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, March 31, 2017

Misdirection in Washington

The Senate Intelligence Committee began hearings on Capitol Hill concerning the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. RT correspondent Gayane Chichakyan covers the story.

Things are becoming much clearer in Washington as we see that Congressional 'investigations' into Russian interference in US elections basically comes down to RT giving coverage to groups on the left such as Occupy movement, Black Lives Matter, and Standing Rock.

Imagine for a moment all the years of the US funding the Voice of America that beamed propaganda into eastern Europe and Russia.  Consider all the years of US funding NGO's inside of Russia by USAID, National Endowment for Democracy, the George Soros run Open Society Foundations, Freedom House and alot more.

RT's crime is that they often interview people like me on the left who have virtually no other way to reach people across our nation and around the world.  Mainstream American media won't touch us - in my lifetime as an activist I've directly witnessed the corporate consolidation of media in our country.

Washington is pissed off that RT covers stories that the corporations don't want covered.  But to blame Hillary Clinton's loss on RT is utter nonsense.  Clinton lost the election because voters knew she was corrupt and a Wall Street lackey.  People wanted a change.  The Democrats lost because they don't fight for the people anymore.  You can't blame that on Russia or RT.

There is alot of misdirection going on in Washington these days.  It is all a show - a Hollywood production - slight of hand - a distraction to keep the American people confused and unable to see the corporate dismantling of our government.  Social progress, rights to privacy, ecological responsibility, true justice, Wall Street regulation, and other valuable programs that define a real democracy are all being drowned as the Democrats and Republicans play 'good cop - bad cop' using RT and Russia as a foil.

I hope the American people are smart enough to see through all the hype.  But I am constantly amazed at how many people on the 'left' have fallen for the recycled red-baiting coming out of Congress.  I try to remind people that our corporate media lied in 2003 about WMD in Iraq.  They lied about Libya and Syria.  They lied about Vietnam.  Why should we follow them off the cliff now?

Sadly the American people have been taught over the years to be lemmings and do as they are told by authority.  Despite all the talk about 'freedom' in this country many people's minds are caged.  Most people go along to get along.  Far too many people have lost the ability to think for themselves.  I am worried.  The corporate indoctrination is subtle and pervasive.

Courage is needed now more than ever. 


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Destroyer Protest Still Scheduled Despite Expected Snow

Fools No More!
Protest BIW Destroyer ‘Christening’
Saturday, April 1
9:00 am to Noon
Washington Street
Bath, Maine

Activists from Maine and Massachusetts will be committing an act of non-violent civil disobedience (now also called civil resistance) at Bath Iron Works on Saturday, April 1.  (We checked with Bath Police Department this morning and they say the ‘christening’ is still on.  If that changes we will immediately send out word.)

The legal protest will take place starting at 9:00 am at the corner of Washington & Spring Streets in Bath.  Peace activists will line up along the sidewalk on both sides of Washington St.  At some point during the protest those intending to do their civil resistance action will do so.

(Parking could be challenging down along Washington Street so we suggest parking at the UCC Neighborhood Church (the former steak house) on the corner of Washington & Centre St in downtown Bath.)

The protest will focus on the dramatic need to immediately take positive steps to deal with climate change.  The assembled will demand the conversion of BIW to build commuter rail systems, offshore wind turbines, solar and tidal power systems.

Please come and support those who are willing to risk arrest in order to further community reflection and discussion about our great need to address the coming harsh impacts of climate change while we still can make a difference.  Rather than waste our tax dollars on preparations for endless war we must turn the military industrial complex toward sustainable production.

The protest is being sponsored by:  Smilin' Trees Disarmament Farm; Maine Veterans For Peace; Citizens Opposing Active Sonar Threats (COAST); Maine Natural Guard; Maine War Tax Resistance Resource Center; Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space; PeaceWorks; Pax Christi Maine; Merrimack Valley People for Peace (North Andover, MA); Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

War is a $ham

This is the intro from the Hollywood movie, War Dogs, which is based on a true story. War is a business, a racket, a sham.

The rich get richer.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

American Hypocrisy: CIA Ops from an Inside Source

With all the news these days about the CIA and their alleged 'exposes' about Russian interference in our recent national election I thought I'd reread this book called The Game Player: Confessions of the CIA's original political operative by Miles Copeland.

