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

Sunday, September 30, 2012


The X-37B, military space plane, is being hailed as the "successor" to the space shuttle.  The next launch of the space plane will be in October from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida - exact date yet to be announced.

Analysts contend the Falcon is part of the Pentagon's effort to develop the capability to strike anywhere in the world with a conventional warhead in less than an hour - known as Prompt Global Strike.  The official purpose of the X-37B program remains classified.

The Washington Times has in the past reported, "The actual expense [of the X-37] is hidden in the Pentagon's 'black,' or classified, budget - is likely to cost more than $1 billion. The launch vehicle alone - a two-stage, liquid-propelled Atlas V rocket - costs as much as $200 million. Ten years of development on the plane - as the project was shuffled from NASA to DARPA and finally to its current institutional home in the Air Force - is likely to have cost hundreds of millions of dollars more."

The development of these new space planes is one reason that the Obama administration and the Pentagon are eager to reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles in Russia and China in the years to come. As key elements in the growing U.S. first-strike program, they become even more effective if the U.S. can get its potential rivals to reduce their nuclear retaliatory capability giving the Pentagon an ever greater chance of pulling off a successful decapitating attack.

Thus as the U.S. moves forward with these kinds of global strike systems it will be likely that Russia and China will be forced to respond by refusing to dramatically reduce their nuclear weapons and by developing new technologies to counter the U.S. program.



The Orioles won last night putting them in a tie for 1st place with the Jankees.  Four games left in the regular season - if they win two they make the playoffs.

The miracles continue.


Saturday, September 29, 2012


Global Network board member Makiko Sato reports from Japan about protests in Okinawa at U.S. war base:

In face of the imminent deployment of the Ospreys [U.S. tiltrotor aircraft] from Iwakuni, where they are currently positioned, Okinawa is in the fireball-like opposition, with even some Okinawan representatives in Diet, prefectural or municipal offices participating in the all-out efforts by more than 100 citizens in the evening of blocking the gates of the U.S. Marines Futenma Air Station.

100 police officers were ineffective before 160 citizens, though some of the latter were brought away. People are determined to block those Ospreys being carried into Futenma Air Station. Those aged 65~75 are telling one another to gather at the gates, for they have less concerns than younger generations.

Today, Shoichi Chibana, a famous Okinawan activist, who burned a Japanese national flag in late '80s, and has now become a Buddhist monk, came to my hometown for a talk. He said that it can be really said that Okinawa will do financially without the U.S. bases, considering the rise in the employment rate and in the revenue from tourism. I didn't know the population of Okinawa has grown to be slightly over 1.4 million.

After his talk he received a phone call, letting him know that all the three gates of Futenma Air Station were successfully blocked by citizens with two lines of cars so that Ospreys would not be brought in.The current typhoon is giving Okinawans some time to rest from the struggles.

The Osprey deployment must be for Department of Defense (DOD) cutting the military spending. 

But DOD doesn't seem to be aware that it has rubbed salt into Okinawans' unhealed wounds, especially hard this time.

Now, from school children to the elderly in their 80s, Okinawans are determined to block the deployment at any cost. 

Kevin Maher [former director of the State Department's Office of Japan Affairs left his post following comments he made calling the people of Okinawa "lazy" and "masters of extortion."] has never understood Okinawans.   DOD should know he hasn't.
Makiko Sato

Friday, September 28, 2012


Veterans For Peace is calling for the grounding of Predator and Reaper Drones and for General Atomics to stop manufacturing them.  Other members of VFP are currently traveling from the United States to Pakistan as part of a delegation organized by Code Pink to visit one area where U.S. drone strikes have become frequent.  VFP is part of a coalition organizing an online petition in support of banning weaponized drones.

If you're in Southern California on a Thursday, join the protest from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the corner of Scripps Poway Parkway and General Atomics Way in Poway, CA. 


Mainer Regis Tremblay has been in Gangjeong village for the past couple of weeks filming the struggle against the Navy base.

He returns home on Sunday and shared this farewell video with the villagers before leaving.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo has become the face of the growing protest movement in Spain. The mayor of a small town in Southern Spain called Marinaleda, he has become well-known for leading combative protests and sit-ins, including a protest in a supermarket in which food was taken and redistributed to the poor. But Sánchez Gordillo has backed up his critiques of capitalism with a viable alternative.

In his town of Marinaleda, there is full employment, people rent homes for 15 Euros a month, and everybody who works in the agricultural cooperative that was formed, including the mayor, earns the same salary.


 Antonio Claparlos (green shirt on right) was one of the strongest supporters of Gangjeong village during the World Conservation Congress held on Jeju Island earlier this month.


By Antonio Claparlos

Compared to  the previous World Conservation Congress events held in the previous years, this most recent one from September 6 to 15, 2012 can be considered the most tiring I ever had.

It was hosted by the Korean government and held in the island of Jeju, also known as the “Island of Peace”.

Jeju is home of the Tamna people who have lived and sustained their natural heritage for thousands of years.

