a great time.


Jeju must be an island of peace!


We support the non-violent resistance of the residents of Gangjeong village and call for the immediate cancellation of the Jeju naval base construction.

Jeju is an “Island of Global Peace.” However, Jeju is currently far from peace because of the enforcement of the naval base construction. This is destroying the local community and the natural environment. People in Gangjeong village have been fighting for years against government violence and attempts to construct the naval base. Not only the residents of Gangjeong village, but also the visitors and people who have seen the beautiful and peaceful scenery, are asking for reasons why the navy base should be constructed.

There are many questions from civilians about why this base is necessary. We ask the Ministry of National Defense and the provincial government of Jeju to answer questions about their justification for this base; what kind of threats this base will address; and if those threats are real, whether constructing this base in Jeju is the most appropriate solution. The Navy's argument of using the Jeju naval base as a stepping stone for the “blue water navy” to progress and to facilitate the navy forces’ overseas deployment is no longer convincing. This argument from the Navy is no longer valid, since the withdrawal of the expansion plan in revisions of the National Defense Reform Law, which was announced on April 29. The Ministry of National Defense and the Jeju provincial government should reconsider the necessity of the naval base before enforcing the construction against the opposition of the residents.

We are also concerned about the lack of procedural legitimacy followed by the Ministry of National Defense and the Jeju provincial government, which used various expedients and illegal methods to speed up their construction plan. Gangjeong village was never the first candidate for the construction site. After confronting the great opposition from another proposed site, the Ministry of National Defense and Jeju provincial government hastily selected Gangjeong village as the site for construction without sufficient consideration of the residents’ intentions. Gangjeong village is one of the most beautiful sites of the Jeju Olle Road and is designated as an "absolute preservation area." It’s also a World Heritage site. However, this designation of absolute preservation area was hastily lifted by the local government through a change of the law, and the environmental impact assessment was only nominally implemented. It is an ironic contradiction, because at the same time the government lifted the designation of "absolute preservation area" through a quick decision, they were also making a great effort to rank Gangjeong as one of the world’s 7th best sites for natural scenery. We call upon the Ministry of National Defense and the Jeju provincial government to make a decision to preserve the ecological environment in and surrounding Gangjeong village which is a gift of nature.

We also draw attention to the fact that construction workers' violence toward the Gangjeong villagers and activists has been ignored, even as those who are struggling to stop the construction are subjected to diverse accusations and imprisonment. Gangjeong residents are trying to show through non-violent protest that they have never agreed with the naval base construction, because they believe the construction is taking away their livelihood and destroying the environment inherited from their descendents. The Navy must stop using threats to create division in the Gangjeong community, which is dismantling the village. In addition, government suppression of citizens who are nonviolently protesting to protect their right to live also needs to be stopped.

Currently, the five national opposition parties are investigating the procedures and the legality of the problems caused while constructing the naval base. In addition, lawsuits suspending and nullifying the lift of the designation of "absolute preservation area," as well as the approval of the military and defense facilities business implementation plan are in progress. We call upon the Ministry of National Defense and the Jeju provincial government to stop the construction until the problems of expedients and illegal methods used to justify the construction are dealt with in the judicial system and just decisions are made. We believe that legitimate and democratic procedures, which more seriously consider citizens' intentions and the enviornmental impact assessment, should be done once again.

We are now witnessing that the resistance of Gangjeong residents in order to protect the local community and beautiful Joongduk Sea is becoming a nationwide movement of objection against the navy base construction. Thus, we will bring together wisdom and solutions from every field of society, so that we can establish Jeju as an “Island of Peace” without military bases, an “Island of Peace” where citizens are not sacrificed under the name of the national security, and an “Island of Peace” acknowledged by the international society as a place truly representing peace, also by overcoming the long lasting conflicts surrounding the Jeju naval base construction.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

National Network of Korean Civil Society for Opposing to the Naval Base in Jeju Island. (140 organizations and 440 individuals)