Copeland did not feel any qualms about his activities on behalf of the CIA and its corporate clients who wanted to control resources (oil and other valuable natural resources) - particularly in the Middle East.  Copeland speaks with pride and pleasure as he recounts his efforts to organize coups d'etat in Egypt, Iran and other vital places.

I want to share some of his words that expose the total hypocrisy of statements that I regularly hear or read from American media like New York Times, Washington Post, National Public Radio (NPR), CNN, FOX, and MSNBC about US democracy, the rule of law, and other such claptrap.

Here is a very small sampling of Copeland's own words:

  • Naturally, we had some trouble in getting clearance for projects involving the use of Nazis and ex-Nazis, but our difficulties disappeared when our friends in Israel's Mossad admitted that they, too, were using ex-Nazis for a number of nefarious purposes, and for the same reasons that they were attractive to us.  

  • Dissuasion: in the CIA's early days we used the word 'terrorism' without embarrassment.  Terrorizing, instead of killing, was what we did when we wanted to discourage a group or a government from doing something we believed might endanger our legitimate interests.

  • The CIA used it [terrorism] only sparingly, but to good effect when we wanted to provoke some police state into clamping down on its civilian population in ways that would dramatize its oppressive character, thus facilitating our efforts to build resistance movements.

  • Last-resort capabilities: as I review my varied past in search of materials suitable for bedtime stories to tell my grandchildren, I find myself dwelling inordinately on coups d'etat, the rigging of elections, and the more violent forms of governmental replacement or destabilization we have employed at various times in the past.  

  • Our first act as the Political Action Staff was to list those countries of the world which had in them materials or locations that were absolutely essential to our survival and wellbeing - raw materials, possible sites for military or naval bases in the event of war, areas we would have to cross in order to be sure of speedy and economic access to essential raw materials or places of strategic military importance.  

  • I was to go to Iran [early 1953] and obtain answers to four or five questions which, for all practical purposes, could be boiled down to one: could we, and should we, take political action to shore up the Shah, discredit Mossadegh [the elected Prime Minister overthrown in August of 1953 by the US], and prevent his supporters from doing what the British Foreign Office and the US Department of State feared they would do?  [Which was to nationalize Iran's oil so their own citizens would benefit from the profits rather than US and British oil corporations.]

  • Yes, we did need extraordinary political action there to protect American, as well as British [oil] interests.  The objective of the action should be to remove Mossadegh from office, make a laughing-stock of him, jail his principal supporters, and give the Shah any assistance he might need in launching a public relations programme to show the Iranian people what a narrow escape they had had, and how extremely lucky they were to have had it. 

NATO Advances on Donbas & Russian Border

Last week in eastern Ukraine a fire broke out at a military munitions depot of the Ministry of Defense, which is located near the city of Balakleya, Kharkiv region, and led to the detonation of ammunition.

The weapons depot has been considered to be the largest in Europe where different types of ammunition are stored. This base is designed for 150 thousand tons of ammunition, currently 125 thousand tons were kept there.

Puppet President Poroshenko announced on his Twitter  that he ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense and Emergency Department to invite NATO to deal with the aftermath of this disaster, or how he phrased it to do “humanitarian demining.”  

Surprisingly there have been no official statements about how this fire broke out.  Nor have there been any claims by the US-NATO puppet government in Kiev that Russia was responsible which is surprising because lately Moscow seems to be blamed for virtually everything bad that happens anywhere on the planet.

The Balakleya lost one civilian killed, two wounded. And according to Vice Premier Zubko:

“We identified five destroyed private houses. Damages of different degrees were identified for 243 building, including 117 apartment buildings, 87 private houses, 12 social facilities, 22 facilities and industry. Assessment of volume of damage and destruction of these buildings is still underway”

90 servicemen were on duty at this military facility at any given time. Not a word has been heard about them from the government of Ukraine.

The latest news from Balakleya is as follows:

NATO troops are moving into the area around Kharkiv.