Jeju has three myths of origin: that of the cosmos, of the island itself and of its human inhabitants. The latter a tale of three demigods who rose from Volcanic lava caves deep in the earth and married three princesses from another land, thus resulted in the Tamna Kingdom.

The Sam-seong-hyeol myth (Lit: three name holes typically translated as caves of three clans) begin with the emergence of three male demigods by the names of Ko,Yang and Bu from deep caves and lava tubes in the surface of this volcanic island.

Through the stability of agriculture and regional trade, the Tamna Kingdom was eventually formed.  Ko became its first King with 45 Kings to follow. The Tamna Kingdom has been founded between the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C.E.

In 1105 C.E., the Tamna Kingdom subsumed as a province by the Goryeo Kingdom of what is now known as Korea.

Jeju Island is seeking to become an environmental capital city of the world. A UNESCO World heritage site, its water is said to be“the purest in the world” —  naturally-filtered by the volcanic rocks and its underground aquifers which retain 46 % percent of the rainfall, also making it Korea's most active aquifer.

Its biodiversity is rich and the mystic of Mt. Halasan is a marvel on its own.

There is much to be said about Jeju Island, its people and  its natural heritage.

More than 7,000 delegates from all over the world converged on this beautiful island to discuss the state of the planet and the way forward on how to save our dying planet.

Even though this was the 5th World Conservation Congress we had attended, it was always nice to see old friends and meet new ones. I will always treasure these friends who share the advocacy with us all through the years.

Despite the many years and meetings the planet seems to be getting worse. We have seen the planet evolve and yes, our planet remains in peril. Worse, it continues to be nearing the end of the line.

As of this writing, a typhoon is heading straight for the Korean peninsula, sending a message to all that Nature has had enough! She can no longer sustain the pressures of the present development model.

The same pressures put forth by continuous pollution, ocean-acidification and man-induced climate change.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide is now almost 400 ppm. This is a very critical stage, enough to compel us to act on the need to reduce carbon dioxide to 350 ppm to sustain life.

Yet, instead of being alarmed, the business-as-usual attitude even accelerated!

There is no documented progress by the UNFCCC to mitigate CO2 and other greenhouse gasses. The many COP meetings has failed.

The grassroots movement is increasing everywhere, taking  matters into their on hands. They are even better armed with new initiatives like re-educating the masses about the benefits of solar cookers and renewable energy, also about mangrove reforestation.

The movement is now pushing for a more active volunteerism spirit. The same drive is aimed for the protection of our forest and oceans.

Radical changes are taking place as the establishment refuses to change.

Yet, the Congress is tainted by the old consumption and production patterns which need to be changed.

Corporate control of conservation is wreaking havoc on the mission and vision of the conservation movement and the World Congress.

What does this picture out to the world? A scary scenario, that of  an increasing poverty. Peak of oil and  food and peak of everything is in the making.

More Arab springs are already taking place. The people are suffering from many austerity measures imposed on them by the IMF and their respective government.

Unknown to many, there is talk of another stimulus for the economy which will only cause more inflation. It is foreseen to make life harder for the seven billion people of this planet of which over 2 billion live below the poverty line.

Food shortages and the destruction of our biodiversity has made the battle for resources inevitable.

During this recent World Conservation Congress, one of the most controversial motions was Motion 181 or “Protection of the People, Nature, Culture and Heritage of Gangjeong Village.”

Gangjeong Village is the site of the construction of a naval base.

The motion is sponsored by the Center of Humans and Nature and co-sponsored by over 32 non-governmental organizations. They all exerted efforts to have the said motion adopted.

The motion was voted in plenary this morning, after many contact group meetings and heated debates were conducted.

We are honored to  be one of the co-sponsors. The motion was not adopted by the Congress since it needed both houses of government and NGOs.

However, the government house had more abstentions. It had more “yes” votes than the “ no” votes and the NGO house had the majority. This sent a strong signal to IUCN and the world that Gangjeong village and its people and Jeju Island must be protected.

It has given hope to the villagers to continue to fight for their natural heritage which they have nurtured sustainably for centuries.

The message of the congress is clear:  We must save the villagers of Gangjeong, Jeju Island . We must protect the people and planet. Otherwise, all these congresses and meetings are meaningless and a waste of time.

The World Conservation Congress ended with a declaration that I can best describe as the biblical cymbal – making all noise yet signifying nothing, all empty words.

Real and concrete action on the ground is what is needed.

With one powerful word, loud and clear message of hope has been sent to the world from the beautiful island of Jeju, the island of peace :

“Peace .”

Antonio M. Claparols
Ecological Society of the Philippines

Makati City

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Israel lobbyist and deputy director for research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), Patrick Clawson, suggests that a false flag attack is almost certainly needed to go to war with Iran, as initiation crisis has always depended on some kind of a single event, in many cases a false flag to justify the waging of war.

WINEP is a spin-off of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

The statement was made at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in response to a question related to America's options in case negotiations with Iran fail.


