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, May 31, 2012


Regis Tremblay has interviewed me on his show so I invited him to come and be interviewed on my public access TV show.  He's an interesting guy with quite a background.

I think you'll enjoy meeting this man.


On May 21 a 29-year old South Korean active service Army captain, who graduated from military academy, stood in the military court as a defendant under the charge of ‘insulting higher officers,’ including the President Lee, for his political remarks on Twitter. 

One of his remarks was that even though he was in favor of the naval base in the Gangjeong village on Jeju Island in principal, it is a violation of democracy to forcefully enforce it. 

This is just one more bit of evidence that support for the Gangjeong villagers is indeed growing across South Korea - even amongst those in the military.  The government must crack down hard upon the brave captain in order to deter more of this from happening.  But with each such crackdown more people will be moved to stand up in support of the people and the nature of Jeju Island.


Missile shields are usually for defense, but can Tim convince his cardboard chum that they can lead to very offensive and destructive situations?


  • Our electricity just went out - I could hear a big pop outside when it went off.  Then it came back on again.  The same thing happened yesterday.  It seems to happen frequently these days.  As I travel I take special note of the condition of the physical infrastructure around me.  It's a mess.  The U.S. is coming apart at the seams.  Roads and bridges crumbling.  Schools with leaky roofs and libraries closing.  Public hospitals shuttered.  Obviously those in power understand this but they seem to do nothing.  The $$$ continues to flow into the coffers of the Pentagon.  The human infrastructure is similarly collapsing as you see more homeless, more unemployed, more with mental health issues released onto the street like unwanted dogs.  There is a plan behind this - it doesn't just happen.  It's called neo-feudalism.
  • Last night I drove south to Biddeford, Maine where I appeared on the one-hour public access TV show hosted by my friend Richard Rhames.  He was recently on my show so I returned the favor.  Richard, and his co-host Matt Hight, always make the show fun as they crack jokes while we tape the interview.  It's nice to break up the serious stuff with some razing.  Matt is a former Biddeford City Councilor while Richard now serves on the City Council.  I tease Richard that he is helping to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.  
  • I've been closely following a running debate on a major peace movement list serve between one Obama supporter and the slew of Obama critics.  No matter what Obama does (expand drone attacks, sign the NDAA, etc) the supporter keeps telling everyone that they have to be "realistic" and support the president because the Republicans would only be worse.  The standard line.  This morning I noticed that Tarak Kauff (Veterans for Peace) had dug up some info about the Obama supporter. Tarak wrote that the Obama defender has "led Progressives for Obama, now called Progressive America Rising, as an independent left-progressive initiative, in part to convince those on the radical left to pursue what he considers more pragmatic alternatives." 
  • It reminds me of the U.S. Indian reservation system where the federal government pitted band against band and chief against chief once the Native Americans were brought into captivity.  We see similar tactics underway today as the Pentagon and Democratic Party put their operatives into progressive movements to keep the left "under control" and thus unable to organize a unified and sustained opposition to the polices of endless war and dissolution of social progress that come out of both political parties. In many states the national foundations have pulled funding from groups that are critical of the Democrats.  Here in Maine this took place a few years back and now the largest coalition of "progressive" groups in our state is directed by the former "CEO" of the Maine Democratic Party.  This group has refused to work with the peace community to connect the dots between the cost of endless war and the growing cutbacks in social programs.  Instead their strategy is to criticize the Republicans in hopes that voters will put the Democrats back in power.  When previously in power the Democrats in Maine essentially began the process of defunding social programs.
  • When I was in Chicago for the anti-NATO counter-summit I attended a workshop about the current campaign in Wisconsin to unseat right-wing Gov. Scott Walker.  The occupation of the state capital in Madison was first led by university teaching assistants who marched against cutbacks in education funding.  This then surged with various progressive constituencies joining the occupation of their capitol.  One of the young organizers said that once things really took off the unions came to the capitol and said they were going to take over.  The young people said no way because they knew that the unions were connected to the Democrats at the hip.  The organizer told us in the workshop, "We are going to have to do it, the Democrats won't do it alone."  She was of course referring to the push-back against Gov. Walker.  Only when an independent progressive movement was in place did the Democrats fall in line and begin to show some spine.  
  • So the progressive community went out and gathered 900,000 signatures to force a recall of Gov. Walker which will come to a vote in a special election on June 5.  But first the Democrats had to have a primary election to decide who would face Walker.  The progressive groups ran Kathleen Falk as their preferred choice and the Democratic Party machine ran Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.  Barrett won.  There is serious disappointment in Wisconsin about Barrett because many progressives see him as the weaker of the two. At a debate last Thursday, the first of two during the month-long campaign, Barrett barely mentioned the laws passed last year by the Republican-controlled state legislature at Walker’s behest. As noted, “The issue of worker’s rights—which initially sparked last fall’s movement that resulted in the collection of nearly 1 million signatures—was almost a secondary issue in the debate." 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


An international trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership between nine countries is stirring up a lot of controversy. Some U.S. lawmakers are wondering what the TPP is doing behind closed doors. The trade agreement has provoked a Sen. Ron Weden to propose legislation that would require the U.S. trade representative to consult with lawmakers, but according to some reports the Obama administration is refusing to release the details. Melinda St. Louis, international campaigns director for Public Citizen, give RT her take on the TPP.


  • The New York Times revealed Tuesday how Obama “has placed himself at the helm of a top secret ‘nominations’ process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical.” He insists “on approving every new name on an expanding ‘kill list,’ poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre ‘baseball cards’ of an unconventional war.” The Times described how more than 100 members of “the government’s sprawling national security apparatus” meet in a video conference to go over potential nominees for the death list and “recommend to the president who should be the next to die.” The nominations then go to the White House where Obama, guided by his top counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, approves names added to the list.
  •  Lisa Savage from Solon, Maine writes, "President Obama's signature warfare method, the use of unmanned drones for extrajudicial killing, is a game changer. The warrior ethos which sustained commitment on the part of young men through the ideals of courage and manliness is waning. On Memorial Day a friend wondered if we should also honor the drones, since they do so much of the killing these days.  No one can predict the spiritual toll this will take on Americans who deploy drones against civilians, including many child victims. Aerial bombing by the U.S. is nothing new, but a bomber pilot did his job at considerable risk to his own safety. For drone operators at their joysticks, where every kill is a 'bugsplat,' the search for their own courage will be challenging."
  • A Florida friend wrote this week:  "A thought on our discussion of the Republicrats (same party -- America needs a 2 party system!!!!). I am going to start calling the 2 candidates 'Obombney' -- it combines their names to show that there is no difference between the 2 parties and also shows their propensity and desire for bombing the crap out of all countries that they can and keeping our defense [military] budget inflated."  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Protestor interrupts court hearing where Tony Blair is having to explain his relationship to the Murdoch media empire that helped make him prime minister of the UK.