NATO envoys arrive in Balaklia to assist in humanitarian demining NATO representatives are arriving in the town of Balaklia, Ukraine, to conduct demining operations in the area where a large-scale fire engulfed a military munitions depot on March 23, head of the Kharkiv regional state administration Yulia Svetlichna said on air of 112 Ukraine TV channel.
 “I can say that NATO envoys are already arriving to carry out demining the military munitions depot, at the request of the president,” Svetlichna said.

All one has to do is look at the map to see the 'strategic proximity' of Kharkiv to the eastern Ukrainian Donbas region (Luhansk and Donetsk) and to the Russian border.  It has been US-NATO's goal all along to establish military operations as close to the Russian border as possible. 

The self-defense forces in eastern Ukraine, currently holding their own against US-backed western Ukrainian Nazi death squads, would stand no chance if NATO forces either overtly or covertly began to also attack the Russian speaking populations in the Donbas region.  Would Russia then be forced to directly intervene to support them?  That could then be the trigger that US-NATO have long been seeking to justify a shooting match with Moscow.

Added to all of this is the simultaneous 'color revolution' that is being organized by the US-NATO inside of neighboring Belarus. Again a look at the map indicates the strategic location of Belarus.  This entire region is under intense pressure as Washington-Brussels-Berlin-London-Paris play their regime change cards attempting to topple everyone and anyone possible in order to destabilize (internally and externally) the Russian Federation.

If you thought the fires and blasts at the Balakleya ammo depot were 'explosive' just imagine what a real war between US-NATO and Russia would look like.  To say it would be dangerous is mildly laughable - these current provocations are the triggers for WW III that could quickly expand to engulf Europe, the Asia-Pacific, and ultimately the United States.

Don't play with fire.


(Parts of the above were taken from various reports found on The Saker website)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Organizing Stories from a Fading Empire

Click on image to read the words

On Saturday Mary Beth and I drove north to Deer Isle, Maine to spend the weekend with Jean Hendrick - wife of fellow Veterans For Peace member Dud Hendrick.  The reason for the trip was that I was invited to speak at the Reversing Falls Sanctuary on Sunday by the artist Robert Shetterly who lives there and created the series of paintings called Americans Who Tell the Truth.

The Reversing Falls Sanctuary has been holding a Lenten series of talks by various people that Shetterly has painted over the years.

Dud was down in Florida, along the Gulf Coast in Apalachicola, getting some sun and a respite from the long winter.  But Jean took great care of us while we were at their place.  Early on Sunday morning Jean took us on a three mile walk along the ocean.  Deer Isle is a quite beautiful place - anytime of year.

I was asked to tell stories to those who came to my talk so I began with a few about how I joined the Air Force in 1971 having been a Young Republican for Nixon in 1968.  After failing my induction physical, because of a high school football injury, I had to get a waiver in order to join the military when most young men my age were trying to avoid the draft.

I shared stories about my first roommate at Travis AFB in California who was one of the organizers of the GI Resistance Movement in the barracks - those meetings that were held in my room, with me sitting in the corner at first, helped to turn me into a peacenik.

I talked about the Rev. Fred Eyster from the National Farmworker Ministry who knocked on my apartment door one evening while I was at the University of Florida and invited me to get involved with other students supporting the United Farm Workers Union (UFW) lettuce boycott on our campus.  I began skipping classes and eventually quit college when they offered me a job organizing fruit pickers in Florida.  I've been an organizer ever since.

I shared stories from 1983 when I was leading protests at the Pershing II nuclear missile factory in Orlando. The missile was deployed by Ronald Reagan that year in Mutlangen, Germany.  A year or two later I went to a peace conference in Mutlangen and met my first Russian peace activist (a nice man without horns on his head) and joined the Germans as they ran outside during the conference to block the narrow village street when a US Army convoy of mobile Pershing launchers left the base to do maneuvers in the countryside.

Many years later, after the end of the Cold War and the closing of the US base in Mutlangen, I went back to visit folks there and they showed me with great pride how the former nuclear weapons storage bunkers had been 'converted' by the community to a storage facility for sand to put on the roads during winter storms.  Much more practical than storing nukes!

I told the story of my trip to Odessa, Ukraine last May 2 on the 'anniversary' of the US sponsored coup d'etat that unleashed the chaos in that country that only appears to be worsening these days.  I talked about trips to Jeju Island, South Korea and Okinawa.