Disturbing, powerful and emotionally devastating, Tears of Gaza is less a conventional documentary than a record – presented with minimal gloss – of the 2008 to 2009 bombing of Gaza by the Israeli military. Photographed by several Palestinian cameramen both during and after the offensive, this powerful film by director Vibeke Løkkeberg focuses on the impact of the attacks on the civilian population. Tears of Gaza makes no overriding speeches or analyses. The situation leading up to the incursion is never mentioned. Similar events certainly occurred in Dresden, Tokyo, Baghdad and Sarajevo, but of course Gaza isn’t those places.  

Tears of Gaza demands that we examine the costs of war on a civilian populace. (Excerpt from Steve Gravestock, 2011 Toronto International Film Festival)


This is the Navy's new super-rigged Zumwalt destroyer being built at Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Maine. 

The Associated Press reported in June that “A super-stealthy destroyer that could underpin the U.S. Navy’s China strategy will be able to sneak up on coastlines virtually undetected and pound targets with electromagnetic ‘rail guns’ right out of a sci-fi movie.  (Using electric pulses, not chemical explosives, the ‘rail gun’ can shoot a 40-pound metal slug from New York to Philadelphia at up to 5,600 mph — more than seven times the speed of sound — with 32 times the force of a car traveling at 100 miles per hour.)" 

The new stealthy DDG-1000 being built by General Dynamics in Bath, Maine will cost between $4-7 billion each.  The Navy did not actually want the destroyer because it would eat up too much of their shipbuilding budget.  But the Obama administration, which was strongly supported in his run for president in 2008 by the Chicago-based Crown family (which are majority stockholders in General Dynamics), has insisted the ships be built.   

Previous versions of Navy destroyers, outfitted with ‘missile defense’ systems cost about  $1.5 billion each.

See military promo video about the warship below.



Since 2004, up to 884 innocent civilians, including at least 176 children, have died from US drone strikes in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan. A new report from the Stanford and New York University law schools finds drone use has caused widespread post-tramatic stress disorder and an overall breakdown of functional society in North Waziristan. In addition, the report finds the use of a "double tap" procedure, in which a drone strikes once and strikes again not long after, has led to deaths of rescuers and medical professionals. Many interviewees told the researchers they didn't know what America was before drones. Now what they know of America is drones, death and terror.

Last February the Washington Post reported that "77 percent of liberal Democrats endorse the use of drones, meaning that Obama is unlikely to suffer any political consequences as a result of his policy in this election year."

If Bush or Romney were now president I can promise you that 77% of liberal Democrats would be howling against their use of drones.  Welcome to party politics in the USA!

Obama has signed a deal to keep the U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan up to 2024.  They need to have an enemy to justify spending $2 billion a week on this insane project.  By killing innocent civilians in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan with drones the U.S. ensures that a steady stream of "enemies" are created.  I'd call that evil.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


The first day of the UN General Assembly in New York was quite predictably marked by a boiling over of tension between Iran and Israel. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used his speech at the gathering to denounce Israel's alleged nuclear stockpiles and its occupation of Palestine. The Iranian president's address to leaders and ministers from over 100 countries prompted Israel's ambassador to walk out. Ahmadinejad also implicitly accused the US of shielding Israel and paving the way for a strike on Tehran.

This comes just days after Washington decided to remove an Iranian militant group, the MEK off its terror blacklist. Jamal Abdi, the Policy Director of the National Iranian American Council, believes the sudden change of heart over an organization striving to overthrow the Iranian regime, is no coincidence.

I can't stand the utter hypocrisy coming from the U.S. and its allies about Iran having a nuclear weapon.  Israel has hundreds of them as do several other NATO lap dogs.  The U.S. reeks of nuclearism.

We can't let another war get started.  Stand up now while you still have legs!


Dr. Michio Kaku speaking at the Global Network protest in front of the Treasury Department in Washington about the cost of Star Wars.  The protest kicked off the GN's annual conference in 2000.

October 6-13, 2012

Keep Space for Peace Week
International Week of Protest to

Stop the Militarization of Space

No Missile Defense
End Afghanistan War
No to NATO Expansion
Stop the Drones
Convert the Military Industrial Complex
Bring Our War $$ Home
No Nuclear Power in Space or on Earth
End Corporate Domination of Foreign/Military Policy

