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....

My Photo
Name:
Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Close Call in French Election



With eight days to go before France's April 23’s first round vote, the colourful, cultured and cantankerous far-leftist has the frontrunners on the defensive.

Suddenly, the grumpy far-leftist -- a showman in a Chairman Mao jacket who openly admired late Venezuelan populist leader Hugo Chavez -- holds the mantle of France’s most popular politician. In the course of a whirlwind month, the 65-year-old Jean-Luc Mélenchon surged nine spots to number one in weekly glossy Paris Match’s opinion poll. A full 68 percent of those surveyed hold “favourable opinions” of the far-left candidate, the poll by the Ifop-Fiducial firm showed.

Reprinted from France24.com 

Raging Over MOAB - It's a Real Bomb!



MOAB was a field test in Afghanistan - and a demonstration to China and Russia that US-NATO have a big bomb that can destroy underground nuclear missile silos in a Pentagon first-strike attack.  It is a warning from Washington that 'we will come after you hard' unless you surrender to our corporate domination.

It's a gutsy, provocative and desperate move on the part of US-NATO.  They know their empire is waning and it is a last ditch move to hang on to global control.

Russia has countered with: "We won't fight the next war with the west on Russian soil.  We will hit you hard in the US and in Europe if you attack us."  The Russians lost 27 million to the Nazi invasion during WW II and are not eager to experience that again.

So the US-NATO dropped the MOAB in Afghanistan to shock the world.  Trump is rolling the fat dice.  MOAB though was a nail in Trumps coffin - the world is figuring out that chumming around with Washington causes your clothes to stink - the foul odor wears off on the 'alliance members'.

The American people are actually tired of war but they generally keep quiet about it because they want their neighbors to like them. Social control is very sophisticated here in the USA.

We had our last Lenten peace vigil at BIW this morning - 20 of us out there on a warm sunny day.  One of those attending told a story about BIW employees being asked to head to San Diego, California where the new $4-6 billion Zumwalt 'stealth' destroyer is stationed after leaving Bath.  The ship keeps breaking down and they need BIW workers to come fix it.

During the vigil two local liberals walked by and thanked us for protesting at the shipyard.  They'd just come from an anti-Trump protest here in town this morning.  The protest was calling for Trump to disclose his tax returns and for Congress to escalate the alleged Trump-Russia connection investigations. Front groups have been created in many cities across the nation by local Democrats to carry out the orders from the Democratic Party as they flounder in Congress and have reached back to the McCarthy-era where anti-Communism was the primary organizing strategy.  Since the Democrats won't fight for the working class, poor people, the environment, or peace anymore all they have to offer is recycled red-baiting.  The Dems are so unpopular now they have to create these front groups in order to get people out onto the street.

These Dems, all fired up about Trump's tax returns, won't be seen standing with a sign opposing his wars or his call for another $54 billion in military spending.  Democrats want to be liked and steer clear of 'controversial issues' like war and peace.  The party discourages such concerns - for obvious reasons.  The kickbacks to the party from the big corporate donor$ are far more important.

As the two liberals walked by I read the small sign they carried about Trump's taxes and I asked them if they were also concerned about Trump's wars.  "He's got MOAB now," one of them declared!

MOAB
the new bikini
that thin
swimsuit
named after
US nuke tests
on Bikini Island
in the Pacific

Look for
a new series
of designer fashions
this summer
called
the MOAB
mens and
womens sizes
liberals will need
a way to express
their outrage

Look
I'm the new rage
I've got a MOAB!

Bruce

Capitalism in Crisis



In this episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges explores capitalism in crisis with Richard Wolff, professor of economics emeritus at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

From Brexit, to labor protests in France, to Italy’s financial woes, they discuss the effects of austerity on the working class. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at the fallout of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday Action at Hancock Drone Base in New York


Activists in the Syracuse, New York area held another protest at the Hancock Airfield drone base today.  Here is their news release:
Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus.  Recognizing that 70% of our nation identify as Christian, we come to the gates of the Hancock drone base to make real the crucifixion today.  As Jesus and others were crucified by the Roman Empire, drones are used by the U.S. Empire. In Roman times, crosses loomed over a community to warn people that they could be killed whenever the Empire decided. So, too, our drones fly over many countries threatening extrajudicial killings of whoever happens to be in the vicinity.

