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

Friday, August 31, 2012


Graffiti is a thriving life force in Oakland. Meet GATS (Graffiti Against The System), an artist for whom the city is one endless canvas to connect with the people. Times are rough in "The O," as GATS plans to write a poem throughout the city.



IUCN leadership refuses to criticize Korea's destructive naval base that is killing numerous endangered species, and destroying indigenous communities. This stance from IUCN defies its traditional mission, conserving nature and a "just world."

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Sung-Hee Choi (Gangjeong, South Korea)
                Koohan Paik (Jeju Emergency Action Committee)
                Save Jeju Campaign website

The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) World Conservation Congress is the world’s largest environmental event. Held every four years, the 2012 World Conservation Congress  (WCC) will be held from September 6-15 on Jeju Island, the “jewel” of South Korea. Over 7,000 leaders from government, the public sector, non-governmental organizations, business, UN agencies and social organizations will meet at this event.

Meeting just a few miles from Gangjeong village the IUCN has over and over again resisted requests from those living in the 450-year old fishing and farming community to help them protect their sacred nature and coastline from Navy base construction.  A five-year non-violent campaign rages in the village and more than 500 people have been arrested for attempting to block the destruction of their way of life.

 While continuing to proclaim its devotion to protecting Nature through democratic process, IUCN leadership has ignored or whitewashed projects that are assaulting these wonders, and undermining human rights and sustainable livelihoods.

The naval base project, meant to become homeport for Korean and U.S. “missile defense” warships 300 miles from China, is threatening one of the planet’s last great soft coral reefs, and other coastal treasures, killing numerous endangered species (including one on IUCN’s famous Red List), and destroying centuries-old sustainable communities.

The Gangjeong villagers are being met with daily police brutality.  Such activities represent all that IUCN has traditionally opposed.  Samsung corporation construction division is building the Navy base and has made significant financial contributions toward the WCC. 

On August 22, an official letter arrived from IUCN leadership informing the Gangjeong villagers that their request to host a small Information Booth at the convention was denied. No explanation was offered.

“The Korean government announced that it would not permit any demonstrations or even picketing within two kilometers of the Convention.  So, no speaker from the village or information table inside. No demonstrations outside.  We are disappointed because we thought the IUCN stood for democratic participation,” commented Sung-Hee Choi, a Gangjeong resident and member of the International Organizing Committee.

Gangjeong villagers continue to press for a chance to address the IUCN and for a public display booth at the event.  Efforts have been made to contact most of the thousands of IUCN delegates coming to the event and several have volunteered to introduce resolutions opposing the Navy base.  Villagers intend to invite IUCN members to visit Gangjeong and see the environmental devastation for themselves.

Concerned citizens around the world are being encouraged to send messages to IUCN demanding fair treatment for Gangjeong villagers.  Messages can be directed to:,,;

A petition will be delivered to the IUCN by villager leaders.  You can sign it here 


Organizing Committee & International Support Group includes:

Christine Ahn
             Global Fund for Women; Korea Policy Institute 
Imok Cha, M.D.
Jerry Mander
            Foundation for Deep Ecology; International Forum on Globalization
Koohan Paik
            Kauai Alliance for Peace and Social Justice
 Maude Barlow
              Food and Water Watch, Council of Canadians (Canada)
John Cavanagh
              Institute for Policy Studies (U.S.)
Vandana Shiva, Ph.D.
              Navdanya Research Organization for Science, Technology and
              Ecology (India)
Walden Bello
              Member, House of Representatives (Philippines)
David Suzuki
            The David Suzuki Foundation (Canada)
Robert Redford
            Actor, founder of Sundance Institute (U.S.)
Gloria Steinem
          Author, Women’s Media Center (U.S.)  
Noam Chomsky
          Massachusetts Institute of Technology (U.S.)
Raj Patel
          Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First (U.S.)
Buffy Sainte-Marie, Ph.D.
            Educator, Singer-Songwriter (U.S.)
Angie Zelter
           Trident Ploughshares, (UK)
Matt Rothschild
          Editor, The Progressive magazine (U.S.)
Susan George, Ph.D.
          Transnational Institute (The Netherlands)
Galina Angarova
          Pacific Environment (Russia)
Lagi Toribau
              Greenpeace-East Asia
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz
              Tebtebba Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for
              Policy Research and Education (Philippines)
Lisa Linda Natividad
          Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice (Guam)
Eugeni Capella Roca
           Grup d’Estudi I Protecció d’Ecosostemes de Catalunya (Spain)
Sara Larrain
          Sustainable Chile Project (Chile)

Korean Federation for Environmental Movement and
Citizen Institute for Environmental Studies (South Korea)

- End - 

Thursday, August 30, 2012


  • It's been a busy week with my chores inside and outside our intentional community.  I've also been occupied with some writing I promised to do for a New Zealand environmental publication that requested an article linking Obama's "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific and the resulting impact on the environment.  They seemed to be happy with what I sent them.  Once I get a link to the article I'll post it here.  Today I drafted a news release for the Save Jeju campaign about the World Conservation Congress coming to Jeju Island.  I'll post it on the blog in the morning.  Be sure to check out the brand spanking new web site for the Save Jeju campaign here
  • Tomorrow I will do a TV interview with Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein who is in Maine for the next few days.  I'm going to ask her about her foreign policy positions.
  • No question that Obama has been good for the military industrial complex.  The New York Times ran a story on August 26 entitled U.S. Arm Sales Make Up Most of Global Market and reports that in 2011 weapons sales by the U.S. tripled to a record high of $66.3 billion.  In second place on the global market was Russia with sales totaling $4.8 billion.  In 2010 the U.S. sold $21.4 billion worth of killing products.  What does it say about the soul of our country that weapons are our #1 industrial export product?  "We are a killer nation - we can kill them fast or we can kill them slow," says Sr. Ardeth Platte from Jonah House in Baltimore. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Tuesday, August 28, 2012


A typhoon hit Jeju Island in the last few days taking down parts of the fence around the Navy base destruction site in Gangjeong village.  The villagers will now have a full view of the damage that has been done to the sacred Gureombi rocky coastline.