The inquiry is investigating press standards, and currently focusing on the relationship between the press and politicians.

President George W. Bush had major problems selling his disastrous invasion plans for Iraq. The public smelled a rat. Strong majorities of both Democrats and Republicans opposed a preemptive invasion without confirmation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by UN inspectors. That was during December 2002 and January 2003. Bush needed something special to push his diabolic plan over the top.

Blair's government released two fraudulent intelligence papers during the critical period just before the March 2003 Iraq invasion, the September 2002 report and the Iraq or Dodgy Dossier in early February 2003. Rupert Murdoch's media cartel led the charge for war. He headlined stories about both bogus reports including the outrageous claim that Iraq could launch chemical weapons at the invaders within 45 minutes of an attack and the big lie about Iraq seeking uranium from Niger to develop nuclear weapons.


My friend and fellow Maine activist Regis Tremblay has created a new project called Truth TV.  He is a former Catholic priest, teacher, coach, and filmmaker for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.  He got canned from his state job when our new Teabag Gov. LePage came into power.

Last fall Regis jumped into the Occupy movement and has become committed to "connecting the dots" between the various manifestations of corporate domination.

With that in mind he interviewed me recently about the Global Network and my take on the connections between corporate domination and the Pentagon.  Here it is.

Monday, May 28, 2012



Our combined Greater Bunswick PeaceWorks and Veterans for Peace members were in the local Memorial Day parade today.  Out of 48 entrees in the parade they once again put us near the end at the 42nd slot.

We've renamed our Maine Veterans for Peace chapter after Tom Sturtevant and his daughter carried one side of our VFP banner today.  He would have been very proud of her as he never missed being in the parade until his unexpected passing last winter.  Tom is terribly missed by all of us.

During the course of the parade, that begins in the town of Topsham and passes through Brunswick, I saw four people turn their backs on us.  One woman in this small group yelled right at me, "If it wasn't for those who died you wouldn't be able to walk."  It's really quite a mistake to believe that our soldiers die so that we can hit the streets back at home.  In fact during all my years as an activist I've never seen any military people come to our aid when cops and local governments have tried to limit our ability to publicly protest.  It has been the movement lawyers and activists themselves who have often been beaten and gone to jail that keep our freedoms of speech and assembly alive.

Most of the parade is a bunch of feel good nationalistic hoo-hah.  Memorializing war does nothing but keep the support for wars going.  It's fiction that they are honoring the troops.  I saw yesterday in the local paper that 50% of the soldiers coming back from current wars are filing disability claims but there is not enough money in the federal budget to support them.  Once they are finished with active duty they are largely forgotten.  Note the epidemic of suicides today with Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.  Veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, though they are only 11% of the general adult population.

The most touching moment this morning was after the parade was over and we were making our way back to our cars.  A young woman stopped me and said, "Thank you so much for doing this today.  My husband has just been deployed for 15 months."

Like most of those with family members in the military today this woman just wants her husband to come home - the sooner the better. For most GI's it's just a job.  The patriotic jive has become increasingly meaningless to growing numbers of troops and the public.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Dr. Michio Kaku, a founding member of the Global Network in 1992, is extensively featured in this video report.

Stop all nuclear power on Earth and for space operations as well.


I've spent my entire adult life trying to rein in the Pentagon budget in order that social progress could be maintained and flourish across the land.

Today's headline in the Washington Post makes my blood boil: Panetta warns both parties on defense budget cuts

The article begins:  Defense [War] Secretary Leon Panetta said in an interview broadcast Sunday that looming cuts to the defense budget would be “disastrous” for national security and urged Republicans and Democrats to work together to avoid a budget showdown.

Yes, Leon Panetta, the "good California liberal Democrat" and former member of Congress shows his real colors here - and may I say - the colors of his party.  When push comes to shove the Democrats always find a way to stand alongside the Republicans to do two essential things in the U.S. Congress.  First they bail out Wall Street and secondly they continue the wars and keep Pentagon budgets busting at the seams.  Even if it means the dissolution of social programs.  They call it bi-partisanship.

In the end Panetta, and the military industrial complex, will prevail.  They will circumvent required cuts in military spending and as a result there will be further attacks on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, mental health programs, public education, environmental programs and the like.

The aggressive militarism that supports corporate globalization must come first - at all costs.  To hell with the rest of us.  We are all being brought onto the reservation now.  When it comes to budget making - the people are the enemy now.  Except of course on April 15 (Tax Day) when the corporate dominated government is more than happy to scoop up the tax collections and funnel them into the maw of the Pentagon.

How in God's name could I ever consider voting for one of these Democrats in the coming election?  Spend my life organizing to stop endless war and then go and hand my consent back to the same party that says it would be "disastrous" to cut the Pentagon budget.

No f_ _ _ ing way!

The Democrats are a damn disaster.


Saturday, May 26, 2012


During the Chicago Counter-Summit last week I spoke in three different workshops about NATO's "missile defense" plans throughout Europe.

This particular video was made during the workshop organized by WILPF that we held on the balcony overlooking the historic People's Church sanctuary.  Seven workshops were going on in various parts of the church at the same time creating an exciting atmosphere that reminded me of a scene from the film Reds.

