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. @BruceKGagnon

Saturday, January 05, 2013


Cree singer/songwriter/artist/activist Buffy Sainte-Marie supports the Idle No More Movement.

January 11th will be Idle No More Day. Plan a local event in your area. You just need some people, some drums, and here you are!

Idle No More First Nations protest forced the closure of an international border bridge in Ontario, Canada today!

Photo courtesy of L'activiste


Jun Yasuda, a Buddhist nun recently returned from Fukushima, graphically documents how children are the most tragic victims of nuclear contamination.

Jun, with the order Nipponzan Myohoji based in Grafton, New York, has crossed the U.S. five times on foot and logged in several thousand additional miles for the cause of peace. She walks beating her drum while chanting a prayer for peace Na-Mu-Myo-Ho-Ren-Ge-Kyo.

Friday, January 04, 2013


The Global Network's 20th anniversary conference was held last February on Jeju Island in South Korea.  On June 27-30, 2013 we will meet in Kiruna, Sweden


Membership in the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space is open to all organizations and individuals.

  • Please add (Organization/Individual Name) __________________________________________________to the Global Network membership list. 

  • Enclosed is our annual dues for 2013 in the amount of __________________ (pay what you can best afford on a sliding scale between $10 - $100).

Donations to the Global Network are tax deductible.

(One easy way to donate is using the internet.  Go to our web site at and look for the green Donate Now! button and contribute via your credit card.  This is a secure process.)


State______________  Zip____________    


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Thank you for your support. (If you have already recently donated for 2013 we thank you very much.)

** See our latest newsletter, Space Alert, on-line at this link    (Be patient as it takes a bit to load since it is a big file.)

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502


  • The White House announced yesterday that Obama signed the $633 billion National Defense Authorization Act for the 2013 fiscal year.  The sweeping bill covers the Pentagon's cost of ships, aircraft, missiles, overseas bases, weapons and military personnel as well as the war efforts in Afghanistan.  When you factor in the parts of the military budget placed in other agencies like NSA, NRO, Homeland Security, CIA, DoE, and more the annual cost of the empire rises to over $1 trillion.  Please remember that this Pentagon funding bill passed unanimously in the Senate.  
  • McClatchy newspapers report that "an Islamist rebel group that the US has listed as a terrorist organization has taken the lead in fighting in Damascus, according to residents who’ve recently fled the violence there."  The Nusra Front leading the attack against the government, which the Obama administration last month declared to be an affiliate of al Qaida in Iraq, is evidence that the US and NATO have unleashed the wild dogs in Syria. This will guarantee the same kind of chaos that they let loose in Iraq which eventually became a bloody civil war.  Next NATO will say it must fully intervene to protect the Syrian people and in the end the country will be ravaged and taken over by corporate capitalism who up to now has not been able to control the Syrian banking system.  The fact that Syria sits in a strategic position in relation to Israel and Iran is, of course, just a coincidence.
  • Stephen Zunes, professor of Politics and chair of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco, has an article about Obama's appointment of Sen. John Kerry as Secretary of State.  Zunes writes, "Kerry’s record in the US Senate, where he currently chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, has included spurious attacks on the International Court of Justice, unqualified defense of Israeli occupation policies and human rights violations, and support for the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, thereby raising serious questions about his commitment to international law and treaty obligations. Furthermore, his false claims about Iraqi 'weapons of mass destruction' and his repeated denials of well-documented human rights abuses by allied governments raise serious questions about his credibility."  To see the full Zunes article on Kerry go here
  • Kerry is the richest man in the US Senate and has over $38 million invested in companies with military contracts. It should be remembered that Kerry, like the Bush family of pirates, belongs to Skull & Bones secret society at Yale University.  For decades this dark ritualistic order has worked hard to put their "bonesmen" in places of power throughout politics, media, academia, and of course "business".  My guess: this is Kerry's reward for being the fall guy during the 2004 election when he quietly lost to George W. Bush in another controversial vote rigging deal (remember Ohio).  I will never forget Kerry saying in the presidential debate on foreign policy that "I will spend $100 billion more on the military than George W. Bush will!"  The similarities of American politics to professional wrestling continue to impress me. There is a clear link - they are both run by the mobsters.


 From A German War Primer


Canada's Idle No More movement began as a small social media campaign - armed with little more than a hashtag and a cause. But it has grown into a large indigenous movement, with protests and ceremonial gatherings held almost daily in many of the country's major cities. The movement is spearheaded by Theresa Spence, the leader of the Attawapiskat, a small native band in northern Ontario. Spence is now 24 days into a hunger strike on Ottawa's Victoria Island just across from the Canadian Parliament.

Thursday, January 03, 2013


He says it clearly, "If you can achieve objectives". 

The objectives?  Represent the larger corporate interests for the region. Reduce the population to complaint numbers and maintain total military lock down so resource extraction and "transit" of Caspian Sea oil and natural gas pipelines can flow uninterrupted through Afghanistan and Pakistan.