This weather related "disobedience" will surely slow the whole destruction process by a step or two. 

Next up for the village will be the meeting of the World Conservation Congress that will bring about 7,000 people to Jeju.

The villagers request to address the environmental event and to have an information booth have been rejected by the conference leadership.  (The story is that conference organizers asked the South Korean government to decide on the speaking and booth requests and of course the right-wing corporate dominated government said hell no.  It's no coincidence that Samsung not only is the lead base construction contractor but is also helping to fund the conference.)

How anyone can take this WCC seriously when it is absolutely clear that they are under the control of corporate forces?  It will be interesting to see if the thousands of delegates, who have now been notified about the official snubbing of the environmental issues on Jeju Island, will have backbone enough to stand up against Samsung's lackeys who are running the show.


This is a video by Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank.  He is funny but also strongly adheres to the oligarchy power line.  Milbank is a Skull & Bones Club member from his days at Yale University.

Here we see Milbank making fun of the crazy direction of the increasingly insane Republican Party.

I've long maintained that the corporate oligarchy is quite pleased with the job Obama has done for them.  Just like Clinton, who pushed through "welfare reform" and NAFTA (as well as renaming Reagan's Star Wars program BMDO - Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and kept it humming), Obama has kept Wall Street welfare flourishing and continued the strategic occupation of Afghanistan.

The oligarchy would be happy with the corporate Romney as president but Obama gives them the big bonus of keeping his "liberal" base under control and very quiet as social progress is dismantled and the militarization of America's culture continues apace.

Milbank's role is to be "entertaining" as he puts the dagger into the Taliban-like Republican Party.   It's not that Milbank is a progressive - he's just part of the show.  His job is to help keep the public cynical about "government" and politics in general.  The oligarchy wants the public to lose faith in government and thus leave the decision making process to the elite whose interests the government now represents.

Monday, August 27, 2012


We were sad to learn today of the death of Joshua Casteel, a veteran of the Iraq War who sought early discharge as a conscientious objector.

Joshua was an Army veteran and former interrogator at Abu Ghraib. 

Joshua was diagnosed in early November 2011 with stage IV lung cancer (adenocarcinoma), that was also present in his liver, spine and adrenals. He died in New York City where he was seeking experimental treatment, on August 25th at 3:30 PM accompanied by his mother Kristi, and sisters Rebekah and Naomi.


A note from the activists:

The Illuminator, in case you haven't heard, is a tactical media machine (aka a van with a really powerful projector, sound system, and library) that has been roaming the streets of New York City and beyond, bringing the spirit and message of the #occupy movement to street corners and public squares everywhere.

On November 17th, 2011, the two month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, a group of artist-activists pulled off an epic light projection action that came to be known as the "OWS Bat Signal". The video went viral, and the story got picked up by news outlets all over the world.

The success of this action led to the creation of The Illuminator, and since March 3rd, we’ve been on the streets of New York City and beyond. Our all-volunteer collective, comprised of artists, technologists, librarians, biologists, etc… have been staging spectacular interventions in public spaces, supporting a wide range of struggles, making the news, and reminding people that the crises that brought people into the streets last fall are still very much alive. It has been an incredible journey.
Unfortunately, due to differences in vision with the funder of the project, our access to this van will end after September.  This clearly demonstrates why it’s vital for our movement projects to be accountable to all of us, to the 99%, rather than any individual funder. (You can read our statement about this here.)

That's where you come in. Together, let’s seed funding for "The Illuminator 2.0." This time around, it will be all of you, all of us, that bring our beautiful imaginings into being. This time, we want to expand the project to other cities, to groups of committed activists and artists in places like Boston, San Francisco, and Baltimore who are ready to utilize the tactic of mobile guerilla projection. And there's undoubtedly lots more of them - of you - out there that we haven't heard from (if you have a committed group with the background and skills, write to us at! We'd love to expand this Kickstarter campaign's reach).


Secretary of War Leon Panetta warns us that cutting the Pentagon budget would create a "doomsday" scenario for the U.S. military. However, wait until you learn how they're really spending your money.

In addition to the video,  how about cutting that vast recruiting budget?  And all the toxic imperial military bases around the world.   (Remember that the Pentagon is the biggest polluter on the planet.)

Don't fall for the military industrial complex's job scare tactics.  Cut that damn Pentagon budget and create real jobs weatherizing homes, hiring teachers and medical workers, repairing our bridges and local water systems, build a national rail system and a solar society.

Help us demand conversion of the war machine to peacetime production.  Deal with climate change - end the wars for resource extraction.

It's your $$$ we are talking about here. 

