Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Wyoming and then home


Devils Tower (Bear Lodge) in Wyoming


Lunch of walleye fish platter here before leaving Wyoming


On our last full day in South Dakota Julian came up with a secret trip. He told me to get in the car and began driving west inside the Black Hills. I had no idea where we were heading.

After a while it appeared that we were driving toward the neighboring state of Wyoming. Then it dawned on me that we must be heading toward the famous Devils Tower which was declared a National Monument in 1906.

This is a sacred place for the native people of the region. 

Bear Lodge is one of the many names Native people gave the Tower. Colonel Richard Dodge named it Devils Tower in 1875. Just one more example how Washington and its marauding military dominated the region and renamed so many sacred native sites.

The Lakotas often had winter camps at Bear Lodge, documented as far back as 1816. Lakotas have an ancient and sacred relationship with the Black Hills, including Bear Lodge. The Black Hills are the Lakotas' place of creation.

At Bear Lodge, they fasted, prayed, left offerings, worshiped the "Great Mystery" (the essence of Lakota spiritual and religious life), and performed sweat lodge ceremonies. Lakota prayed for peace, health, welfare, and personal direction.

Once, five great Sioux leaders - Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Red Cloud, Gall, and Spotted Tail - went there together to worship. "We did not worship the butte, but worshiped our God."

An additional crime from that period was the naming of another sacred spot in the Black Hills 'Custer State Park' after the defeated 7th Cavalry led by George Armstrong Custer in 1876. 

(Custer was an Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars. After the Civil War, Custer was commissioned as a lieutenant colonel in the Regular Army and was sent west to fight in the Indian Wars, mainly against the Lakota and other Plains Peoples. On June 25, 1876, while leading the 7th Cavalry Regiment at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana Territory against a coalition of Native American tribes, he was killed along with every soldier of the five companies he led. This action became known as "Custer's Last Stand".)

I am now in Maine and Julian is making his way back to his home in Cambodia.

My sister in Iowa, who we visited before heading west to South Dakota, has her cancer operation next week and we are all sending her love and prayers. 

It was a wonderful and memorable trip for Julian and I. The Black Hills are my most sacred place.



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