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, February 23, 2024

Korea trip: Meeting Fr. Mun in Gunsan


Yesterday we took a train and then a car to arrive in the afternoon to Gunsan. Last night I spoke to a group of about 40 people held at a peace center that was founded to fight against US base expansion in their community.

The base, called Kunsan AFB, served as a Japanese airfield during the time of its colonization of Korea. Gunsan is located along the southwest coast of South Korea, as close to China as one can get.

I've been here before. In October of 2009 Father Mun hosted me for a talk and a field trip to see the base.  At the time I wrote on this blog:

We went to a red-colored marshland yesterday at one end of the 4 kilometer base runway which is located next to the sea. Here fishermen and their wives were drying small fish on netting raised off the ground on saw-horses. Just above our heads roared 4 F-16's and one F-15 as they took off from the base. We had to cover our ears and I could feel the vibrations of the plane inside my body. Think of living with this everyday of your life. Once a year one of the planes crash. 


Standing by drying fish while visiting in 2009


Prior to the meeting last night we took a tour of the marshlands surrounding the base. The ROK government has been draining the marshlands for years which has disrupted the natural habitat for the bountiful wildlife in the area. Endangered birds are heavily impacted. And now the US wants a second runway built at the base (being sold to the public as a civilian airport) in order to serve Washington's 'pivot to the Asia-Pacific' in preparation for war with China. 

In simple words, the Pentagon needs more airfields, naval ports and barracks for the troops as this aggressive pivot is underway.

Our marshland tour was led by the devoted naturalist Oh Dong-pil who has been fighting to preserve the natural state of the marshlands for most of his life. A recent documentary was made about his work. For some strange reason I can't post the YouTube trailer but you can watch it by clicking here. It is worth the look.


Oh Dong-pil (on right) showing us the map of the huge area of the marshland that has been damaged over the years. A new second runway at the base will destroy even more of the marshlands. Imagine the toxic aircraft fuel runoff that will harm the wildlife. The US does not give a damn about the ecological destruction from its bases. And since the ROK is essentially a colony, the people have no real power in these matters.


Base fence


I'm having lunch with Father Mun later today and then joining a cultural event he regularly organizes to help shine a light on the dangerous and provocative expansion of Kunsan AFB.


It was great to meet the legendary Father Mun again last night. He is a role model for all of us. Age is not a ticket out of the struggle. Fighting for peace, justice and environmental sanity is a life long journey. Mixed in with the frustration and deep sadness is the joy and beauty of working with the special people engaged in this battle against insanity and evil.

May we all keep on and prevail!



Anonymous Barbara Penny said...


2/24/24, 5:47 AM  

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