Friday, May 25, 2012


  • I am at the Toronto, Canada airport waiting for my flight back to Portland, Maine.  The plane is delayed for several hours.  It is probably because so few people were going to be on it.  When I flew here there were five passengers on the tiny propeller plane that only had seats for 18.  When I checked in at the Portland airport I asked for an aisle seat and was told all the seats are in the aisle.
  • The space roundtable conference I attended in Waterloo (one hour from Toronto) during the last two days was an interesting mix of folks.  Twenty of us sat around the table inside what used to be a Seagram whiskey distillery now turned into an office building.  Wooden whiskey barrels remain stacked in the thick wooden supports that reach toward the ceiling.  A very interesting place.  Project Ploughshares, one of the sponsoring groups, has their office in the building.
  • There were folks there representing the Pentagon, Canadian Foreign Affairs, the Chinese and Indian governments, as well as European satellite operators, the European Space Policy Institute, space academics, space policy scientists, former diplomats, and a handful of concerned citizens with interest in space issues.  Only two activists types were there as speakers - Ray Acheson from the WILPF project Reaching Critical Will and myself.
  • The bottom line is that the U.N.'s Conference on Disarmament, that handles the negotiations on nuclear disarmament and the proposed treaty called Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS), has been stalled for nearly 20 years.  No serious movement is happening thus PAROS is going no where.  Some suggest various reasons for the frozen negotiations but we know that the U.S. and Israel have essentially been blocking PAROS for years.
  • As a result many in the diplomatic field are pushing a space Code of Conduct which focuses on establishing space rules of the road to promote safety for all space users.  This approach essentially circumvents the treaty process as it avoids the domestic complications of having treaties ratified by government legislative bodies.  It also severely hampers the pressing negotiations on key issues like what is a space weapon and should we ban them or not.  I am not against a Code of Conduct in space per se but it feels to me that effectively removing the United Nations from the space treaty process serves the interests quite nicely of the Pentagon and the military industrial complex. (The U.S. will work with other nations to develop an international Code of Conduct for outer space, but only if the code does not hinder U.S. national security efforts, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on Jan. 17, 2012.)
  • One issue that emerged while I was in Chicago for the anti-NATO protests was the serious allegation that NATO expansion into the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Asia-Pacific is a key way that the U.S. and European allies are developing an "international" war making body that can get around the "sticky" process of having to get U.N. agreement on military interventions.  When I add NATO expansion to the current reality of avoiding serious U.N. negotiations I see a dangerous pattern emerging.
  • One space legal academic, with a long history of working at the Pentagon, talked about this being a "new period in history" where treaties might not be the way things work anymore. Her words reminded me of hearing former Navy war college instructor Thomas Barnett's presentation some years ago on C-SPAN where he was introduced as former Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld's "strategy guy".  In his three-hour power point Barnett suggested that the U.S. would not do treaties any more because they would restrict Pentagon ability to intervene when and where it wished.  I'll never forget his words, "Adolph Hitler never had to ask permission to invade another country and neither will we."
  • During my talk I suggested that U.S. space policy (and current "missile defense" deployments that are increasing the encirclement of Russia and China) had to be viewed in the context of growing global competition for declining resources.  The Pentagon and NATO, I suggested, have become the military arm of corporate globalization.  I also suggested near the conclusion of the meeting that rather than spending all of our time playing "junior negotiator" (trying to come up with the best plan and language to make the Code of Conduct a reality) that we might think about doing some careful planning about how we can bring the global public into these space technology issues so that they could play some significant role in determining how their collective tax monies are spent.  Shouldn't the public be in on this historic space debate?  Was not a particularly popular suggestion. (My speech at the event can be read by clicking here.)
  • Just what kind of space program should all of our countries be creating anyway?  What kind of seed should we carry with us into space? Do we really need so many countries spending massive funds to go to the Moon and Mars?  Do so many nations really need to launch rockets that each punch a hole in the ozone layer?  Should we continue to militarize space and continue the slippery path to space weaponization?  Should we turn over space to the nuclear industry?  Should we give up on the idea of creating a PAROS Treaty?
  • As Noam Chomsky says, "How can you expect the people to react to something that they don't know anything about?"  Most people around the planet are worrying about surviving wars, growing global poverty and the coming ravages of climate change.  But each day new nations, many who have massive poverty in their midst, are spending huge amounts of money to get into the space technology game because they don't want to be left behind.  It's in the interest of the U.S. and the aerospace industry to keep the U.N. from having successful negotiations on questions like PAROS and updating space law which would further define just who owns the planetary bodies and can control them for resource extraction.  As long as the U.S. is king of the space hill it wants to limit any restrictions on its ability to "maneuver".  Better we just get everyone to agree to a few rules of the road which keeps things in check while the U.S. (and chosen allies) make their move to control and dominate space.

Thursday, May 24, 2012



Five leaders of Gangjeong village including Mayor Kang and the chair of Women's Committee shaved their heads in Jeju City demanding the resignation of island Governor Woo Geun-min on May 24.  He has turned out to be a total dud when it comes to supporting the people's struggle against the Navy base.  
Notice how they wipe their feet on the governor's photo as they board the bus at the end of the video to go back to Gangjeong village.  They have essentially declared war on Gov. Woo.  (It should be noted that a former governor of Jeju Island strongly supports the villagers struggle.  In fact last summer he went on a two week hunger strike in solidarity with Professor Yang during his 75 day fast against the base.)
When the Global Network met on Jeju Island last February we took a letter signed by our leaders to the government building office of Gov. Woo.  He had his police block the entrance and only after a protracted pushing and shoving did they finally agree to let Gangjeong village elders and GN leaders enter the building so we could deliver our humble letter that requested a halt to Navy base construction.  Such is life in South Korea today.
 Sung-Hee Choi writes:
Shaving one’s all hairs during the process of struggle. What is that for?

It might be hard for non-Koreans to understand the meaning of it. It might be hard even for Koreans like me to accept it. Personally I am seldom backer of it. People like me may choose different ways.
Shaving hairs is emotional because according to the Buddhism-kind interpretation, (It seems the ritual of shaving hairs in Korea's social movements has been affected by the tradition of Buddhism in Korea, though I may be wrong) it is a moment that one quietly declares and shares with the world that one is ready to abandon one’s remaining past attachment and to walk a new way- the way of non-compromise to injustice. For that sublime and pure spiritual moment, one cannot but be most humble. Shaving all one’s hair means one is ready to go to the bottom, the ground where one owns nothing but exists wholly with resolution for justice, though it could be temporal and whole circle of anguish may come again and again.