Stand up and be counted.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


 Joshua Chamberlain Civil War statue at Bowdoin College
  Two international students at Bowdoin joined the protest
The march from Bowdoin College to the former Navy base on Saturday
Walking uninterrupted through the airshow crowd on Sunday
Starting our Sunday action in front of B-1 bomber
Ending our very successful action under the B-1

Yesterday 75 activists from around Maine joined our peace march and vigil in Brunswick at the Air Force Thunderbirds airshow.

We walked from Bowdoin College to the former Navy airfield and then stood with signs and banners while the much smaller crowd than normal drove into the show.  One policeman told us that only 1/4 of the crowd that came in the past had ventured in this weekend.  The likely reason is that when the Navy base was still open the airshows were free to the public.  Now that the base is closed, and a redevelopment agency is running the place, they are charging $20 a head to enter.  Since most of the folks going to these airshows tend to be working class they are being priced out of the equation.

Then this morning 14 of us (mostly members of Veterans For Peace) bought tickets and went inside the airshow to carry the powerful banner made by Maine artists Natasha Mayers and Nora Tryon and to hand out flyers.  Six of us were prepared to risk arrest while the others had the roles of taking photos, video, and handing out flyers.

Much to our surprise those running the airshow did not try to stop us when we unfurled the banner in front of the biggest plane on the tarmac, a B-1 bomber flown in from Texas for the occasion.  Since they left us alone we spent the next hour or so walking back and forth through the large staging area giving the crowd an up-close view of the banner.  Our leafletting team trailed along with us and kept offering literature to the public.

We got a few hostile comments ("get a job; you can only do this because the military protects you") but many more actually took the flyers.  Two times I saw men in military uniforms request a flyer.  Finally after the first hour of walking through the crowd we went back to the B-1 and stood in the shade under one of the wings.  It was then that several security men came up and ordered our photographers to stop taking pictures of us in front of the plane - a "Homeland Security" matter they said.  When our photographers challenged them to explain why the general public was allowed to take unlimited photos of the bomber, they were told it was because of what we "would be doing" with the pictures.

It was a great action, one that Maine VFP member Tom Sturtevant wanted to do last year but we weren't able to get it together at the time.  So this year we were determined to take a banner about military recruitment (Tom's favorite issue) into the airshow.  We tip our caps to you Tom.  Presente!

See alot more photos here and here


Friday, August 24, 2012


  • The Washington Post reports today that "After a year of scorched-earth litigation, a jury decided Friday that Samsung ripped off the innovative technology used by Apple to create its revolutionary iPhone and iPad. The jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion. An appeal is expected."
  • Samsung also has a construction division and is the lead contractor for the Navy base on Jeju Island in South Korea.  They are now blasting the sacred rocky coast and will pour cement over the abundant life that lives between the rocks.  Samsung has also begun the process of dredging the seabed to make it possible to bring the big U.S. warships into the proposed base.  This dredging process will tragically harm the endangered soft coral reefs just off the coast.
  • Samsung has a long and dirty record of mistreating their non-union workforce where many electronics workers have died or become very ill from unregulated exposure to toxic chemicals used when building these expensive gadgets.
  • What can you do about all this?  Boycott all Samsung products and tell others to do the same.
  •  Yesterday, Nicholson Baker, the acclaimed author of several works of fiction and nonfiction, uploaded his first YouTube video. It's a recording of "Jeju Island Song," which Baker wrote as a plea to stop the construction of a military base in Gangjeong village.  You can listen to it here


Our officers kill more U.S. troops than the Taliban

Record suicides prove our right to refuse to fight

August 23, 2012
By Michael Prysner
The author is a former corporal in the U.S. Army and a veteran of the Iraq war.

The U.S. Army revealed that July yielded the highest number of active-duty soldier suicides on record, with 38 in just a single month (this number does not include other branches of service, or Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who commit suicide once they get out of the military).

In the same month, 30 U.S. soldiers were killed in Afghanistan, the highest number in a single month so far this year, who should have never been sent to their deaths in the first place.
Suicides outpacing combat deaths has been a reality for years. In 2008, 2009 and 2010 there were more suicides in the active-duty Army than there were killed in Afghanistan.

Those who took their own lives, in reality, did not kill themselves. Our psychological bleeding started when we were sent by lying, crooked politicians to occupy a civilian population against their will. Once the bleeding started, they were killed by the long-exposed willful negligence by the military chain-of-command and millionaire politicians who refuse to address the suicide crisis and say there’s “not enough money” for adequate mental health services (all while they write blank checks to multi-billion-dollar defense contractors.)

The suicide epidemic and failure crisis in Army mental health is not a new story. The military brass and politicians in Washington have been well-aware, with intense public pressure, that urgent, emergency action is needed to stop the daily (yes, daily) suicide of active-duty troops.

But, their response to the epidemicbeing experienced by those they pat on the back and say “we support the troops” when they send us to warhas not only been complete inaction in making necessary changes to address the crisis, but in fact trying harder to deny treatment for PTSD and sweep the problem under the rug.

Our officers are the real enemy and danger to our lives

The worst offenders have been our own commanding officers. It is a known fact that general officers have ordered their subordinate Army psychologists to not diagnose soldiers with PTSD in order to keep those soldiers eligible to deploy to combat again, and to deny them compensation and treatment that “wastes taxpayer money.” Soldiers can literally walk into a mental health clinic on base with documented combat experience and trauma, tell the doctor they want to commit suicide, beg for help, and be told they are fine and sent back to their unit.