I spoke about our on-going campaign here in Bath, Maine to call for the conversion of Bath Iron Works and invited their community to step forward and send a team of non-violent resisters to a future 'christening' of a Navy destroyer that will be sent to bases in other lands where local people's lives have been disrupted in order to build bases for this seemingly endless string of US warships now clogging up the sea lanes on our Mother Earth.

As I was leaving an 86 year old woman came up to me and said that if she could get out of bed at 6:00 am on April 1 she intended to make the drive to Bath for our protest - but she warned me that getting out of bed that early for her these days was never easy.  People that know her well told me that I should not be surprised that she will likely show up.

This Saturday we will once again commit a non-violent act of civil resistance during the 'christening' ceremony of another $1.5 billion Navy Aegis destroyer.  Another story will be created to add to my many years of similar tales about this wonderful life I've led as a peace, justice and ecological activist.


Excellent Report on THAAD Deployment

A well done news clip from Russia on the US deployment of THAAD - very interesting in that they cover the technical aspects of the 'missile defense' program as well as China's economic response to South Korea.

Well worth watching.  Quite accurate from what I saw.  We'd never see a news story like this here in the US.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

U.S. Navy Keep Out!

The first U.S. Navy destroyer makes port call at Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea.

The Obama-Clinton (and now Trump) 'pivot' of 60% of U.S. forces into the Asia-Pacific requires more barracks for American troops, more ports-of-call for American warships and more airfields for Washington's warplanes.

The Pentagon does not care about the impact this 'pivot' has on the lives of people in the region.

Villagers and supporters in Gangjeong met the Navy destroyer with a protest and denounced its arrival.

We'll be talking about all of this on April 1 in Bath, Maine at the next 'christening' protest of another one of these provocative Aegis destroyers.

Will Americans ever be able to empathize with the people of the Asia-Pacific who want our military boot off their necks? Can we stand in solidarity with their non-violent acts of resistance?


Sunday Song

Friday, March 24, 2017

Grannies Against THAAD in South Korea

On March 18 elderly residents of Soseong-ri, South Korea (a village in Seongju County just 2 miles from the deployment site) joined the national peace march of more than 5,000 people against THAAD (Theatre High Altitude Area Defense).

Leaning on walkers, they marched with high spirits, held up big picket signs and chanted, “Illegal THAAD, back to the U.S! THAAD, go away! Come Peace!” 

These people who live near the THAAD deployment site are mostly melon farmers who used to be 85% in favor of the right-wing ruling government.  Since the decision was made to deploy the so-called 'missile defense' system in their community they quit the right-wing party and joined the peace movement.

One of their leaders will be speaking in Huntsville on April 8 at the Global Network space organizing conference. The THAAD 'missile defense' system is built in Alabama and has been deployed in South Korea in recent days. 

THAAD is also currently deployed in Guam and the Pentagon will soon be undertaking a THAAD testing program at a launch site located on Kodiak Island, Alaska on what used to be a pristine nature preserve area.

Navy Wants to 'Give Back' to Jeju - In That Case Just Leave!

US Navy Visits Republic of Korea Island for First Time 
 By U.S. Navy News Release

JEJU-do, Republic of Korea – The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) is scheduled to arrive in Jeju-do, Republic of Korea (ROK) on Saturday, March 25, 2017.

This is the first visit by any U.S. Navy ship since the ROK Joint Civil-Military Complex opened February 26, 2016.

Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea, will greet the ship along with Rear Adm. Kim, Jeongsu, the commander of Maritime Task Force Flotilla 7, as more than 100 ROK sailors, will welcome Stethem to the southern island.

“This may the first time we [U.S. Navy] will visit Jeju, but we have a long history of visiting the Republic of Korea at ports in Chinhae, Pyeongtaek, Donghae, Mokpo, and Busan,” said Cooper. “So, while the location may be new, our commitment to being good guests, respectful partners, and strong allies is as firm as ever.”

The ship is going to Jeju as part of a routine port visit following the ship’s participation in Foal Eagle 17, a joint exercise between the Republic of Korea Navy and U.S. Navy.