How one cannot be fearful of such moment then? Tear is natural in that moment. Buddhist Monk Bongak says.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


  • The Chicago NATO "summit" turned out to be a public relations event for all sides.  Obama did get NATO's 28 member countries to "approve" the Europe-wide missile defense (MD) program.  He announced that in addition to Poland and Romania taking ground-based interceptors, Turkey hosting a MD radar system, the Netherlands has now signed on for an MD radar upgrade and Spain will host Navy Aegis warships with MD interceptors on-board.  More deployments are to follow on in coming years.  Hillary Clinton came out of Chicago saying that future NATO meetings must be about further expansion of the aggressive military alliance and she named Georgia, right on Russia's southern border, as the next candidate for NATO membership.  That's going to make Russia very angry.
  • But Obama hoped to come out of the summit with an agreement with Pakistan to allow contested Afghanistan war supply routes to be opened up again for NATO use but this did not happen during the Chicago events.
  •  NATO has reached a deal with the military contractor Northrop Grumman for a $1.7 billion fleet of new drones. NATO’s "Allied Ground Surveillance" system will use the drones and their accompanying command stations at sites around the world. NATO says it will spend additional billions on the system’s operation.
  • I'd say the biggest disaster of the NATO summit was the week of protests, conferences, meetings, and concerts throughout the city of Chicago by progressive groups.  NATO has not been an issue for most progressives, even for many in the peace movement.  But that is now changed.  With NATO's cancerous appetite for inserting itself in global conflicts people are starting to turn their attention to the "alliance" which I maintain has become the military arm of corporate globalization.  Thanks to this summit being held in the U.S., and particularly in Obama's home town, the NATO war crown now sits squarely on the head of the president.  A bad public relations move on his part in an election year.  
  • While the mainstream media coverage was pitiful as usual it was the alternative media that did an exceptional job of carrying the message of NATO's expanding military mission out to larger numbers of people around the world.  
  • Libya, which has the largest oil supply on the African continent, was "liberated" by NATO on behalf of the oil industry.  NATO is expanding into the Asia-Pacific as part of Obama's "pivot" and will now "partner" with Mongolia, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and other countries in the region to militarily surround and contain China.
  • I head to Toronto this afternoon for two days where I will speak at an event called Securing the peaceful use of space for future generations being organized by Project Ploughshares in Waterloo.  Canadian Pugwash and Science for Peace are co-sponsoring groups and I will talk about "missile defense" and try to put the program into the wider context of U.S. and NATO plans to control Russia and China.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Quebec students are teaching us all an important lesson

"Those who struggle may fail. Those who do not struggle have already failed." - Bertolt Brecht

Quebec's students are teaching, or re-teaching, an important lesson to all of us.

In Canada, and here in British Columbia, decades of neo-liberalism have rolled back our public services. Even more damaging, perhaps, has been the way these years have rolled back our public imagination.

The There Is No Alternative (TINA) doctrine, popularized by Margaret Thatcher's Conservative rule in the U.K., still holds sway over much of our political discourse. Official policy debates are too often just a matter of opposing views on how to tinker around the edges.

But in Quebec, the student movement is pointing right at the heart of the matter. Faced with a 75 per cent tuition increase, they have fought back - hard. Holding out on strike for well over three months now, they have displayed remarkable unity and creativity.

In addition to putting up a fight for their own right to an accessible education, they have appealed to the wider society, calling for a ‘social strike' against Quebec's Charest government. As in B.C., Quebec's government is Liberal by name, but in reality is a coalition that represents right-wing corporate interests.

Earlier this month, the Charest government announced it had a tentative ‘deal' with the students. But when this ‘offer', which did not in fact do anything to cut the proposed tuition increase, was discussed democratically by the student unions, it was overwhelmingly rejected.

Faced with this collective defiance by the students, the Charest government has turned to some incredibly draconian legislation. Rushed through in an all-night session of the National Assembly, Loi [Law] 78 puts onerous restrictions on the right to assemble and threatens students who continue the strike with heavy fines. CLASSE, one of the student organizations leading the strike, had anticipated this type of action by the government in an earlier appeal:

"Let us stop fearing the laws that fetter our discontent, let us collectively disobey and go together into the streets of Quebec. Alone, this disobedience will be marginalized and repressed by the government. But if all sectors of Quebec society act together, the government will be unable to rely on the courts."

Opponents of Quebec's student strike often bring up the history of Paris in 1968 as a sort of 'bogeyman' of wild, radical students.

Let's not concede the spirit of '68 to their ahistorical scaremongering. Paris 1968 was part of a worldwide uprising that dared to dream of a better world.

The bold actions of the young French students sparked a general strike across the country that nearly toppled the government of Charles de Gaulle. The example reverberated on campuses around the world.

All movements for greater social justice sometimes need a spark from the young, from the generations that are not weighed down by past defeats and disappointments.

In 1968, the Parisian students shouted, 'Sous les pavés, la plage!' (under the paving stones, the beach!) conjuring the imagination of a just and truly free society.

Today, the Quebec students speak of a 'grève générale illimitée' (unlimited general strike) or, in a playful twist, 'rêve général illimité.'

Quebec's student strike, and the utopian energies and slogans it has unleashed, should not be sneered at or cynically dismissed by anyone concerned about changing the dismal state of politics in Canada and British Columbia.

The global financial crisis, and the inspiration provided by the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street, has weakened TINA but it's proving a stubborn acronym and doctrine to kill off. Here in North America, the Quebec student strike is the most important challenge to TINA we've seen in a long time.

So let us all take a moment and show some solidarity. It's the right thing to do, and we might just learn some things that we can apply in the rest of Canada too.


By the year 2020, there could be as many as 30,000 unmanned drones flying around in over the United States. In February, Congress passed a bill approving the Federal Aviation Administration's plan to open up national airspace to drones by the year 2015. Last week the FAA said they will facilitate the process for obtaining a certificate of authorization for an unmanned craft. Trevor Timm, activist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, joins RT to discuss how drones could change American's' lives.