In addition to scandals over denying a legitimate diagnosis and treatment, the officer corps is responsible for creating a culture of harassment, intimidation and shame for those seeking help for PTSD. Anyone serving in today’s military knows the reality for traumatized troops; they are called a “malingerers,” told they are lying, are publicly berated and shamed in their units for seeking help, forced to deploy again and even formally punished for their symptoms.

Even if a soldier is lucky enough to get diagnosed and medically discharged with PTSD, the officer-run discharge process can take years and is so notoriously grueling, unfair, uncaring and stressful, that it is more likely to drive soldiers closer to suicide.

The officers’ facilitation of criminally negligent and inadequate treatment, coupled with the encouraged, open culture of shame and intimidation for those seeking help, it is no surprise that so many resort to suicide. Yet, every time these shocking statistics come out, the officers scratch their heads and say “we have no idea why this is happening!”

Sometimes they reveal their true feelings, like top commander at Fort Bliss, Major General Dana Pittard, who said in an official blog post “I’m personally fed up with soldiers who are choosing to take their own lives so that others can clean up their mess... suicide is an absolutely selfish act... be an adult and deal with your problems like the rest of us.”

Just like when a police department investigates itself for its own acts of misconduct, it’s no surprise the officer corps absolves themselves of all responsibility when their blatant misconduct is in the spotlight.

If a soldier was lying on the battlefield with a bullet wound and their commanding officer accused that soldier of lying, made fun of them, and did not allow the medic to treat the wound, that officer would (maybe) be disciplined when that soldier died. But when they do the same exact thing to wounded troops with PTSD, on a massive scale with hundreds now needlessly lost to suicide, they don’t even get a slap on the wrist.

And if a commanding officer was known to deny wounded soldiers on the battlefield a tourniquet or field dressing to make them needlessly bleed to death, it would be perfectly reasonable and accepted for the soldiers under him to refuse their orders into combat. The situation with suicide and PTSD is no different. 

The 38 Army suicides in July are the direct result of the actions of the officers who are in control of our lives. And with 30 soldiers killed in action in July, it reveals that in reality our own officers are more a danger to our lives than the so-called “enemy.”

There is a way out

Also in July, along with the highest suicides on record, the most revealing Pentagon-funded study on military suicides was released. Dozens of soldiers who had attempted suicide and failed were polled about why they did so. The conclusion was this: “It’s not that people who attempt suicide want to harm themselves... but they want the pain they’re in to stop and they don’t see any other way out.”

This reveals plainly and conclusively that the unwillingness and inability of the officer corps to treat psychologically traumatized soldiers with any dignity or fairness, locking them in a maze of a broken health care system with cruel harassment to top it off, feeling that there is no escape from that nightmare but death, is the reason we’re killing ourselves at the rate of one per day.

But the number one reason for suicidethe common belief among service members that there’s “no other way outisn’t true.

In late June, March Forward! launched a new campaign called ‘Our Lives Our Rights,’ designed to help service members collectively fight-back against the reckless orders of the officers and politicians, specifically helping them get out of the military and resist orders to Afghanistan.

The reality is, there is a way out. The way out is understanding that the officers that control our lives are powerless in the face of a united movement of active-duty troops and veterans collectively standing up for our rights. The way out is publicly demanding, alongside other troops, adequate mental health treatment, and exposing the broken system. The way out is exercising our right to become a conscientious objector, entitling one to an honorable discharge with full benefits. The way out is going AWOL, denouncing the military command for being responsible, and fighting the charges in court with a support network behind us.

Dozens of service members saw these ways out and exercised their rights. But not just for themselves; they formed the Our Lives Our Rights campaign to reach-out to other troops who think they’re trapped and to help them do the same.

This suicide epidemic makes crystal clear that our officers and “elected” leaders care nothing about our lives, and especially not the lives of those we’re told we’re “liberating.”  It proves that combat vets have the absolute right to refuse to deploy to war againbut more importantly, it proves that service members who have not yet deployed have the absolute right to refuse to go to Afghanistan to get PTSD in the first place. It's a war we have no reason to fight, against people who are not our real enemies.

Our leaders have shown for years that all we can expect from them is more reckless orders to a bloody, unpopular war against people who we have no reason to fight, and more neglect and mistreatment when we get home.

The suicide crisis will only be solved by the collective action of service members and veterans themselves. No solution will come from our chain-of-commandthe solution is fighting our chain-of-command.

To learn more about the Our Lives Our Rights campaign, how to get help, or how to get involved, visit


Sometimes you have to click more than once to start this video

Regina Pyon writes from South Korea:
Heavy rain fall. . .and so beautiful "faces" of Gangjeong. . .Scenes that filmmaker  Dunguree "dedicates to those who oppose the war bases of the world."


The Obama Administration has just given Shell a tentative go-ahead to begin drilling this summer off the coastline of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — the polar bear's most important onshore denning ground in Alaska. According to the government’s own estimates, there's a very real danger of at least one major oil spill if Shell moves forward with full-scale production. Even worse, the oil industry has no proven method for cleaning up oil in the Arctic's ice-filled waters. So the death toll of oil-soaked and poisoned polar bears, whales and seals would be unimaginable.

-Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., NRDC Senior Attorney

Thursday, August 23, 2012


The Republican national convention begins in Tampa next week and 15,000 journalists are expected to be there to cover the very boring event.