 List in formation

  • Andover, Massachusetts (Oct 11) Merrimack Valley People for Peace will hold a vigil in front of Raytheon, 7:00-8:00 am.
  • Bath Iron Works, Maine (Oct 6) Vigil across from administration building on Washington Street (Navy Aegis destroyers built at BIW) 11:30-12:30 am   Smilin’ Trees Disarmament Farm   (207) 763-4062
  • Bhubhaneswar (Orissa state) India (Oct 6) Space issues education and awareness program.  Coordinated by Ramchandra Patro 
  • Bombay, India (October 12) Day long seminar by Dr. Leo Rebello on World Without Wars on Earth or Space, based on his book World Without Wars.
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado (Oct 12) Demonstration from noon to 12:45 pm with banners outside of the SAIC facility which is adjacent to Peterson AFB (HQ of Air Force Space Command) northgate.  That way we get a twofer.
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado (Oct 12) Demonstration at West gate of Schriever AFB, home of the Space Warfare Center and numerous other Star Wars programs  3:30 - 4:30 pm.
  • RAF Croughton, England (Oct 6) Rally at U.S. communication base, March to main gate 1 mile - starts Croughton village 12.00 midday, Returns 3:00 pm, Oxfordshire Peace Campaign, 
  • Deming, New Mexico (Oct 12) Weekly Friday Occupy vigil will carry Keep Space for Peace signs
  • Fort Meade, Maryland (Oct 9) Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore will make its annual trek to the National Security Agency (NSA) at Fort Meade from 5:30-6:30 PM.  The spy agency continues to break a host of laws both U.S. and international.  Gather on Route 32 outside the main gate to alert the general public to the criminal activity taking place at the NSA.  RSVP to Max at 410-366-1537 or 
  • Fylingdales, England (Oct 7) Begin bicycle trip from Fylingdales U.S. radar facility to Menwith Hill to highlight their connections with US missile defense and the use of space technology.   Overnight peace camp the night before.
  • Gangjeong, Jeju Island, South Korea (Oct 6-13) Screening of space films in the Peace Center during the Keep Space for Peace Week. Banner and signs on Space Week will be hung and held in the village, including near the naval base construction gate. Information on space week will be distributed to the nationwide march participants during the space week.
  • King of Prussia/Valley Forge, Pennsylvania (Oct 13) Noon. Brandywine Peace Community's annual Keep Space for Peace Week demonstration (and observance of U.S. Afghan war anniversary) at Lockheed Martin.  Lockheed Martin, the world's largest war profiteer, a primary contractor of space weaponry as well as unmanned aerial vehicles, drones (including the Hell Fire missiles they carry) and the satellites which enable their remote control from the continental U.S. 
  • Leeds, England (Oct 3) ‘Drones – a new kind of warfare’ a talk and discussion with Chris Cole of the Campaign against Drones on the growing use of unmanned drones in the Middle East and beyond.  7.30 pm, Room G546, Rosebowl Building, Leeds Metropolitan University.  Organised by Pax Christi and Yorkshire CND. 
  • Menwith Hill, England (Oct 9) ‘The Faceless Face of Military Drones’ demonstration at NSA Spy Base in Yorkshire at 6-8 pm.   Will be welcoming the cyclists from Yorkshire CND when they arrive at Menwith Hill from Fylingdales.  (Faceless masks will be available)  Sponsored by CAAB  or 01423 884076 
  • Nagpur, (Maharashtra state) India (Oct 9) Space issues education and awareness program at Women’s College, Nandanwant Lay out.  Coordinator Mrunalini Fadnavis 
  • Nagpur, (Maharashtra state) India (Oct 12) Students rally at Matru Sewa Sangh Institute of Social Work.  Coordinated by Prof. Geetha Thachil 
  • Nagpur, (Maharashtra state) India (Oct 13) A massive Dharna (Squating) will
    be held jointly with several organisations at Nagpur. 
  • Newton, Massachusetts (Oct 21)  Bruce Gagnon speaks at First Unitarian Church,  1326 Washington Street, West Newton, 7:00 pm  
  • Oita, Japan (Oct 12) Banner against the fast breeder reactor development in Japan and the international joint R&D of a nuclear fusion reactor  16:00~17:00 at Oita Kyusyu Electric Power Co 
  • Oswestry, England (Oct 4) Coalition for Peace is hosting a talk by Chris Cole of Drone Wars UK at the Walford Davies Room, The Giuildhall, Bailey Head, Oswestry, Shropshire at 7.30. The title is ‘Drone Wars: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Beyond’. Details 01691 650527
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Oct 7) Vigil and demonstration against drone research at UPENN at 34th & Walnut Streets, 1:00 pm.  Speakers, music, and more; followed by kite flying in Woodland Walk field, between UPENN and Drexel University, behind the corner at 34th & Walnut Streets. End the War, Stop the Killer Drone Strikes, Space for Peace, not drone strikes directed from the U.S. through space.  Kites will be available, bring your own if you can, and don't forget your umbrella in the event of rain.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Oct 8) Noon, Brown bag lunch presentation at Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street, with Bruce Gagnon, International peace organizer; Coordinator,Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space and Keep Space for Peace Week;  Author, Come Together Right Now: Organizing Stories From Fading Empire.
  • Pickering, England (Oct 7) Peace in space cycle journey we will be stopping overnight for rest. meeting and discussion.
  • Ponidcherry University, India (Oct 7-8) Space issues education and awareness campaign Coordinator J. Narayana Rao 
  • Portland, Maine (Oct 8) Anti-Drone Die-In at Obama Campaign Headquarters, 533 Forest Ave., noon-1pm.  CODEPINK State of Maine & Portland  Pat Taub (207) 542-7119
  • Prague, Czech Republic (Oct) 10  Militarization of Space and the Missile Defence Project discussion with Dr. Miroslav Tuma, disarmament expert from the Institute of Foreign Relations in Prague. Where: Centrum neziskovych aktivit, Tyrsova 1, 6:00 pm
  • Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada (Oct 11) Vigil and flyer distribution at the north end of the Scarth Street Mall in downtown Regina, 12:00-12:30 pm. Making Peace Vigil 306-539-8853;
  • Rochester, New York  (Oct 6-13) Putting up Keep Space for Peace Week posters around town throughout the week. 585-339-9782
  • Santa Barbara, California (Oct 18-21) Challenging Robotic Warfare Technology: Education, Organizing, Strategy & Resistance Statewide Conference
  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota  (Oct. 13) Pax Christi Southeastern SD  "The Dignity of Life, Promoting Peace on Land & at Sea." We will pray, study and act on issues of life and death. Caminando Juntos, 1-3 pm.
  • Springfield, Pennsylvania (Oct 7) Anniversary of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Bruce Gagnon speaks at the Peace Center of Delaware County, 1001 Old Sproul Road,   5:30 pm. Potluck Supper; 6:30 p.m. Presentation and Discussion: A Decade plus of War...Drones, and more: Empire and the Militarization of Space.  Evening co-sponsored by the Brandywine Peace Community 
  • Stockholm, Sweden (Oct 28) Swedish Peace Council seminar about The Militarization of the North: How the Arctic has become a dangerous field for war preparations. Speakers from northern Russia, Bard Wormdal from Vardö (northern Norway) on satellite war, from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Sweden is present chair of Arctic Council) and Agneta Norberg on drone testing in Northern Sweden. 
  • Tucson, Arizona (Oct 9) Vigil from 6:30 - 7:30 a.m. at Raytheon Missile Systems, Hermans Road entrance to the plant (3rd traffic light south of Valencia on Nogales Highway, the extension of South 6th Avenue).
  • Vandenberg AFB, California (Oct 10) Monthly protest from 3:45- 4:45 pm at the Main Gate.  Anyone wanting to join us can call for info at (805) 343-6322
  • Vandenberg AFB, California (Oct 22) Back country non-violent resistance action to occupy Pentagon’s global drone and missile nerve center.
  • York, England (Oct 8) Peace in space cycle journey we will be stopping to meet and talk with public.
Keep Space for Peace Week is co-sponsored by the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK), Swedish Peace Council, and the Drone Campaign Network (UK).