Monday, May 21, 2012


This is a photo you will never see in the Chicago media.  I would guess there were up to 10,000 people at the rally and march yesterday.  (The local media is reporting that two or three thousand were there.  The New York Times reported that "several hundred" were at the protest.)

The media though was only interested in the couple hundred anarchists who got into a push and shove contest with the cops after everything was over. Lots of stories too about the "brave" Chicago police commander out on the streets directing his troops and wearing no combat gear! All very sickening.

There was virtually no coverage of the rally and the content of the 40 speakers. There was no coverage that I saw of the 40-some Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who made remarkably moving short speeches and then threw their medals toward Obama's love fest with NATO just blocks away from the stage set up on a platform at the end of the march.

All the public heard about and saw was the black bloc and the cops.  And endless stories about the couple of anarchists that got rounded up days before things began for being "suspected" terrorists.  The police state has this routine down to an art.  They do it every time.  The create fear and then distract people from the message of the protest.

But in truth many citizens turned out to watch the march as it passed the two plus miles through the city streets.  They stood on apartment balconies taking photos and waving to us.  They saw the huge peaceful march - something that readers of the newspaper and TV viewers were not able to see.

The newspapers are reporting that the new French president will go along with NATO's expanded "missile defense" system deployments throughout Europe that will be used to encircle Russia.  He was promised that French weapons corporations will get a piece of the action.  So the "Socialists" are taken care of.  Just another business deal.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


TALKING NATO (and The Kinks)

The big rally and march is today in Chicago.  Everyone is wondering how the cops and Homeland Security are going to react.  Does Obama want another 1968 Chicago head-busting spectacle on his hands during an election year? 

I did three workshops during the two-day conference and was able to speak to many people about "missile defense".  The Global Network has been working on this issue for a long time and this NATO summit has given the issue a visibility we've not previously seen. 

Global Network chair Dave Webb (also the national chair of CND in the UK) and I have been staying at the home of friends who live in the Chicago suburbs.  It took us 1.5 hours to reach the conference each day on the commuter train and then subway.

Last night, after the conference had finished, Rick Rozoff who lives in the city and runs the No NATO list serve, took Dave and I to dinner at his favorite Middle Eastern restaurant which he has frequented for the past 32 years.  Excellent food.

Rick knows more about NATO than anyone I've ever met and I was shocked that he was not invited to speak at the conference.  Made no sense.  He is an encyclopedia of NATO history and current NATO machinations.  It's a pleasure to listen to him. (You can see Rick interviewed in the RT video just below this blog entry.)

As it turns out Rick is also a huge fan of The Kinks.  Dave is as well so we sat around the table talking Kinks music and Rick reeled off lines from many Kinks songs as easily as he spins NATO tales.  A great mixing of pleasure and pain!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Thousands of protesters took to Chicago’s streets ahead of the NATO summit due to kick off there on Sunday. National Nurses United teamed up with trade unions and the Occupy movement to form a mass rally in the Windy City.

­The NNU members demanded a Robin Hood tax to be introduced on banks’ financial transactions. That demand was rather a supplement to the protest against proposals to cut back nurses pensions.

“We've worked 30 years for them and don't want to get rid of them,” said Deb Holmes, a nurse at a hospital in Worcester.

Former Rage Against the Machine guitarist and Occupy activist Tom Morello performed live at the event.

Despite the largely peaceful nature of the event, one man was arrested for aggravated battery of a police officer.

While marching through the streets a group of several hundred protesters split up from the main rally and rushed through the city shouting all kinds of anti-NATO slogans and making caustic remarks to police officers. Over a dozen of these activists were arrested.

Three protesters have been charged with conspiracy to commit a terrorist act, suspected of assembling Molotov cocktails. Each of the three men, aged 20-24, have been charged with possession of an explosive or incendiary device, conspiracy to commit terrorism, and providing material support to terrorism.

The Friday March has merely been a rehearsal for a really big rally scheduled for Sunday, when the NATO summit opens. The thousands of protesters that continue to arrive in Chicago have put the city in security overkill mode.


Friday, May 18, 2012


The Mayor of Chicago and the magician

Here are some quick bits from Chicago:

  • An anarchist symbol was found on an abandoned shack in the woods in a Chicago suburb (likely had been there for years) and the media made a big deal out of it as evidence that there was going to be a war on the streets.
  • Backpacks are not allowed on the trains from the suburbs today - might be carrying something really bad.
  • Nine local activists were grabbed by the cops and held on Wednesday for 24 hours without lawyers being allowed to even know where they were.
  • Air Force fighter jets are flying over Chicago today and instructed to shoot down anything that looks like it might be intending to harm NATO.  They'd better be careful they don't shoot down one of their own spy drones. 
More to come I am sure.  You can't make this stuff up.  It's not paranoia.  This is military psy-ops to make public fearful and accepting of a militarized society.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I was interviewed for this show that ran on Iranian TV.  I appear in the middle (11:28) and (15:40) and finally near the end (21:10).

Maine Occupy activist Regis Tremblay filmed me in my home office and uploaded the video that then went into this larger production.


Recent Jeju Solidarity Protest "PACEM JEJU" at the Paris Trocadero Human Rights Square.


People keep coming to Gangjeong village on Jeju Island to block the Navy base destruction process.  They keep getting arrested.  They keep building the movement to protect the village and nature.


I am on a bus heading for Boston where I take plane to Chicago.  On Friday and Saturday I will be involved in the anti-NATO Counter Summit that is being held to promote alternatives to U.S. and NATO expanding militarism.  On Sunday a mass rally and march will be held.  The cops will be out in full battle gear.  The people are now the enemy.

One key aspect of NATO expansion is the surrounding of Russia.  After the break up of the former Soviet Union, U.S. Secretary of State Jim Baker promised Russia that NATO would not expand "one inch" into the former Warsaw Pact territories.  When Bill Clinton came into office he tossed that promise aside and NATO has been like a cancerous growth on steroids ever since.