On this Good Friday, we recall Jesus’ call to love and nonviolence. We’re asking this base and this nation to turn away from a policy of modern-day crucifixion. Let’s embrace Jesus call to build the Kingdom of God on Earth instead of killing suspected enemies and innocents, including children. In the process, we are also crucifying Children, Families, Love, Peace, Community, Diplomacy, Rule of Law, US Constitution, UN Charter, US Treaties and Due Process.

 
What if our country were constantly being spied upon by drones, with some of us killed by drones? What if many bystanders, including children, were killed in the process? If that were happening, we would hope that some people in that attacking country would speak up and try to stop the killing. We’re speaking up to try and stop the illegal and immoral drone attacks on countries against which Congress has not declared war.

Today’s civil resistance action is one chapter in Upstate Drone Action’s six-year nonviolent campaign to expose the Hancock AFB war crimes. The drone resistance is linked to the world wide efforts to ground killer drones and end all US wars. Since 2010 there have been over 170 anti-Reaper arrests at Hancock Airbase.

Those arrested today: Ex-CIA analyst of 32 yrs. Ray McGovern, Jessica Stewart, Ed Kinane, Tom Joyce, James Ricks, Joan Pleune, Mark Colville, John Amidon, Brian Hynes.

These Cats are Very Sick



I've long believed, backed up by ample historical evidence, that many of these media talking heads actually work for the CIA.

The Senate's Church Committee hearings on the CIA (Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities) in 1975-76 proved this position to be true.

The goal of these media agents is not to inform the American people in order to ensure we have a vibrant citizens democracy.  Rather their job is to distort the news, fabricate evidence to justify endless war, discourage the public from speaking out, and drown the spirit and will for democracy amongst the people.  And these cats are very good at what they do.

As I wrote yesterday - these media manipulators work for the dark side.  Anyone who calls the launching of deadly cruise missiles 'beautiful' is clearly working for the devil.  If the American people had any damn sense these people would be run out of town immediately!

But the thing that really gets me is this - I can think of some so-called peaceniks (liberals, lefties, progressives, etc) who watch this bullshit and then go on email or Fazebook and regurgitate these same lies with real conviction.  You'd think by now these 'peace people' would know the score and would not fall for these lies - again and again - but that is not the case.

One begins to wonder this - are there also some number of 'intelligence operatives' inside the peace movement?  Their job being to sit inside a 'sleeper cell' for years and then when the big push comes they pop up and defend the war machine - the break-up of Yugoslavia - the Libya take down - the Russian demonization - NATO expansion - the lies about Syria - the justifications from Washington for the military encirclement of China via the 'pivot' into the Asia-Pacific - and more.

If you think I'm making this stuff up just consider the list serve of a major 'peace and justice' coalition here in the US where for the past two years there have been daily posts by these 'agents' defending US military operations in Ukraine and Syria and relentlessly attacking anyone who disagrees with them.  It's mind blowing.

Beware of those that spread lies on behalf of the dark side.

Bruce

No THAAD Tour



The Stop THAAD steering committee organized a speaking tour in the U.S. to have Rev. Seong-Hye Kim, a South Korean Won Buddhist, traveling the country talking about the recently deployed U.S. Missile Defense system THAAD to South Korea.

During her tour, Rev. Kim spoke at the 25th Annual Space For Peace Conference held in Huntsville, Alabama, which was organized by the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Fix was In



Saudi and Israeli intelligence are believed to be the ones who set this gas release in motion in order to pressure the US to increase its military operations in Syria.  It's called a 'false flag' event - just like 9-11 was, the Gulf of Tonkin incident in Vietnam, and the phony sinking of USS Maine in Havana harbor. 