The award winning documentary Pax Americana & the Weaponization of Space is now available online at:

Monday, September 24, 2012


I was at the Common Ground Country Fair from early Friday morning til Sunday afternoon.  I was working at the combined tables of Veterans for Peace and our Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home.  About 60,000 people passed through the fair throughout the weekend.  Not all of them stopped by the big political action tents but many of them did.  We sold more than $300 worth of our T-shirts and bumperstickers.  Got to talk to alot of people.  We priced the T-shirts to sell at $5 each, just trying to recoup our costs and wanting to get the message out far and wide.

In this photo I was joined by Mark Roman who is a fellow leader of the Bring Our War $$ Home team.

I slept (if you can call it that) in my leaky tent on Friday night through the rain.  On Saturday night I put the back seat down in our tiny car and slept in the fetal position.  My back paid for it but at least I was dry and actually slept pretty well considering the circumstances.

The food at the fair is all organic Maine grown (and very good) but increasingly expensive as the many vendors act as good capitalists and charge what the market will bear.  But paying $9 or $10 for a sandwich rubs me the wrong way.  We need some price controls at the Common Ground Fair!

Otherwise it is a great event.  I spent some break time yesterday watching the cows and oxen dragging logs around and then my favorite sheep herding dogs moving sheep, goats, and ducks into pens.  Always fun to watch them.

Our booth was near the Obama for president table so we had some interchanges with a few liberal Democrats during the weekend.  One of them talked about the need to have bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end WW II.  I've become increasingly frustrated trying to reason with these loyal Dems who close their minds and hearts to the war machine when their party takes the White House.  I saw it when Clinton was president and we see the same phenomena with Obama in office.  But if a Republican gets back into the White House many of these Dems mysteriously again transform into peaceniks.  Have to start calling them shape shifters I guess.

On Saturday at the fair was a dedication of a tree in memory of much loved VFP founding member Tom Sturtevant who passed away last winter.  His children donated Tom's 70 year old bass drum to our chapter and you see in this video his son-in-law pounding it during the playing of Tom's favorite song - When the Saints Come Marching In.  A nice group turned up for the tree dedication.


Nancy Randolph is a Vietnam-era veteran.  She is a great graphic artist and did the production work on my book and does the lay-out of most of the Global Network's posters and our newsletter.  She recently called me and said she had been invited to receive an award and speak at the 9-11 Remembrance event on the Brunswick town green.  She wanted my advice on what she should say.  After our conversation she used her 90 seconds to say the following:

 “Thank you, Chick for your invitation and thank you to the organizers of this event to honor veterans. Thank you all who are here today.

 I ACCEPT this certificate and memorial coin on behalf of myself a Vietnam Era Veteran and my spouse Peter Caron a Gulf War era veteran and my brother Bob a Vietnam Vet who returned home and killed himself.
I accept it on behalf of all veterans and their families who have suffered from the suicide of a veteran. A veteran commits suicide at the rate of one per day.