U.S./NATO now has bases and/or military operations in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania, Estonia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.  At the same time NATO partnerships are expanding into the Asia-Pacific region to include the likes of Australia, Japan, South Korea, and very likely India.  NATO expansion throughout Eastern Europe and into Asia-Pacific will further Chinese and Russian fears of containment and force them to militarily respond.
The fact that Russia has the world’s largest supply of natural gas, and significant supplies of oil, indicates one likely reason the U.S. and NATO are military surrounding her.
Climate change and the melting of the Arctic regions makes it possible for oil and gas corporations to drill there.  The U.S. is already lining up Canada, Norway and other Arctic allies to stand against Russia in this push-and-shove for control of these resources. (Note how much of Russia borders the Arctic.)

All of this spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E for peace in the world.  It also means that the attacks on social spending here at home will continue as the Pentagon's voracious appetite for scarce tax dollars only gets worse.

The protests against NATO in Chicago are important because this is the military arm of corporate globalization.  Capitalism must control and devour the shrinking natural resource base of the planet to keep growing.  It needs a military machine to secure those resources.  Welcome to NATO!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will join thousands of protesters this Sunday at the NATO summit in Chicago. Democracy Now speaks to Iraq Veterans Against the War’s Aaron Hughes, who’s among a number of Afghanistan and Iraq war vets planning to return their medals of honor to visiting NATO generals.

"[Veterans] have to live with the failed policy of the global war on terror on a daily basis," Hughes says. "What have we been doing in this decade-long war? There is a real moral disconnect between that the idea that our military can build a democracy and the idea that our military is trained and designed to control, dominate and kill people... Occupations do not build democracies. Occupations do not extend individuals’ freedoms. The movements of the Arab Spring, that was building democracy. The movements of Gandhi, of civil rights in this country, people’s movements, that’s what extends democracy."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


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  • I went to a rally this morning inside the State Capital in Augusta, Maine that was called to protest a state budget that eliminates health care coverage for more than 20,000 people, cuts prescription drug coverage for senior citizens and reduces funding for Head Start..  I spoke to one young woman who has Epilepsy and without support she is not able to afford her medication which helps her function.  Our Gov. LePage and the Republican controlled legislature are throwing her off the Maine Care program with their cuts.  The protest brought about 200 people into the hallway between the House and Senate chambers and folks chanted for about an hour and a half and then left.  I'm afraid it was too little, too late.  
  • The way it seems to work here in Maine is that each different constituency goes to Augusta on a different date to protest their piece of the action.  The unions, then the senior citizens, then the teachers, then the environmentalists, then the social service providers make their trek to the capital and plead their case.  All those groups are allied to and are essentially led by the Democratic Party. They don't really like to have the peaceniks involved since we are critical of both the Republicans and the Democrats for funding endless war.  Under the banner of the Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home we have tried to organize (and model) a real coalition effort that makes the case that until we stop spending $10 billion every month in Afghanistan there will be no money for social progress back here at home.  But that is "controversial" because we are challenging a Democrat President Obama.  (Except take into consideration that 66% of the American people actually want us out of Afghanistan.)  So the left-wing in Maine remains divided around the issue of political party and virtually everyone is getting their ass kicked because we can't organize an effective resistance to the corporate dominated right-wing that runs state government.  Very sad and a bad organizing strategy.
  • I have just started working on the next edition of the Global Network's Space Alert newsletter - deadline June 15. Much to my utter delight my son Julian just submitted an article entitled "Space Missile Defense's Implications on PAROS and FMCT." Makes my old heart proud - the first time he has ever written something for the newsletter. He's spent the past year doing extensive research on space weapons issues as the high school debate world, where he coaches, had that as their topic during their debate season. He knows this stuff better than I do.

    Monday, May 14, 2012


    Documents Show How White House and Democrats Worked to Protect the Banks Against Protests

    Did the White House Direct the Police Crackdown on Occupy?

    by Dave Lindorff
    A new trove of heavily redacted documents provided by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) on behalf of filmmaker Michael Moore and the National Lawyers Guild makes it increasingly evident that there was and is a nationally coordinated campaign to disrupt and crush the Occupy Movement.

    The new documents, which PCJF National Director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard insists “are likely only a subset of responsive materials,” in the possession of federal law enforcement agencies, only “scratch the surface of a mass intelligence network including Fusion Centers, saturated with ‘anti-terrorism’ funding, that mobilizes thousands of local and federal officers and agents to investigate and monitor the social justice movement.”

    Nonetheless, blacked-out and limited though they are, she says they offer clues to the extent of the government’s concern about and focus on the wave of occupations that spread across the country beginning with last September’s Occupy Wall Street action in New York City.

    The latest documents, reveal “intense involvement” by the DHS’s so-called National Operations Center (NOC).  In its own literature, the DHS describes the NOC as “the primary national-level hub for domestic situational awareness, common operational picture, information fusion, information sharing, communications, and coordination pertaining to the prevention of terrorist attacks and domestic incident management.”

    The DHS says that the NOC is “the primary conduit for the White House Situation Room” and that it also “facilitates information sharing and operational coordination with other federal, state, local, tribal, non-governmental operation centers and the private sector.”

    A better description for a fascist police state network could not be written.

    Remember, this vast yet centralized operation — what Verheyden-Hilliard describes as “a vast, tentacled, national intelligence and domestic spying network that the U.S. government operates against its own people” — was in this case deployed not against some terrorist organization or even mob or drug cartel, but rather against a loose-knit band of protesters, all conscientiously and publicly committed to nonviolence, who were exercising their Constitutionally-protected right to gather in public places and to speak out against the crimes and abuses of the corporate elite and the politicians who are bought and paid by that elite.

    Among the documents obtained by the PCJF in this second batch of responses to its FOIA filing is one from the NOC Fusion Center Desk dated Nov. 5, 2011, which collects at the federal level and then distributes the names and contact information of a group of Occupy protesters who were arrested during a demonstration in Dallas, TX against Bank of America, one of the nation’s biggest predatory lenders.  Although none of the seven arrested were charged with any serious crime (six were charged with “using the sidewalk!”), their names and contact information were widely disseminated by the DHS.

    Fusion Centers, a post-9-11 creation, are a federally-funded joint project of the DHS and the US Justice Department which are designed to share intelligence information among such federal agencies as the DHS, the FBI, the CIA and the US Military, as well as state and local police agencies. By their nature they are designed to circumvent legal constraints on various agencies, for example the ban on CIA domestic spying, or the Posse Comitatus Act, which bars active military activity within the borders of the US. There are currently 72 Fusion Centers around the US.