“We enjoy anytime we get to train with our ROK partners,” said Cmdr. Douglas Pegher, Stethem’s commanding officer, “because with each engagement we improve our cooperation and through that we enhance our combined defensive capabilities. We have trained with them at-sea and look forward to strengthening our relationship here in Jeju.”

While in Jeju, Stethem Sailors will have the opportunity to participate in various Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) activities, sporting events, and participate in community relations projects to give back to the local Jeju community.

"We are honored to be here and develop new friendship and strengthen existing relationships through team building exercise, combined sporting events, and by giving back to the island through a community relations event," said Cmdr. Jeff W. Benson, Stethem’s executive officer.

Stethem is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Never Forget Odessa!

A Call for an April 10 International Day of Solidarity with the People of Odessa!

The Odessa Solidarity Campaign is calling for an International Day of Solidarity with the People of Odessa on April 10, 2017, to draw attention to the Ukrainian government’s repression of anti-fascist activists in that city. We are calling for rallies, vigils and demonstrations outside Ukrainian embassies and consular offices around the world. April 10 is a date of great significance to all Odessans, as it marks the day in 1944 when Odessa was liberated from years of fascist occupation.

February 2014 saw the overthrow of the elected president of Ukraine in a violent, right-wing coup supported by the U.S. government. Just three months later, on May 2, Odessa experienced one of Europe’s worst civil disorders in many decades, when 46 mostly young progressives were brutally murdered by a fascist-led mob at Odessa’s Kulikovo square.

Ever since that day, relatives, friends and supporters of those who were killed have been demanding an international investigation into the massacre, a demand that has been blocked by the federal government working hand-in-hand with the fascist organizations responsible for the deaths. This obstruction by the Ukrainian government has been noted by the United Nations, the Council of Europe and other international bodies, as well as the U.S. State Department.

It should be noted that, despite many videos taken of the fascists participating in the massacre, not one of those responsible for the murders has ever been brought to trial, while many anti-fascists arrested that day are still in prison, many never having been charged with a crime.

Each week since the massacre, Odessans have gathered in Kulikovo square to remember their dead and press the demand for an investigation. And nearly every week, neo-Nazi organizations like the notorious Right Sector harass and sometimes physically attack them. The police occasionally intervene, but the fascists are never arrested.

In an alarming new development, several anti-fascist Odessans have been arrested by federal authorities and falsely charged with serious crimes. On Feb. 23, Alexander Kushnarev, 65, a deputy of the Limansk District Council and father of one of the young people murdered at Kulikovo square, was arrested by agents of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). Also arrested was Anatoly Slobodyanik, 68, a retired military officer and the head of the Odessa Organization of Veterans of Armed Forces. The Odessan region’s chief prosecutor claims the two men were planning to kidnap a member of the country’s Rada, or parliament.

The Rada deputy, Alexei Goncharenko, a member of a parliamentary bloc allied with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, was in fact missing for a short time. But he quickly reappeared and was interviewed on the Ukrainian television channel EspresoTV, stating that his abduction had been staged by law enforcement officers. Kushnarev may have been selected for a government frame-up because Goncharenko was at the scene of the 2014 massacre where Kushnarev’s son was killed.

Kushnarev and Slobodyanik are now languishing in the Odessa prison where conditions are aimed at breaking the prisoners’ will to resist. Both elderly men have had long-standing heart problems and it is feared they may not survive their confinement.

Since the two men were taken into custody, the homes of other relatives of the victims of May 2 have been searched by police. Ominous reports are now surfacing about plans to arrest more relatives and supporters and extract “confessions” of plans to commit violent acts against the government.

Since the coup of 2014, the right of the Ukrainian people to free speech has been steadily restricted. The continuing demand of Odessans for an international investigation into the massacre at Kulikovo square has been a particular irritant to the federal government. If the voices of these brave people are allowed to be silenced, Ukraine will have taken another huge step toward becoming an undemocratic police state in collusion with murderous fascist groups.

All out for the April 10 International Day of Solidarity with the People of Odessa!

Free Alexander Kushnarev, Anatoly Slobodyanik & all political prisoners in Ukraine!

Stop the repression against relatives & supporters of those killed on May 2, 2014!

No to fascism in Ukraine & all over the world!

The Odessa Solidarity Campaign is a project of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC).