This is why the talk about getting out of Afghanistan in 2014 is a ruse.  Costing the taxpayers $8 billion per month - those funds could go a long way in dealing with the fiscal "crisis" here at home.

Help make it happen in the new year.  Connect these important dots in your conversations, on Facebook, at work, in school, in your letters to local newspapers, and on the streets in protest.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013


  • The histrionics about the fiscal cliff have given way to a temporary reprieve from the executioner.  The very rich will pay a bit more in taxes. Obama's deal will allow the middle rich to escape some of the hit so they can continue to accumulate capital and provide a political cushion for the increasingly unpopular corporate oligarchy.  
  • The questions about austerity cuts in the federal budget were not addressed in the fiscal cliff avoidance "mini-deal".  Conservatives are screaming in rage as they prepare for the coming two month tug-of-war that will determine the levels in social program cuts.  Liberals in Congress largely cower as they prepare to witness the setting aside of any real attempts to cut Pentagon spending while Social Security and Medicare recipients quietly line up to take their bad medicine.  They've been well prepared by the Congress and the corporate media.  The working stiffs had it beaten into their heads that "shared sacrifice" is what is now needed to save the nation.  Translation:  Shared sacrifice means that people will lose both their hands and legs.  The rich will then get a tax credit for generously donating to the local charity that gives away artificial limbs.
  • Even the aid package to help victims of Hurricane Sandy has been tabled in the Congress.  To me it's a sign that local "catastrophes" will not get much help from Washington in the future as welfare for the bankers and weapons industry will eat up most of the federal budget.  
  • This whole fiscal cliff story ain't gonna be over this session in Congress.  The next four years of the Obama administration will be a continual effort to get the working class base of the Democratic Party to accept the destruction of social progress.
  • We went to see Les Miserables, adapted from Victor Hugo’s classic 1862 novel about the tumultuous era of nineteenth century France, yesterday at the movie theater.  It took about two minutes to hook me in and I walked out at the end nearly weeping.  The most striking elements of the film are the ways the rich and powerful ground the people down to dust.  It's a movie about what feudalism feels like.  The courage of the character Jean Valjean was more than inspiring - a truly honest man who constantly struggled to be a real human being.  I highly recommend it.
  • Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) was one of eight who voted against the fiscal cliff deal when it came to the Senate floor.  (I worked on his run for president in 1992 but he dropped out of the race the day before the Florida primary....where I was living at the time.)  Sen. Harkin warned that these budgets were creating "a constant drift....toward less economic justice."  To say the least.
  • Organizing around this important link between austerity cuts and endless war should remain strong in coming months.  Veterans For Peace will soon consider a proposal to put one national full-time staff person on this case to help chapters work with/build local coalitions around these deadly connections. (I volunteered to serve on a committee to work on this.)  Some communities already have a great start on this which underscores the increasing popularity and necessity of this particular way to expand movement building.  A national network has also been created called Jobs Not Wars to help promote this work.  
  • Obama, in his "victory" speech on the mini-deal, reminded everyone that he "was open to compromise". It's a magician's message to the Republicans to keep the pressure on him to destroy social spending and he will ultimately respond - just as Bill Clinton brought back George H. W. Bush to share the stage with him to push NAFTA down the nation's already clogged throat back in the day.


A Thousand Bows

By Carolyn from Maine

We will try to do a thousand bows in Seoul and on the bridge [in Gangjeong], a man tells me.
We will try.
A light snow covers the ground.
He writes the word peace in Chinese characters in the snow.

The bows begin at 9 a.m.
Three of us are on the bridge;
another, in front of the gate.
The wind snaps the yellow No Naval Base flags behind me.
After two bows, someone scoots an extra cushion
beneath my knees.

Hands to the heart,
knees to the mat,
hands and head to the ground, palms facing upward,
then a return to standing.

Despite the repetitive motion,
our hands and shoeless feet grow colder and colder.

Chimes bring to a close the first one hundred bows.
Mr. Rhee gives M. and I hugs.
He stays on the bridge, kneeling in prayer,
while M. and I walk across the road to the barrel stove
to warm ourselves.

The budget for continued base construction passed the next day.

The Rock Wall

A petite woman begins to unfurl a sheet of plastic atop a wall of volcanic rock.
I stop walking and grab the edge of the plastic to try to help.
She speaks to me, but I don’t understand.
Two activists behind me laugh. She wants to give me oranges, they say.
Leaving us to make a tent of the wet plastic so that it can dry out,
she enters the grove on the other side of the wall to collect oranges in a round basket.
I accept a couple, so does Lou.
But she wants to give us more.
They’re organic, she says, and gestures for me to open my bag.
After a dozen I pretend that my bag has become very very heavy.
She smiles and lets us walk on.