Cops from around Florida will pour into Tampa to join the police state that will be established there to make sure that any real displays of democratic action are few and far between.

Already the cops and media and pumping the public with fear about anarchist bombings and such.  Same modus operandi (MO) they always use.

Notice at the end the "protesters" chant USA, USA.....not a chant we usually do.  And see them throwing the green tennis balls.  Nice touch.

Just a couple things missing though - no pepper spray and head busting.  I guess they are saving that for the real citizens.


This is the trailer for the Swedish documentary From Sweden with Love. Five activists decide to break into Swedish arms factories to disarm weapons. Sweden is one of the biggest exporters of arms in the world today. The year 2011, weapons were shipped out for a total sum of 13.9 billion SEK. Among these importers you will find countries that are already in war or violate human rights. The activists quit their jobs, leave their homes and get ready to fight for their belief. If they succeed they are not only risking being sent to prison but also getting huge damages.

For ordering details contact Tove Rasander at

Wednesday, August 22, 2012



  • The Air Force Thunderbirds have been practicing over our heads for the past two days as they try to pump up the jam for the big airshow this weekend.  Several folks have told me they called the town of Brunswick to complain and were told "you are the only one that has called".  I know it is a lie because I've already heard from half-a-dozen folks who made the call and were told the same thing.  It's a trick ('you are the only one who feels this way so give up') politicians always use to demobilize the public.
  • Yesterday, much to our delight, the local Times Record newspaper printed our Veterans for Peace news release and the Stop Recruiting Our Children for War banner on page three.  A nice way to be sure that the community sees that there is indeed opposition to these expensive, polluting, and recruiting gimmick spectacles.
  • This morning I interviewed renowned peace activist Kathy Kelly on my public access TV show.  Then she came over to our house for lunch and we had a good organizing strategy conversation.  During my interview with Kathy I asked her why she thinks the U.S. is staying in Afghanistan.  Her answer:  China.  (Check out a map.) She is also now talking about the jobs issue and the fact that local communities are becoming addicted to Pentagon $$$$$.  Good to hear her make those connections.
  • Kathy speaks tonight at the library in Brunswick.  Her appearance will be a good building event coming just days before the airshow.  Americans get upset when fighter bombers fly over our heads for a few minutes.  Imagine if we lived in places where they fly day and night and drop bombs on us as well.


Richard Aoki was a militant activist and armed the Black Panthers, but turned out to be an FBI informant at the very same time. This information was made public after an investigation by Seth Rosenfield revealed FOIA documents that verify these claims by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Aoki committed suicide in 2009, but today many questions remain, such as to what extent did the FBI know the man was arming the Black Panthers? Trevor Aaronson, author of the "Terror Factory," discusses the slippery slope between the FBI creating criminals and catching them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


  • National and international support for Jeju Island is growing dramatically.  Today, thanks to David Swanson, a team of groups is putting out an email appeal that will reach tens of thousands of people around the world.  We are asking folks to click here and send a message to Samsung Corporation (the lead contractor building the Navy base in Gangjeong village) and the World Conservation Congress (WCC).  The WCC will be held next week on Jeju Island and will bring 7,000 environmental activists to that event.  Korean environmental and peace groups have implored the WCC to take a strong stand against the destruction to nature that the Navy base will bring.  The WCC, in part funded by Samsung and other corporate giants, officially has taken a dive on the issue.
  • The groups sponsoring this email event today are:  Save Jeju Island; Gangjeong village, Jeju Island, South Korea; Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space; Veterans For Peace; Voices for Creative Nonviolence; Fellowship of Reconciliation; and Environmentalists Against War.
  • In recent months an international team of organizers have been working hard to secure the ability to reach as many of those 7,000 WCC delegates as possible.  The process has been bearing fruit.  One group of bio-ethicists has volunteered to draft a powerful resolution and to bring it to the entire WCC body calling for an end to the Navy base.  It will be fascinating to see how Samsung and the South Korean right-wing government try to kill this expression of international will.
  • The villagers will be working hard during the WCC (Sept 6-15) to pass literature to the environmental delegates and to hire buses to take many of those delegates to see the desecration of the village and nature for themselves. 
  • The peace community globally is increasingly on the ball when it comes to the Jeju issue.  But the environmental community has been slow to engage.  This current international effort to bring the Jeju issue to WCC activists could bear positive results.  Please click once for Jeju.


Here is an interview with a proponent of privatizing space for resource extraction.

The aerospace corporations are eager to mine the sky for precious minerals.

One key element in all of this will be nuclear powered mining colonies on the Moon, Mars and asteroids.  The nuclear industry is eager for this space market to expand.  Imagine though what happens when launch failures happen, as they surely will, and plutonium rains down on our heads.

One big area of conflict is ownership - who can own the planetary bodies?  The Outer Space and Moon treaties at the United Nations say that no individual, no corporation, nor any country can claim ownership of any planetary body.  The U.S. never signed the Moon Treaty - I wonder why?

Imagine the conflict coming from an unregulated, frontier mentality that is now being promoted for space.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space is a documentary film by Denis Delestrac with a music score by Amon Tobin. The film deals with the issue of space weapons and their politics, featuring interviews with several key United States military personal, academics such as Noam Chomsky and others, including Martin Sheen. The film won the Best Documentary award at the 2009 Whistler Film Festival and has been selected in a number of international film festivals

The prospect of Earth being ruled from space is no longer science-fiction. The dream of the original Dr. Strangelove, Wernher von Braun (from Nazi rocket-scientist to NASA director) has survived every US administration since WW2 and is coming to life. Today the technology exists to weaponize space, a massive American industry thrives, and nations are maneuvering for advantage.