It was founded in May 2016 following the second anniversary memorial of the massacre of May 2, 2014.  A delegation of UNAC members from the United States attended the memorial, which was held at Odessa’s Kulikovo square. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Planning a War in Space

These space warfare proponents are crazy and have their greedy hands on the national treasury.  But still that is not enough money for them and now these aerospace industries are rounding up the international allies to help pay for the US Star Wars program.

Taxpayers everywhere beware!

Glen Ford: Black Agenda Report

Glen Ford is a distinguished radio-show host and commentator. In 1977, Ford co-launched, produced and hosted America's Black Forum, the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television. In 1987, Ford launched Rap It Up, the first nationally syndicated Hip Hop music show, broadcast on 65 radio stations. Ford co-founded the Black Commentator in 2002 and in 2006 he launched the Black Agenda Report. Ford is also the author of The Big Lie: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion.

It Ain't So Much Fun After All

After eight hours of debate, House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, left, and Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., the vice chair, listen to arguments from committee chairs Wednesday as the panel meets to shape the final version of the Republican health care bill.

Saddle up
one Republican
in the House of Reps
"At some point we have to cowboy up and prove we can govern"

The Obama Care
health bill recall plan
has hit the rocks
as Republican
the current
'reform' process

During the Obama tenure
when the health bill was passed
Congress was not allowed
to consider
Medicare for All,
a real national health care plan

So instead we got
a corporate health care
welfare package
and certain to make big $$$
for the insurance companies

Now the Congress
talks about
'access' to health care
that means
the hacks in DC
will make it possible
for you to buy
insurance on the
open market
if you can
afford it,
most can't

Still today
inside the hollow halls
of Washington
Medicare for All,
is only whispered
in the toilets
by those
pissed off
about the
corporate domination
of the people's house

Soon corporate adverts
will be emblazoned
on the outside walls
of the Capitol
neon lights blinking
everything is for sale

even the steps
up to the Capitol doors
will be painted with ads
to remind the 'consumers'
who actually owns
the house

each step
sold to the
highest bidder
the soul
of the nation
now has a price tag
our God
is the
green frog skin

Step right up!
Make a bid
on a Capitol step
the higher you
get to the heaven$
the more they cost!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Anti-THAAD Protests Growing in South Korea

Catholic Priest Pat Cunningham reports from South Korea:

Heavy handed tactics were used by the police and the security state in Seongju yesterday, March 18 to remove Won Buddhist monks and their Peace/Prayer Tent situated at the entrance to the Lotte Golf Club, the proposed site of THAAD 'missile defense' (MD) battery, which is being vigorously and nonviolently resisted by the Won Buddhists (who have a sacred site and place of pilgrimage in the area) and other civil and religious groups from around the country.

March 18 was the first day of the Peacebus and afforded up to 5,000 people from around the country an opportunity to come together in solidarity with the local villagers in walking for peace and resisting THAAD.

Yesterday happened to be the 249th day of candle light vigils and the Columban's [Catholic order] were happy to join peace/labor/environmental/religious activists to be present and walk in solidarity with the local villagers during these very tense and dark days on the peninsula when the drumbeats of war and military buildup have seemingly taken on an inevitability with military exercises and recent visits from US Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State stating that the possibility of a military strike against North Korea could not be discounted. 

This warmongering was countered by community leaders and their message of peace and dialogue built on a relationship of mutual trust that should be promoted by the next political administration. 

The message was loud and clear - 'THAAD is not inevitable or unavoidable - it will not be deployed and all peace loving people should resist its installation with all their might'.

This spirit of nonviolent resistance was on display yesterday when the monks and their supporters/activists successfully resisted police attempts to demolish the tent and ensured that it was hastily re-erected in order for the peaceful resistance to continue.

There will be more candle light vigils and protests in Seoul and Seongju in the coming weeks and months. The Catholic community in Seongju will continue with weekly Wednesday mass and prayer vigils in the village of Seosongri.