New Year’s Eve in Gangjeong

Women drummers lead a march from the village center to the port. Behind them are men and women with flags and streamers, some wearing papier-mâché conch shells and sea gulls on their heads.
From 5 p.m. when the march begins to beyond midnight, the celebration continues. People visit the activist tables, eat rice cake soup and sweet pancakes, and visit with friends. Empty bottles of rice wine cover the tables. With the wind blowing in from the sea, some find warmth by standing beside fires; many, by dancing.
Dozens line up for the arrow-throwing contest. After the first participant lofts all five rubber-tipped arrows into a large ceramic vase, the line of contestants shrinks. Winners receive gift certificates to the farmers’ cooperative.
Between singing acts, short videos show the struggle against the naval base, a labor organizer gives a brief solidarity speech, and people chant Hai GunGiJi GeulSaBanDai. (No Naval Base!)
When midnight arrives, flying paper lanterns are lit and sent with a prayer into the sky.
A bonfire blazes,
people hug
and dance some more.

The more joyful, the more powerful, said Mr. Rhee.


Yuri told me she was so afraid of the police. Still, she stood with a sign in front of a cement truck, demanding that it back up and make a sharper turn into the construction site to avoid hitting her.

Gangjeong had the tradition of pumashi, a work party. During harvest time, perhaps ten people would go to a family’s orchard to help, and the next day, to another family’s land. Conflict over the base has strained such collaboration. This year, it was difficult to find people to help.
As four of us de-seeded peppers today, the cook said pumashi makes the food taste better.

Before a member of the Save Our Seas team got into one of five tandem kayaks, she said, “I can’t swim.”


Tuesday, January 01, 2013


Her name is Ta'Kaiya Blaney, she is11 years old.

Idle No More protest and march

December 29, 2010

Simms Park

Courtenay B.C., Canada


Dr Patch Adams speaking at Freedom Plaza in Washington DC during the height of the Occupy movement.


One of the great gifts in my life is to have gone to Gangjeong village on Jeju Island in South Korea.  But even better is to have been a part of their international support team during the past four years. 

This past year was heartbreaking and action packed.  This very emotional video gives a good glimpse of the struggle there.

We urge you to send someone from your community to Gangjeong village as soon as possible.  They need more international support.  I promise you that the experience will be unforgettable.

Monday, December 31, 2012



Try this for your new year's resolution......


Obama's former pastor in's clear that his moral preachings had no impact on the magician.

Did Obama just attend church in order to create his public image and then left the teachings behind?

Sunday, December 30, 2012


"United States, Stop the Pressure to South Korea to Purchase the Global Hawk".... translation from the site of Solidarity for Peace And Reunification of Korea (SPARK)

The US corporate media says that "The proposed $1.2 billion sale of four Global Hawks made by Northrop Grumman was first requested by South Korea several years ago."

Our friends in the peace movement in South Korea maintain that the US pressures their government to buy Global Hawk and many other weapons systems.

Our government would deny that they twist arms to force weapons sales which have now become the #1 industrial export product of the US.

When weapons are your #1 industrial export product - what is your global marketing strategy?

I remember when George Herbert Walker Bush (daddy Bush) was president.  He went to South Korea and was at a fancy dinner.  He got sick and threw up at the table.  But the real scandal was that he had a note in his hand which told the South Korean government how many fighter planes they were expected to purchase from US aerospace corporations.  It's like a mob shakedown.

The Global Hawk would likely be used against North Korea but there is another nearby country that would also find the surveillance plane monitoring them.....China.

What we are witnessing is the US surrounding China (and Russia) with space directed technologies.  Just a couple days ago I read that the Pentagon has now successfully positioned stealth bombers at bases within range of China.  Full spectrum dominance is being put into place.

The war machine grinds on and needs lots of $$$ to pay for its global appetite.  The citizens of South Korea, and people living in "allied" lands all over the world, are having social progress ripped from their hands to help pay for the US meat grinder. 


Housemate Karen Wainberg, Homer, and Phui Yi Kong (photographer) joined me for a walk through the snow in nearby woods yesterday.

I told a neighbor the other day, after our first big snow in two years, that I thought it was never going to snow in Maine again.  He laughed at me.

We've had about 18 inches of snow since Christmas.  I was just outside for an hour raking the roof and clearing snow.  That was after Addams-Melman housemates Karen and Janet had been out shoveling.  There is alot of it out there to move.

I must say I loved every minute of my morning workout.  Holding the long wobbly rake over my head and scraping the third floor roof makes the arms a bit weak after a while.  Some people pay to go to the YMCA for such a workout.  The exercise is a bonus when it snows

All along the street folks were out in the yards clearing snow.  I never see so many people out of doors any other time of year.  Normally you think the houses are empty except for the color TV's blaring through their windows.  Snow makes the neighborhood come alive.

It also gets quiet as the car traffic through the streets is diminished....snow brings such a slow down to life.  Except for those noisy blasted gas-powered snow removers all is well in my winter wonderland.

I can't wait to do another walk in the woods again today.