    Another group of documents shows that on November 9, two days after a demonstration by 1000 Occupy activists in Chicago protesting social service cuts in that city, the NOC Fusion Desk relayed a request from Chicago Police asking other local police agencies what kind of tactics they were using against Occupy activists. They specifically requested that information be sought from police departments in New York, Oakland, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. Denver, Boston, Portland OR, and Seattle — all the scene of major Occupation actions and of violent police repression.

    Realizing that it would look bad if it assisted in such coordination overtly, higher officials in the DHS ordered the recall of the request but then simply rerouted it through “law enforcement channels,” where presumably it would be harder for anyone to spot a federal role in the coordination of local police responses. In response to that order, the documents show that the duty director of the NOC wrote that he would “reach out” to “LEO LNOs (liaison officer) on the floor” to assist. Verheyden-Hilliard explains that LEO is FBI’s nationally integrated law enforcement, intelligence and military network.

    On December 12, when Occupy planned anti-war protests at various US ports, Verheyden-Hilliard says the new documents show that the NOC “went into high gear” seeking information from local field offices of the Department of Homeland Security about what actions police in Houston, Portland, Oakland, Seattle, San Diego, and Los Angeles planned to deal with Occupy movement actions.

    Another document shows that earlier, in advance of a planned Occupy action at the Oakland, CA port facility on Nov. 2, DHS “went so far as to keep the Pentagon’s Northcom (Northern Command) in the intelligence loop.”

    Given the subterfuge revealed in these documents that went into trying to create the illusion that the DHS was and is not coordinating a national campaign of spying, disruption and repression against Occupy activists, it is almost comical to find documents that show the DHS was in “direct communication with the White House” to obtain advance approval of public statements by DHS officials denying any DHS involvement in anti-Occupy actions.

    These documents show that both DHS and one of that department’s police arms, the Federal Protective Service (FPS) were in direct contact with Portland, Oregon’s police chief and mayor, discussing how to deal with protesters who were in part on federal property. The coordination between the feds and the local police and political authorities were intense. Yet the approved statement sent to DHS from the White House read:
    Any decisions on how to handle specifics (sic) situations are dealt with by local authorities in that location. If a protest area is located on Federal property and has been deemed unsanitary or unsafe by the General Services Administration (GSA) or city officials, and they make a decision to evacuate participants — the Federal Protective Service (FPS) will work with those officials to develop a plan to ensure the security and safety of everyone involved.
    There was, comically, also a White House-approved DHS “background” statement, too! (Typically background statements by federal officials are supposed to be used when they want to tell a journalist the true situation but don’t want to have that statement attributed to them or their department. Having it pre-approved by the White House defeats that purpose and is simply a manipulation of the media.)

    The faux “background” information included the following–a flat-out lie:
    DHS is not actively coordinating with local law enforcement agencies and/or city governments concerning the evictions of Occupy encampments writ large.
    Tellingly, the documents also include a Dec. 5 copy of the “Weekly Informant, ” an intelligence report published by the DHS’s Office for State and Local Law Enforcement. The issue includes an update from the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) concerning the activities of the Occupy Movement. PERF, Verheyden-Hilliard notes, is the group that the federal government claims organized a series of multi-city law enforcement calls to coordinate the police response to Occupy, which led immediately to the wave of violent crackdowns. It was at those meetings that police were advised among other things to act at night, to use aggressive tactics and weapons like tasers and pepper spray, and to take steps to remove journalists and cameras from the scene of crackdowns.

    The overall sense from these latest documents is that Washington and the DHS, along with the FBI, was the nexus of the crackdown, orchestrating it, encouraging it, and attempting to cover its tracks.

    The documents among other things expose the massive hypocrisy of the Obama administration and the Democratic Party, which this election year have tried to co-opt and claim as their own the anti-fat-cat theme of the “We are the 99%”-chanting Occupiers, while actually acting in the interest of Bank of America and its fellow financial sector mega-firms in trying to crush the movement itself.

    To see all the new FOIA documents, go to the PJIF website.

    Dave Lindorff is a founder of This Can’t Be Happening and a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He lives in Philadelphia.


    Palestinian protesters blocked the entrance to the Ma'ale Adumim settlement, meters away from one of Israel's main interrogation centers in the West Bank. Two protesters were arrested.

    Hundreds of Palestinians are hunger striking in Israeli jails in a mass protest against detention conditions.

    An estimated 1,600 inmates out of 4,800 launched the hunger strike on April 17 to demand improved conditions in Israeli custody, such as an end to solitary confinement and more family visits. They have also challenged Israel's policy of indefinite detention without charge of suspected Palestinian activists.


    There's been a surge of violence in Afghanistan - with bomb blast in the north of the country killing at least nine people. The escalation comes a week before NATO's summit in Chicago. NATO allies support for ongoing involvement in the embattled nation has never been lower.

    When having to make a choice between endless war and social progress people are deciding they want health care, income security, education, and a clean environment.

    Everybody is tired of the Afghanistan occupation except the military industrial complex, the bankers, and the oil corporations who want to control Caspian Sea pipeline routes through the region.

    Bring Our War $$ Home now.

    Sunday, May 13, 2012




    Julia Ward Howe

    Written in 1870 

     Arise, then, women of this day! 

    Arise all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of fears! 

    Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, 

    "Our husbands shall not come to us reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. 

    "Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy, and patience. 

    "We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs." 

    From the bosom of the devasted earth a voice goes up with our own. It says, "Disarm, Disarm!" 

    The sword of murder is not the balance of justice! Blood does not wipe out dishonor nor violence indicate possession. 

    As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. 

    Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. 

    Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, 

    And each bearing after her own time the sacred impress,
    not of Caesar, but of God ---

    In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask

    That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,

    May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient

    And the earliest period consistent with its objects,

    To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,

    The amicable settlement of international questions,

    The great and general interests of peace. 

    Saturday, May 12, 2012


    Illegal gold miners in Peru are destroying thousands of hectares of the Amazon forest, home to some of the world's most important biodiversity.