Pax Americana tackles this pivotal moment. Are war machines already orbiting Earth? Can treaties keep space weapons-free? Must the world capitulate to one super-cop on the global beat?

With startling archival footage and unprecedented access to US Air Force Space Command, this elegant, forceful documentary reveals the state of play through generals, space-policy analysts, politicians, diplomats, peace activists, and hawks.


Punk Prayer, English version by Carol Rumens


Virgin Mary, Mother of God, banish Putin, banish Putin,
Virgin Mary, Mother of God, banish him, we pray thee!

Congregations genuflect,
Black robes brag gilt epaulettes,
Freedom's phantom's gone to heaven,
Gay Pride's chained and in detention.
KGB's chief saint descends
To guide the punks to prison vans.
Don't upset His Saintship, ladies,
Stick to making love and babies.

Crap, crap, this godliness crap!
Crap, crap, this holiness crap!


Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
Be a feminist, we pray thee,
Be a feminist, we pray thee.

Bless our festering bastard-boss.
Let black cars parade the Cross.
The Missionary's in class for cash.
Meet him there, and pay his stash.
Patriarch Gundy believes in Putin.
Better believe in God, you vermin!
Fight for rights, forget the rite –
Join our protest, Holy Virgin.


Virgin Mary, Mother of God, banish Putin, banish Putin,
Virgin Mary, Mother of God, we pray thee, banish him!



Veterans for Peace Unveils Airshow Protest Banner
March & Vigil Planned in Brunswick on August 25

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Bruce Gagnon   443-9502   globalnet@mindspring

Maine Veterans for Peace (VFP)  has unveiled a beautiful protest banner created by Maine artists Natasha Mayers and Nora Tryon that will be used on Saturday, August 25 during the march and vigil opposing the Air Force Thunderbirds airshow in Brunswick.  The banner reads "Stop Recruiting Our Children for War" and shows children's playful nature being subverted for militarism.

The march will begin at 9:00 am at the corner of Main St & Bath Road in Brunswick and end at the front gate of the former Naval air station.  There the group will hold a vigil until noon as people drive into the airfield.

According to VFP protest organizer Bruce Gagnon, "We hear from many people in the greater community complaining about the noise and pollution from these expensive propaganda shows that are ultimately intended to serve as tools to recruit the next generation for war.  Last year our airshow protest was led by VFP founding member Tom Sturtevant who served in the Navy on an aircraft carrier during the Korean War.  He worked for years to end military recruitment in our public schools.  He passed away last winter and our protest this year is in his memory."

Veterans for Peace maintains that the Thunderbird warplanes drop bombs and kill women and children as well as soldiers.  They contend that these airshows glorify war and mislead impressionable young people.

The protest is being sponsored by the following organizations: 

Maine Veterans for Peace, CodePink Maine, Maine Green Independent Party, Peace Action Maine, Pax Christi Maine, Episcopal Peace Fellowship-Maine Chapter, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, PeaceWorks, Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home

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Sunday, August 19, 2012


I went to Warren, Maine yesterday to Steve Burke's barn where Lisa Savage (CodePink Maine and co-coordinator of the Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home) and I gathered to help print T-shirts.

Steve has lived on his farm since the mid-1970's and for many years ran a T-shirt making business from his barn.  A few years ago he gave up the biz and sold all of his high-tech equipment but kept a hand apparatus for making shirts for times just like yesterday.

At our last meeting of the Bring Our War $$ Home campaign we decided to buy a couple hundred shirts and print them with the great design done by Maine artist Nora Tryon.  It's our most popular image.  So yesterday Steve printed them and Lisa and I hung them to dry. 

We'll take them to the Common Ground Country Fair September 21-23 where we will share a space with Veterans for Peace.  We are going to ask just $5 for the shirts because we want folks to buy them and be walking all over the fair with this message.

Today Lisa sent a some of the shirts to folks who will be protesting at the Republican and Democrat national conventions coming up real soon in North Carolina and Florida.  Our goal is for the Bring Our War $$ Home campaign message to keep popping up all over the place.  We recently printed up several hundred bumperstickers with the same message as well.  We'll have them at the fair as well.


Saturday, August 18, 2012


I did this wide ranging interview with local video activist Regis Tremblay last Thursday.

Regis has a son in Afghanistan at this moment and is highly motivated to help the public develop the ability to become independent thinkers.


Thanks to the computer doctor - Dan Ellis for securing this photo of the new Cinemax series.

Talk about anarchy....corporate style.


I went to Bowdoin College last night to participate in a Theatre of the Oppressed workshop led by our summer housemate, and Bowdoin student, Phui Yi Kong.  While waiting for it to start I was flipping though the latest edition of Sports Illustrated that was sitting on a table in the college dance studio where we held the workshop.

On page three was a full page advert for a new Cinemax series called Strike Back: Diplomacy is overrated.  The ad has two white guys, not in uniform, looking macho with their machine guns.  Explosions are in the background.  I tried to lift the image off the Internet but they are only available as posters for sale.  They are also selling T-shirts that carry the same message.

One description of the movie that I found called them two secret intelligence agents (one Yank, one Brit of course - coalition of the killing you might call it) from "Section 20".  One wag wrote: "REASON TO WATCH Bullets, bombs, breasts, bloodbaths."