Op-Ed in Local Paper

Sustainable Energy to Ensure Future Generations

By Bruce K. Gagnon

Recently, a man in Bath who currently works at Bath Iron Works (BIW) told me, “We can’t afford to keep building these expensive Zumwalt destroyers.” The ships are now coming in at more than $4 billion per copy. He later told me that he no longer knows whom to believe as he watches Trump and the Democrats battle with one another. I told him he isn’t alone and is smart to mistrust all that is going on in Washington these days. The corporate oligarchies internal power struggle is not considering the well being of the public. We the people have got to come together and fight for our children and grandchildren who are being left with an economic and environmental mess to handle.

In early March I had to leave our Bath "Zumwalt 12" trial a day early to attend a conference in Sweden. After that event I did a speaking tour throughout Scandinavia and ended it in Copenhagen, Denmark. I was quite impressed to see the many offshore wind turbines in the waters between Sweden and Denmark as I rode a high-speed rail system over a bridge connecting the two nations.

My mind flashed to our own Gov. LePage who, soon after taking office, moved quickly to kill any chance of a Norwegian energy company building an offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Maine. (Experts say that the Gulf of Maine has the greatest wind power potential in the US.)

Very recently I read an article that reported on Gov. LePage’s failure to create more energy for our state and to lower our energy costs.

The governor’s plan to expand natural gas capacity in Maine has stalled, a good thing considering the fact that we must move away from fossil fuels if we hope to successfully deal with global warming.
LePage’s wrong-headed stands against rooftop solar and against greater statewide emphasis on energy efficiency is a direct threat to our future generation’s chances for survival.

From what I can see, the governor has also done little or nothing to promote public transportation across Maine. A commuter rail system from Portland to Bath would go a long way in reducing our state’s carbon footprint.

Studies from UMASS-Amherst Economics Department have long revealed that building a commuter rail system at BIW would double the existing work force. The cost of one Zumwalt-class destroyer could surely build a world-class commuter rail system for Maine. And shouldn’t creating clean energy jobs be a priority in our state? I don’t hear any of our elected officials pushing for that. If Sens. Collins and King really wanted to create jobs and deal with global warming this would be the way to go.

On April 1 there will be a christening at BIW as another destroyer (outfitted with missile defense interceptors) is commissioned. Peace groups from across Maine will once again hold a non-violent protest at the shipyard gates demanding that we end our wasteful addiction to militarism. We will call for the conversion of BIW to building commuter rail, wind turbines, solar and tidal power systems.

My son recently got married and he and his wife are likely to have children in the near future. I am focused like a laser beam on wanting to ensure that my descendants, and all future generations, have a real chance of survival on our Mother Earth.

Building more warships, which dramatically contribute to the Pentagon’s number one global carbon boot-print, won’t cut the mustard.

We should all care about preserving life on this fragile planet. Thus we must continually demand an immediate switch from endless war making to sustainable production that helps us deal with our real enemy today – climate change.

Bruce K. Gagnon is a member of PeaceWorks and lives in Bath, Maine

Very Smart...

Let's build these at US weapons production facilities across the nation rather than having endless wars to control oil.

This won't happen unless we demand it repeatedly!

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.... If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are [people] who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning.”  

~ Frederick Douglass (American Abolitionist)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

'Brave Nazis' Shell Kindergarten in Eastern Ukraine

Those 'brave' western Ukrainian Nazis (armed, funded and trained by US-NATO) continue with their shelling of their fellow citizens in eastern Ukraine.

The training base in western Ukraine has rotating US Army Special Forces soldiers from Fort Carson, Colorado there teaching the Nazis the 'fine art' of warfare.  I know this to be true for two reasons:  first I've seen the base in operation on video which you can watch here.

Secondly, I have a friend whose son is stationed at Fort Carson in the Army Special Forces and at this moment he is at this training base in western Ukraine.

So in the video above the 'brave and valiant Nazi forces' shelled a kindergarten and 15 civilian homes.  Attacking unarmed and innocent senior citizens and a school - this is what the US is teaching its allies in Ukraine to do.  That in my book is terrorism - simple and easy to understand.  And dammed sicking as well.

Thank god they attacked at night when none of the children were taking naps at the school.  A small blessing indeed!

These are the lengths the US is going to in order to try to destabilize Russia in order to force regime change in Moscow.  The crime of these Ukrainian citizens living in western Ukraine?  They live near the Russian border and speak Russian as their first language.