Today’s recognition of veterans is only a beginning—let’s take care of those who come home—when they come home seemingly whole but broken.

Many are broken owing to guilt from things done during war that should never be done in wars that should never be waged. We send people to war to do what we would not and then fail to care for them. Every returning war veteran should be screened and cared for to prevent suicide.

Yet, the best care for the vet will be to remove our United States from senseless wars done in the name of corporate interests and not in the name of defense. Let’s take care of those who take care of us.

Thank you for this opportunity to say what I have wanted to say since 1978 when my brother took his own life after returning from two tours in Vietnam without physical injury.”

        Nancy E. Randolph
        Vietnam Era Veteran
        Topsham, Maine

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Dedicated peace activist Kathy Kelly (Voices for Creative Non-Violence) on my This Issue public access TV show.


Thursday, September 20, 2012


The Daily Show reveals the real differences between the Republican and Democratic parties......


The world's best-selling weedkiller, and a genetically modified maize resistant to it, can cause tumours, multiple organ damage and lead to premature death, a new study has revealed. Its results are published in The Food & Chemical Toxicology Journal in New York. Here, experts discuss the significance of the findings.

You know that agri-business corporations like Monsanto know that their GMO corn is bad for us but they produce and distribute it anyway.  Isn't that a criminal act?

Will this be enough to make the FDA start conducting independent testing of GMO’s - before allowing these products into our food supply? Or will the FDA continue to pander to Monsanto and tell us that GMO products are ‘not substantially different' than non-GMO products?

To take action visit Organic Consumers Association here 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


  • Peace activist Jane Sanford (Belfast, Maine) protested a couple days ago in her community and shows how to connect the dots.  (The right-wing Koch brothers funded Americans for Prosperity bus tour came to her town.)  Her arms might have gotten a bit tired but she did a great job of becoming a human billboard.
  • I've spent most of the day house cleaning and walking the dog (Homer).  It rained all night last night but today is sunny and breezy and supposed to get cold this evening.  Feels like fall here right now.  One of my favorite times of year.
  • This weekend (Friday through Sunday) I will be heading to Unity, Maine to help staff the combined tables of Veterans for Peace and Bring Our War $$ Home campaign at the annual Common Ground County Fair.  It's a great event put on by the Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association and draws a massive amount of folks.  Great food, fun, friends, and lots of good politics.  I'll bring along my tent and camp there.  Weather should be decent.
  • I've been reluctant to write about my baseball team for fear of jinxing them.  But after their game last night I have to share.  My Baltimore Orioles came in last place in 2011.  In fact they had 14 seasons in a row of losing baseball.  But this year, incredibly, they are currently tied for first place with the New Jork Jankees (the evil baseball empire) with only 13 games to go.  Last night, in Seattle, they tied the game in the 9th inning and then went into extra innings (18 of them) before winning 4-2.  The Orioles are 14-2 in extra innings this season, with 14 straight victories. They're 20 games above .500. What a turn-a-round this year.  Can we hear a loud cheer for the O's?!!  Miracles can happen.
  • I've been real impressed watching the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union.  Looks like they have forced the city of Chicago to back down on some issues.  Goes to show what happens when you build support across the community before going out on strike.  They had support from parents, students, and teachers which is why the city had to back off some of their trash talk about the union.  Proof that hard organizing work often pays off.  We can't rely on Internet organizing to always do the job for us - relationships with people still matter.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


With Keep Space for Peace Week (Oct 6-13) coming soon, it is an important time for folks around the world to see this award-winning documentary film.

It is imperative that the public develop a greater understanding about the dangerous, expensive, and destabilizing research and development going on in space.  This film does an excellent job of bringing most of the key current issues into full view.

Please watch it and get others to do the same.  This is one tangible thing you can do to help us grow the peace in space movement.


I did a TV interview via Skype yesterday with RT.  They didn't put it on YouTube but if you click on the TV image below you can watch it.  They wanted my thoughts on the announcement that the US-Japanese governments have agreed to place another "missile defense" (MD) radar in Japan.

Secretary of War Panetta is now in China so the Pentagon timed the announcement of this radar just as he arrived in Beijing.  Typical of the U.S. to stick the knife into the host's gut.....of course the Pentagon swore that the radar was only to be used to track North Korean missiles.....  And the Chinese really believe that one.

During the interview I mentioned that with Obama's "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific, more bases will be needed.  Thus the pressure on South Korea to build the Navy base on Jeju Island where U.S. ships can port.  I also mentioned the expansion of U.S. war bases in Guam and Okinawa and negotiations with the Philippines and Vietnam to allow U.S. warships to return to their ports after many years absence.

The graphic above shows the three versions of  MD - Boost, Midcourse and Terminal phases.  Each program uses different technology and has different challenges.  You can imagine it would be easier to hit a missile launched by someone else if you got it early on in the Boost phase when it was slow, with flames shooting out, and easier to reach.  Once in the Midcourse the missile is flying very fast and could then release decoys which make it harder for the MD system to distinguish real from fake.  Each of these three programs have had different success rates in the testing program.

