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

Monday, September 25, 2023

Weekend of peace/space activity during Common Ground Fair


On Saturday we had another of our monthly statewide protests calling for an end to US-UK-NATO war on Russia using Ukraine as the unfortunate proxy cannon fodder supplier.

We selected an intersection in rural Unity, Maine that was 3.5 miles from the entrance to the annual and very popular Common Ground Country Fair. We knew the traffic jam at this particular corner would be massive and it was bumper-to-bumper for the two hours that we were there.

Cars from Vermont, New York, Massachusetts and several other states were noted as they inched along. 

Thanks to the excellent work of our vigilers we received a good response from the mostly patient drivers and passengers. Since the beginning of the war in February 2022 I'd venture we have routinely been getting about a 20-25% positive response at these regular events across the state. 

On Saturday I'd say we were witnessing a 30-35%  positive response. So things are moving in the right direction. One must also keep in mind that the captive audience at that intersection were largely liberals who are the most frequent visitors to the environmentally correct fair. Considering that a high percentage were Democrats, whose leader Joe Biden is primarily responsible for provoking this war, this growing upward trend is a good sign.


Our next two monthly statewide anti-war protests will be held on Saturday, October 21 in Skowhegan at 1:30 pm (Skowhegan Federated Church at 13 Island Ave) and on Saturday, November 18 at 1:30 pm in Topsham (Intersection of Main St & Hwy 196)


The Space-War Connection

Early Sunday morning Mary Beth, our friend Leann and I drove to the fair as we had to be there prior to a 9:00 am talk about Maine's new law allowing the creation of a rocket launch site near Steuben, Maine which is located near one of America's most popular national parks called Acadia.  

The fair opened at 9am and the 50 minute presentation by Lisa Savage and I was scheduled at the same time - the first of the day in the Social & Political Action tent. So we only got 11 people but much to our surprise the CEO of  bluShift Aerospace, Sascha Deri, showed up. It's interesting to know we are being watched.

Deri's company will be allowed to launch up to 34 rockets per year at the new site that the state authorized in an 'emergency' bill that was passed under the gavel without a recorded vote in the Maine legislature. The so-called 'public hearing' was virtually done in secret, and no one spoke out against the proposal. That is because folks like us didn't hear about the hearing' until the last minute. (This is usually the way 'democracy' works on potentially controversial issues. No environmental impact statement was required either.) 

During the hearing Deri and others promised that the launches would be environmentally benign, safe, relatively quiet, and civilian - denying claims that this was all a front for the military industrial complex which is rushing forward with launch sites all over the world. 

Deri tried to interrupt Lisa and I when we led off with 10-minute talks before going to Q & A. During our two presentations we did an overview showing how the Maine launch facility was sold as one more big fat lie. Whether it is a rocket launch facility in Kodiak Island, Alaska, or at Rocket Lab in New Zealand the same false promises prove that in every case these sites now only launch Pentagon rockets and aerospace giants like Lockheed Martin are running the show.


Banner design by Cynthia Howard (Mark Roman & Mary Beth Sullivan admiring the art)


In my short talk I told the story how just last week I was on a Zoom call from the UK where activists are now fighting against three potential rocket launch facilities in Scotland and England. And Lockheed Martin is in the middle of the stew making the same old tired promises of lots of jobs, no enviro impact, and of course all civilian.

I asked Deri where he was receiving funding for his planned 34 'civilian' satellite launches per year. He acknowledged that NASA and the Space Force were funding his operation. He went on to say that the Pentagon wants more 'mini sats' launched in order to fill up the increasingly scarce parking spaces in Lower Earth orbit (LEO) before Russia and China can get their satellites into that high ground. Bingo!

Deri has been inviting the citizens of Maine (and beyond) to make donations to help get his 'enviro friendly civilian launch company' off the ground. But obviously he has found that NASA and Space Force are much more lucrative 'supporters'.

The bill to have Maine become players in the new 'space rush' game was sponsored by my state senator from Brunswick - a Democrat. The Dems control the Maine legislature. Just goes to prove that the US quest to be the 'Master of Space' is indeed a bi-partisan project. 

On our Maine-based website NO TOXIC ROCKETS FOR ME scroll down near the bottom of the home page and see a couple videos about Kodiak Island, Rocket Lab in New Zealand and Hawaii's so far successful effort to kill a similar rocket launch construction site by their state. 

The goal of the Space Force is to 'control and dominate' space in order to use the high ground to win all wars for corporate capitalism down on Mother Earth. As we approach the Global Network's annual Keep Space for Peace Week it is crucial that we increasingly make the links between military space and earth-bound wars - full spectrum dominance.

See new TV coverage of the story here



Blogger Lisa Savage said...

Good post, Bruce. I am starting to think that the Common Ground Fair organizers actually did us a favor when they scheduled our talk first on Sunday. This meant the title "Toxic Rockets For ME?" was clearly visible all day to the crowds passing by the Social and Political Action tents.

Our presence at the fair also led to this t.v. coverage of the rocket launch site resistance.

9/26/23, 8:51 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I appreciate your action and this coverage. Well done! Jon

9/26/23, 12:27 PM  

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