It's all sick - very sick. All Americans should be outraged and ashamed of what our country is doing in Ukraine.


French Left Leader on Korea Tensions

Jean-Luc Melenchon is a leader of the Left Party in France and is currently running for president.

NewStateman reports:
Mélenchon passionately defends the idea of a new Republic that gives power back to the people and abolishes the “presidential monarchy”, wants more fiscal justice, a review of the European treaties to put an end to “austerity policies”, and a new ecological order which would see France drop nuclear power.

French voters go the polls on April 23 and May 7 in the two-round election, which is being closely followed outside France as another test of popular discontent with traditional parties and institutions like the European Union.

Emmanuel Macron, former investment banker and economy minister running as an independent centrist, remains the favourite to win France's turbulent presidential election race.

Macron would lead first-round voting with 26.5 percent, just ahead of populist leader Marine Le Pen at 26 percent, before beating her 64-36 in the run-off, according to the Odoxa poll. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Huntsville, Alabama: The Pentagon of the South

We are excited to share a short video that has just been made by our friend Will Griffin (Veterans For Peace) from Georgia about Huntsville, Alabama and our upcoming Global Network annual space organizing conference.

Will is an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran and I’ve had the great pleasure of traveling with him to South Korea, Okinawa, India and Nepal.

Last month Will made a trip to Huntsville to do some advance work for the conference and produced this video. 

Lately Will has been making various videos from his travels and peace work so you might want to follow him.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Missile Defense is Offensive

More information is available here...

Speakers & Music 

  • Reece Chenault (National Coordinator, U.S. Labor Against the War, Kentucky)
  • Judy Collins (Vine & Fig Tree, Alabama)
  • Bruce Gagnon (Global Network Coordinator, Maine)
  • Subrata Ghoshroy (Program in Science, Technology, and Society, MIT)
  • William Griffin (Veterans For Peace, Georgia)
  • Huntsville Feminist Chorus (Alabama)
  • Joy Johnson (Green Party of Madison County, Alabama)
  • Ken Jones (VFP, North Carolina)
  • Tarak Kauff (Veterans For Peace, New York)
  • Rev. Seonghye Kim (Co-chair Seongju Struggle Committee to Stop THAAD Deployment, South Korea) 
  • Hyun Lee (Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea & Militarism in Asia & the Pacific, New York)
  • Joe Lombardo (UNAC, New York)
  • Tiara Rose Naputi (Chamorro diaspora from Guam, Assistant Professor, Dept of Communication, University of Colorado)
  • Agneta Norberg (Swedish Peace Council, Stockholm)
  • Yasuo Ogata (Co-chair World Conference against A & H Bombs and former Member of Parliament, Upper House, Japan)
  • Lindis Percy (Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases, England)
  • J. Narayana Rao (Global Network board member, India)
  • Jason Rawn (Maine War Tax Resistance Resource Center)
  • Tulsi Das Shrestha (Vice-President, Global Network Chapter Kathmandu, Nepal)
  • Mary Beth Sullivan (PeaceWorks, Maine)
  • David Swanson (World Beyond War, Virginia)
  • Regis Tremblay (Filmmaker, Maine)
  • Dave Webb (Global Network Board Convener & Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, UK)
  • Lynda Williams (Physics faculty, Santa Rosa Junior College, California)
  • Col. Ann Wright (US Army retired, diplomat) * Keynote speaker

Conference Sponsors   

  • Alachua County Green Party (Florida)
  • Gainesville Iguana (Florida)
  • Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
  • Greater Brunswick (Maine) PeaceWorks
  • Green Party of Madison County (Alabama)
  • Maine Natural Guard
  • Maine Veterans For Peace, Chapter 1
  • Nashville (TN) Greenlands
  • North Alabama Peace Network
  • Selma (Alabama) Center for Nonviolence, Truth and Reconciliation
  • Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea & Militarism in Asia & the Pacific
  • United National Antiwar Committee
  • US Peace Council
  • Veterans For Peace Chapter 99, Asheville (NC)
  • Veterans For Peace Chapter 14, Gainesville (FL) 
  • Veterans For Peace Chapter 174, Jacksonville (FL)
  • Veterans For Peace, Chapter 170, Savannah (GA)
  • Veterans For Peace National