There is growing talk in Congress about expanding the current Midcourse deployments (now only in Alaska and California) to an east coast location.  Maine and New York have been mentioned as possible basing sites.  I'll be watching that one closely.

Monday, September 17, 2012


In recognition of the one year anniversary of the Occupy movement I post this song.  Let's stand and cheer that the people are rising bread in the oven.....keep rising.

Yesterday I heard an interview on National Public Radio (National Petroleum Radio) where a reporter was interviewing an "expert" about the Occupy movement.  What has it accomplished?  What has it done?  What good has it achieved?  The reporter kept pressing these questions not wanting to acknowledge anything of substance that has been done in the past year.

Can there be any doubt that Occupy has changed the discussion across the nation?  Can there be any doubt that more connections between issues are being made now than before?  Can there be a doubt that Occupy means many things - like the teachers strike in Chicago?  Occupy means fight back where you live.  Stand up, speak out, connect the dots, don't give in to corporate domination.

Occupy Wall Street in NYC plans to celebrate its one-year anniversary today with a “roving carnival of resistance.” The schedule includes nonviolent civil disobedience beginning near the New York Stock Exchange, a rally at Bowling Green and marches around the city’s downtown as night falls.  Local events are planned all over the nation as well.

Peter Woodruff and I will be doing an Occupy anniversary show tonight from 6:00-8:00 pm (EST) on our weekly radio program (this is a new time slot for us).  You can listen to WBOR at Bowdoin College live streaming on the Internet.  Just click here and hit the yellow Listen Now button at the top of the page.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


#1 From the World Conservation Congress when Mayor Kang was speaking and huge banner was spread across state

#2 Graffiti on Navy base destruction fence
#3 Famous sea diving women from Gangjeong village

#4 Two days ago when word came that the No Navy base resolution was blocked at the WCC the people's all about the future generations

#5 These totems once stood on Gureombi rock before Navy began their destruction

#6 From totems to barbed wire on Gureombi rock

#7 One of the early protest symbols on Gureombi rock - No Aegis destroyers

Pick your favorite Gangjeong village photo from Jeju Island.  Use the comment section to vote or send me an email at

Don't forget to boycott the hell out of Samsung.



Gangjeong villagers Mayor Kang Dong-Kyun (in yellow shirt), Sung-Hee Choi, Seoul activist Baek Gayoon, U.S. international attorneys Katy Kintzele and Shauna Lange, and Ron Engel from Center for Humans and Nature (Indiana, U.S.), on the Assembly floor just before voting on Motion 181 to save Gangjeong Village from construction of a navy base.

It's fascinating to listen to the South Korean government environmental ministry representative lie through his teeth as he says that the Gangjeong villager supports the Navy base.  They voted 94% to oppose the base!  They've been protesting and going to jail for years.  IUCN delegates in the hundreds went and met with the villagers.  To continue those lies is a slap in the face of truth.

In the end the NGO's saw through the smokescreen and voted yes for the resolution.  The governments (with 30 South Korean votes) essentially blocked passage.

Saturday, September 15, 2012



While delegates were inside voting on resolutions villagers and supporters did 1,000 bows outside the conference hall

The crew outside conference hall gather to rejoice - victory is found in new relationships made and new determination to keep fighting!

Late last night we received word that the IUCN's World Conservation Congress (WCC) had voted against the resolution calling for an end to the Navy base in Gangjeong village.  The official count was:

Governments - 20 yes, 68 no, 60 abstentions
NGO's - 269 yes, 120 no, 128 abstentions

I am told that in order to "win" our side needed 50% from each government and NGO's.  I also have heard that the South Korean (ROK) government got 30 votes.  So at these events the government side gets stacked and serves as a veto against resolutions that stand up against the status quo.  A rigged game from the start.

We have no information yet about any of the NGO's that voted No or abstained.  But I'd bet my life that many of them were bribed, coerced, or had serious conflicts of interest (meaning they get money from big corporations like Samsung).

Hopefully some good journalist will take this whole thing apart and give the public the real inside story.

In the end to have gotten this far, to have forced their way inside the WCC and forced a vote that the right-wing ROK "government" and Samsung DID NOT WANT was itself a major victory.  New meaningful relationships with honest environmental activists from around the world were made. Much is likely to flow from this experience.

Paco posted on Facebook some quick reactions from the WCC that included:

We are all truly grateful to so many awesome people who really came together and worked incredibly hard day and night.

We feel so cared about and know that we are not alone here.

There are people who care about justice in the world.

There are people who care about the environment and the earth.

There are people who work with their hearts and fight for truth.

There are still people who have not sold themselves to greed and power, and become liars and slaves.

So yes, to be honest we are sad that our motion did not become a resolution. Of course we cried and felt rejected once again. But tears and rejection are nothing new to Gangjeong, and after tears comes dancing! And wow, did we dance and dance and dance and sing and yell! Then we cried some more, then we hugged, then we sang and danced, then we clapped for each other, gave speeches and more hugs, then we bowed to each other, deep bows to the villagers who have fought so hard for so long and to the people who have come from far away to work so hard for us.