Note in the action trailer above the scene is set in Kenya - African continent - the place that Obama is now leading us into endless war to secure precious declining resources.  But of course these "brave agents" are only there chasing terrorism and bringing freedom and democracy to these backward people.

And the other indoctrination point - all this is coordinated by military surveillance satellites flying overhead.  The message?  Military domination in space helps the good guys stay alive and beat the bad guys!

But the thing that grabbed my attention was the sub-headline - "Diplomacy is overrated".  It reminded me of the words from Thomas Barnett some years ago when he told a packed audience of military officers during a presentation I watched on C-SPAN that the U.S. won't be doing international treaties anymore because they would restrict "our" ability to do what it (corporate oligarchy) wanted done around the world.

This show should be analyzed along with the other new war promotion series on NBC called Stars Earn Stripes. (In addition to all the other mind-bending violent shows on TV.)  There can be no doubt that the next generation is being prepared for a life of "security export".  It makes me heart sick.

This also makes me even more clear that our Thunderbird airshow protest in Brunswick on August 25 is the right place to be.

Free the youth from a future of endless war!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


  • I drove south to Biddeford last night for an hour long interview on a public access TV show called Out in Left Field.  Today I do another interview with Regis Tremblay who is becoming a prolific public access TV producer here in Maine.  Next Monday I do a radio interview on WERU which is north of here.  On each of these interviews I am promoting our Veterans for Peace protest on Saturday, August 25 of the Air Force Thunderbird airshow at the former Navy airfield in Brunswick.
  • Growing up in an Air Force family I saw alot of these airshows.  I witnessed a couple plane crashes over the years and also understand how these events serve as recruiting tools to bring young kids into the military.  They also pump up the drumbeat for endless war.
  • As a kid I learned to idolize these "Gods of Metal".  My dad worked in the base photo lab and brought me home a large framed picture of about 20 Air Force bombers, transport planes and fighters all nicely lined up on the flight line.  That picture was one of the few things I kept as our family moved to Florida-Germany-England-South Dakota-Germany-Florida-California while I was growing up.  It was on the wall right near my crucifix.  God and war.  Like apple pie, baseball and Chevrolet.
  • It wasn't until I joined the Air Force myself during the Vietnam War that I finally put all the pieces together.  With the help of GI war resisters in the barracks at Travis AFB in California (an airlift base for the war) I was able to finally see that those planes were about killing innocent people so U.S. corporations could take their land and resources.  Finally reading the Pentagon Papers while in the Air Force helped me see how our government lies its way into war over and over again.
  • So I've come full circle from being a recipient of the war propaganda, mindless entertainment, and military psychological operations aimed at the youth to becoming an active war resister.  My guess is that a some of the kids that see our Veterans for Peace protest on August 25 will themselves some day see the light as well.
  • Last night Richard Rhames asked me about the connection between the recent Batman movie massacre in Colorado and our nation's endless wars.  I said that the fabric of our nation - the soul of our nation - was woven together by violence from the genocide of the Native Americans, slavery, Civil War, and then from imperial attacks on the Philippines to the present.  We are a killing culture.  War is what we do.  We make enormous profit from selling violence.  It's no coincidence that ultimately it turns inward and we start killing each other.  It is what we know.
  • The only way out is to recognize the addiction.  Raise your hand and repeat after me, "Hello, my name is America and I am addicted to war and violence."


These interviews were recorded at the Texas Keystone Convergence by participants who came from across Texas and across the country to be a part of the Tar Sands Blockade.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


NBC has come up with a new show, which the critics say 'glorifies war.' It debuted last night and is called "Stars and Stripes" but has a cast of people you can barely call stars. It can be sold as way to honor US troops but many don't see it that way. Jody Williams, a long time peace activist and 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner, joins RT's Liz Wahl for more.

My Take:  One can only hope that the 10 former Nobel Peace Prize winners will request that a certain Obama-nator join them in denouncing NBC.  One can always hope!!!!!!


Protest in NYC against new NBC-TV "Reality Show" called Stars Earn Stripes

By Joan Wile

In a remarkable display of unity, a number of New York peace groups joined together in just a few days to plan and carry out a protest at NBC headquarters in Manhattan regarding the debut of the new reality show, "Stars Earn Stripes."  The program is an abomination that touts war as a game, as a sort of sports competition, an entertainment where minor on-their-way-down celebrities along with military personnel compete with each other in carrying out simulated missions, using real ammunition in demonstrations of war maneuvers -- long-range machine guns blowing up mock human targets, for instance.

This demonstration of the deadly capacity of modern monster weapons is hosted by none other than retired Gen. Wesley Clark, an anti-war candidate for President of the U.S. in 2004.  One wonders how a person proclaiming to deplore war could get involved in such a display of seemingly almost psychotic militarism.  Among his so-called celebrity participants are Sara's husband, Todd Palin, celebrated for ... exactly what?

Among the 50-60 participants in the action were MFSO (Military Families Speak Out) mothers with sons deployed in Afghanistan; Veterans for Peace; Gray Panthers; Brooklyn for Peace; U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW); OWS Anti-War Committee; World Can't Wait; PANYS (Peace Action New York State); and  peace grandmothers groups including the Granny Peace Brigade, Grandmothers Against the War, and the Raging Grannies, who sang their spirited anti-war songs throughout the demonstration. 