    Biologists are working to save wildlife in the area, as their habitats are destroyed or endangered by the gold diggers.

    At the same time, stopping the mining is presenting a tough challenge for the government.

    In the final instalment of a three-part series, Al Jazeera's Mariana Sanchez reports from Madre de Dios in Peru.


    • I just finished a radio interview from Vancouver, Canada.  I mentioned that the Canadian government has decided to spend $35 billion to build more warships.  Our Global Network board member Tamara Lorincz in Halifax, Nova Scotia brought this to my attention.  Many of the warships will be built in her community.  She wrote, "It is the largest government procurement of any kind in Canadian history.  The warship contract is so corrosive and corruptive. The people of Nova Scotia have been duped and have allowed themselves to be duped.....The NDP and Labour have effectively left the peace movement in support of the warships."  I told her we face the same problem here with the Democrats.  They've rarely seen a weapons system that they don't support as military production is now virtually the only game in town.
    • I started thinking more about why Canada would want to build these warships.  I checked the map again.  It's the Arctic Ocean and the melting ice due to climate change.  The oil corporations can now get at the oil below the surface and the U.S. is enlisting Canada, Norway, and other Arctic allies to get ready for the push-and-shove match with Russia over control of that region.  More evidence that the Pentagon/NATO is the resource extraction service of corporate globalization.
    • I am working on my upcoming talks at the NATO Counter Summit (May 18-20) in Chicago and the Project Ploughshares event in Waterloo, Canada (May 24-25) called Securing the peaceful use of space for future generations. Got the first draft done and moving toward next steps.
    • Got alot of work to do outside today.  Already planted some sunflowers, hung laundry, and next need to get back to stacking wood.  Lawn needs mowing after all the rain we've had and our old fashioned push mower doesn't work so well if the grass gets too high.  Fortunately good weather today.
    • A short sports update:  After 14 losing seasons in a row my baseball team (Baltimore Orioles) are currently in first place with a 21-12 record.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

    Friday, May 11, 2012


    By Joseph Gerson

    Don't Believe the NATO Hype: Alternatives Exist to War, Economic Crises 

    As the NATO summit in Chicago approaches, misplaced paranoia is striking deep. A near-police-state regime is being imposed, not only to "protect" heads of state from protesters, but also to severely limit the freedoms of speech and assembly. Even nurses -- the United States' most trusted medical professionals -- have been deemed too dangerous to be allowed to rally.

    Beyond this hysteria, peace, labor and immigrant rights activists and scholars are gathering in Chicago for the May 18-19 Counter-Summit for Peace and Economic Justice, to present the case against NATO-driven militarism. Here are 10 reasons why:
    1. The U.S./NATO war in Afghanistan must end. Plans to use the summit to ratify fighting in Central Asia until 2024 spells death, suffering and disaster for all involved.
    2. There is an alternative to creating stability in one of the world's poorest nations: All-party Afghan negotiations -- including civil society -- and a regional peacemaking process.
    3. The United States is in decline. Students can't afford the world-class educations that are essential to both their economic security and the nation's revitalization. Our infrastructure and transportation systems are in disrepair, lagging behind those in many other nations. U.S. defense spending nearly equals the next 17 countries' military spending -- combined! And the Bush tax cuts have made the one percent exceedingly richer. This slow motion debacle must be stopped.
    4. There is an alternative: Cut military spending and restore a truly progressive income tax. Investing in civilian job creation for clean energy, health care, education and 21st century infrastructure could produce far more jobs than sending troops to fight in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Philippines.
    5. NATO was never an entirely defensive alliance. Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski describes NATO allies as "vassals" and explained that NATO provides a toehold from which to dominate Eurasia. Most people and nations resist being dominated. Since the end of the Cold War, at great expense, NATO has not focused on Europe, but on "out of area" operations like the Afghan and Libyan wars and partnerships from Mauritania to Turkistan, with more to come in Latin America to East Asia.
    6. There is an alternative: Retire NATO. Bring our troops and weapons home and close overseas bases. U.S. policy should not focus on preparing for and fighting wars that support corrupt regimes or overthrow dictators while leaving nations divided among armed militias with no functioning national governments.
    7. We suffer from 21st century Jim Crow segregation. More than two million people -- most of them people of color -- are in prison. An estimated 11 million undocumented people, the vast majority tax paying workers and their families, are forced to live in the shadows, fearing deportation and family separations due to draconian federal policies like "Secure Communities and "E-Verify." Children of immigrants who have excelled in school are denied access to college educations.
    8. There are alternatives: Suspend those police-state immigration policies. Enact comprehensive immigration reform to expedite the path to citizenship. Mandate in-state tuition for all in-state students.
    9. Four years into the Bush Depression little has been done to address the "betrayal of American prosperity," as detailed by Reagan-era trade tsar Clyde Prestowitz. The super-rich are getting richer. The middle class is shrinking. Millions of workers and their families suffer a jobless "recovery," while corporations maximize profits and CEO salaries by sending manufacturing jobs abroad. And the campaign for European-style "austerity" means greater unemployment.
    10. There are alternatives: Stop foreclosures. Revise tax laws to remove incentives for off-shoring jobs and restore progressive income tax policies like those of the (Republican) Eisenhower era. Invest in job creation by focusing on essential social services, 21st century education and training, and building modern infrastructures that our children will need to live decent lives and to hold their own in the global economy.
    Frederick Douglass, the courageous abolitionist, taught that power cedes nothing without a struggle. And the old folk saying reminds us that "we make our road by walking." That's why we're coming to Chicago from Boston and San Bernadino, Tennessee and Toronto, Afghanistan, Africa and Asia.

    The Counter Summit will be the forum to build the movement needed to follow the French in withdrawing from Afghanistan and overcoming nationally self-destructive austerity.

    Peacefully, in the streets, we can support the Afghan and Iraq Vets whose discarded medals scream that war and military alliances are not the answer; that we need jobs, justice and a caring society if there is to be a 21st century American dream and greater peace in the world.

    Dr. Joseph Gerson is Co-Convener of the Network for a NATO-Free Future and Director of Programs for the American Friends Service Committee in New England.