We will not give up! We will not stop! Our cause is just! Everyone in the world must know the Gangjeong struggle! We may lose 1,000 meaningless battles, but we will continue on. You can keep locking us in prison, You can keep deporting us and denying our entry to Korea, you can can keep beating us as you do daily, you can keep treating us like criminals and animals, you can keep mocking us as you destroy all that is precious about life. We will continue to dance! We will continue to sing! And we will love each other, our community, and even you, our enemies, with all of our hearts! And maybe one day you will join us, as many already have, and as we join in solidarity with so many other similar struggles around the world.

Samsung, Daelim, Hired Thugs, Police, Coast Guard, Courts, Judges, ROK Navy, Ministry of Defense, U.S. Navy, Politicians, ROK Government, U.S. Government: You've fought for greed and for power, through violence, lies, and theft. You've already lost because you've lost yourself. We do not fight to win, we fight because we've already won. Peace has already won. We are just here to shout it from the streets!

No Naval Base! Justice for Gangjeong! Life and peace for all creatures of the Earth!

Friday, September 14, 2012



Should it answer to conference sponsors Samsung and Korean government, or to its historical mission to protect environment and social justice?

JEJU ISLAND, SOUTH KOREA – September 14 - The world’s largest and oldest conservation organization, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is holding its giant quadrennial convention on Jeju Island, South Korea. But what conference planners weren’t expecting was massive protests from the local community, joined by international activists, against a gigantic navy base being built seven kilometers away. As a result of this controversy, an emergency motion to stop base construction has been drafted, which will be voted on tomorrow, Saturday, September 15.

The South Korean government, which is subordinate on military matters to the U.S., under the US-ROK Mutual Defense Treaty, is building the enormous base on the coast at Gangjeong, a traditional farming and fishing community. If the project is allowed to continue, it will be large enough to hold 20 warships, including Aegis destroyers, aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and 8,000 troops. South Korea is already one of the most militarized places in the world. But this new base is part of the Pentagon’s recently announced plan to move 60 percent of its military resources from Europe and the Middle East to the Asia-Pacific region – the “Pacific pivot.” The idea is to circle China with Aegis missiles. Islanders fear the base would destabilize the region, lead to a new Cold War, and turn their home into a first-strike target.

A recently leaked communiqué, obtained by a Korea National Assembly member, reveals the close connection between the Pentagon and base construction. The communiqué, sent by the commander of the US Naval Forces, Korea, to the South Korean defense minister, directly requests that the base plan be designed to accommodate an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

The base would also destroy local livelihoods, biodiverse habitats in land and sea, contaminate one of the cleanest and most abundant freshwater sources in the world, kill the planet’s largest temperate soft-coral habitat (15 acres), contaminate the rich volcanic soil in nearby farms as well as nearby UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Korea’s last 100 dolphins which frequent Gangjeong would also suffer. The villagers have been protesting for over five years, facing arrest, imprisonment without habeus corpus, and daily police brutality.

On May 30, 2012, three UN Special Rapporteurs sent a joint allegation letter to the South Korean government regarding numerous “acts of harassment, intimidation and ill-treatment of peaceful protestors in Gangjeong village,” requesting a response within 60 days. That was three and a half months ago, but the Korean government has yet to respond.

An American scientist, Dr. Imok Cha, was deported upon arrival at the airport on the first day of the conference, where she was expected to give presentations on an independent environmental assessment that exposed the flaws in the Korean government’s Environmental Impact Assessment for the base construction.

Leadership at the IUCN conference have refused to give the Gangjeong villagers their own exhibition booth to expose the litany Korean-government violations, offering no explanation. On the last day of his tenure as president of IUCN, Ashok Khosla denounced the campaign to save Gangjeong Village from base construction, calling the movement “colonial” because non-Koreans were involved. However, attendees know the reason that IUCN officials have done their best to silence the Gangjeong villagers: the main sponsors of their conference in Jeju are the Korean government ($20 million) and Samsung Corporation, which is also the lead contractor of base construction.  Soon after Khosla issued his “colonialism” charges, a group of South Koreans representing 189 South Korean organizations, denounced Khosla, and charged him with ignoring their clearly expressed opposition to the base that had been going on for over five years.

As a result, a massive division within the formidable organization has been cleaved between its Secretariat and the 8,000 members in attendance who object to leadership’s decision to side with its sponsors. One organization, the Center for Humans and Nature, from Indiana in the U.S., has drafted an emergency resolution to stop the construction. It will be on the Assembly floor for a vote before international governments and NGOs, this Saturday (Korea time), the last day of the conference.

Many members feel the entire future and credibility of the 64-year-old conservation institution is at stake, if politics prevent the resolution from passing.
Contact:  Koohan Paik                                              

Update on Resolution

Word from the IUCN on Jeju about status of resolution is as follows:

"And the situation on #181 is extremely intense right now. The steering committee had suggested the elimination of the motion. After a long heated discussion that made the President leave the role of chairman to someone else for that discussion, the suggestion was voted and while a majority of governments voted YES, a majority of NGO's voted NO. So it was taken to contact group again and it will continue tomorrow morning at 7AM, in the contact group."