Reviews of the show were mostly negative.  In addition to being objectionable as gung ho war propaganda, it was a profoundly boring mishmash interspersed by seemingly a zillion commercials. 

Said the New York Times:  "The teams race to complete missions under conditions that include live ammunition and explosives, the claim being that this will give the stars a taste of what real soldiers experience. That is an absurd overstatement, of course, since no one is shooting back or planting roadside bombs intended for them."

"The show is treacly, exploitative military porn, according to the early reviews" said a writer for WIRED.

The protesters had with them a petition launched by Roots Action, with approximately 18,000 signators (so far) urging that NBC "air an in-depth segment showing the reality of civilian victims of recent U.S. wars."  When women of Military Families Speak Out attempted to deliver the 500-plus-pages petition to an NBC executive, the head of security, Jim Kelly, lined up near the protest with six other security officials throughout the demonstration, insisted that they could not do so.  There was a stand-off for over an hour while the women negotiated with him as he stalled them.  Ultimately, the only thing he would allow was for them to give it to him personally, which they did.  Will it ever be seen by a top NBC executive?  Unfortunately, probably not.

The cause to shut down "Stars Earn Stripes" was aided immeasurably by nine Nobel Peace Prize winners, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who sent a strongly worded letter to Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment, Gen. Clark, Producer Mark Burnett, and others urging its cancelation. 

In part, the letter read:  "We call upon NBC to stop airing this program that pays homage to no one, and is a massive disservice to those who live and die in armed conflict and suffer its consequences long after the guns of war fall silent."  Tutu's huge reputation attracted media coverage in the thousands all over the world to the Nobel Prize recipients' opposition.

Encouraged by passersby's sympathetic responses to the protest as well as the enormous media attention, the coalition decided to proceed with further actions.  They plan to continue their Monday protests throughout the four-week run of the series, initiate a letter-writing campaign to NBC top-level people, and launch a boycott of the many sponsors.


We saw a series of these fly over at low altitude, no sound, slower than commercial airliners fly, going westward. After someone posted a comment saying 'Delta MD-88', I did some research, then decided to go out to the airport [appears to be in Arizona] to see any Delta jets out there. What I found was a bunch of planes painted to look like Delta planes.

Obviously they're not top secret, anyone with binoculars from the community around could see what is up. Anyway, comment what you will, just keep it cool.


Mark Allen Channel (4GUESTS.COM)


You might have to click on start button several times to get it running.....

At around 2:30 you will see Professor Yang Yoon-Mo in his brown traditional Korean clothes up against the construction gate. Yang has been arrested multiple times and while in jail in 2011 and earlier in 2012 did extensive hunger strikes nearly leading to his death.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012



  • I've been working on the initial list of Keep Space for Peace Week actions that will be held worldwide during October 6-13.  It always starts out slowly and I have to repeatedly send the list out before many folks get their information to us but the list always keeps growing.  You can see the 2012 space week poster here
  • I've been emailing today with renowned peace activist Kathy Kelly.  She is coming to Maine next week for a speaking tour and will come for an interview on my public access TV show on Aug 22. That same evening she will speak in nearby Brunswick at the public library at 7:00 pm.
  • On Aug 25 Maine Veterans for Peace will organize a protest at the Air Force Thunderbirds airshow in Brunswick.  We will begin at 9:00 am with a march from the Joshua Chamberlain statue at Bowdoin College and end up at the front gate of the former Naval Air Station (now called Brunswick Landing) for a vigil until noon.  The theme is Stop Recruiting Our Children for War.  Our flyer reads: War Plane Air Shows - Expensive, Polluting, Propaganda, Military Psychological Operations, Promote Idolatry & False Patriotism, Mindless Entertainment, Glorify War.  Join us if you can.


 Father Mun picks up the sacred "body of Christ" after police stomped on the Eucharist" on August 8 during a mass in front of Navy base
 On August 13 the Catholic community gathered in Seoul for a protest mass calling for President Lee to apologize for the Eucharist incident days before in Gangjeong village.  They also demanded that Navy base construction be halted.

Regina Pyon reports from Gangjeong village:

Korean Catholic Priests' Association for Justice held a mass on August 13 near Seoul city hall and said, "the Eucharist damage incident (of August 8 at the gate of Jeju military base building site) is the incident that President Lee should apologize to Korean Catholic church....Police has destroyed thoroughly the dignity of Christ, the core of our faith."

National Justice and Peace Commission of Korean Catholic Bishops' Conference issued a statement in the name of Bishop Lee Yong-hoon, chairperson of the commission, on August 10, regarding "the trampled Eucharist" at Jeju naval base building site. It said that the damage of the Eucharist is "a serious challenge and outrage toward Catholic church" and urged the apology by those responsible, prevention of recurrence, and immediate stop of Jeju naval base building. 
In the process of Catholic mass on August 8 [in Gangjeong village], the Eucharist was trampled by the police, and Fr. Mun, who officiated the mass, didn't leave the place for two hours until the priest of Jeju, Fr. Koh Byong-Su, has come to collect the "trampled Eucharist."
Fr. Koh is co-chair of Korean Catholic Solidarity for the Peace Island Jeju which all the 15 justice and peace commissions at diocesan level participate since last October. Catholic Confederation for Justice, one of the largest lay umbrella group belonging to the Solidarity, also issued a statement. 

You can watch a video that tells the story here