The story goes on and so do the lies. 

Bruce

Talk by Key Korean-American Activist



Hyun Lee is a New York City-based writer and activist. She is a member of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea. She is also a Korea Policy Institute fellow and a member of Nodutdol for Korean Community Development.

Lee is co-creator of ZoomInKorea, an online news source for the Korean Peninsula: http://www.zoominkorea.org/

Recovering But Truly Inspired

Former Hitler rocket scientist Werner Von Braun was brought to the US after WW II under 'Operation Paperclip' to create the US space program from Huntsville, Alabama.  Inside the city's Space & Rocket Museum there is a shrine built for him.  


My energy is slowly returning after spending a couple days in bed earlier this week.  That all-night drive from Boston to Huntsville just about finished me off as I arrived in rocket city with a sore throat and barely able to talk.  Fortunately the Global Network has many exceptional people in our midst who jumped in and took over key conference tasks allowing me to mostly sit back and enjoy the show.

Our new GN board member Will Griffin (Veterans For Peace from Georgia) has been using his youthful and inspired energy to post videos of many of the conference talks on the Internet.  You can see them here

I went outside this morning and played around with our wood shed making room for a new batch of wood we will order once the last of the snow in the back yard has melted.  I always love playing with the wood - it helps me get out of my head for awhile and the exercise is helpful.

Yesterday I ordered garden seeds for spring planting that is still a few more weeks away.  I always remember the words from our beloved Tom Sturtevant who was one of the founders of Veterans For Peace in Maine.  Tom always asked me on Memorial Day if I had our peas in the ground yet.  He was a Korean War Navy veteran who served on an aircraft carrier and often recalled how the US bombed every building in North Korea during that ugly war.  The North Koreans had to live underground and came out at night to tend their fields so they would not starve.  Now today the US is itching to unleash 'shock and awe' upon them once again.

It can't be repeated often enough that the US has become emotionally and economically addicted to war.  We've been killing and stealing lands and resources since before the founding of this nation.  Most Americans, for various reasons, are not particularly interested in reflecting on our violent history.  Few are willing to take a deep look at our collapsing economy and the epidemic of depression that exists amongst our people - largely due to our endless wars and our tendency to devalue life at home and abroad.

Martin Luther King, Jr. put his finger on this in 1967 when he said, "“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”  That is America's story.

Remarkably what inspires me is the millions of good people all over the planet who keep the lights of love, justice, and peace burning.  Inside the Global Network there are many such loving souls and other similar organizations are full of such devoted peaceniks.  Imagine how much worse things would be without these steadfast and determined people.

There is not doubt that the dark forces are out to try to dominate the planet.  Their greed and lust for power has put them into an epic struggle against the forces of light.  I am proud to be part of the love team and will keep giving it my all as long as I take breath.  What an honor to be alive with the simple mission to ensure that all future generations have a chance for life on this small spinning orb.

The humans, the plants, the animals, the water, the air - we are all related.

Bruce

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Can't Stop Endless War Until We Deal with Jobs



Mary Beth Sullivan's (from Bath, Maine) talk on conversion of the Military-Industrial Complex to a Peace Economy.

This talk was given at the 25th Annual Space Organizing Conference in Huntsville, Alabama organized by the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Critics Corner: Speaking Truth about Syria



BBC interview with former British Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford who tells the truth - words that few are willing to say.   Thanks Mr. Ford!

Then the Bolivian Ambassador to the United Nations speaks truth to the world.  Few nations are willing to publicly speak out against the US lies about Syria.  Thanks Bolivia!


Where Are the Voices for Peace?



 Pretty sad situation when we have to rely on Fox News to give coverage to a Congresswoman advocating caution and peace in Syria. It's just amazing how the 'liberals' have generally lost their minds and have become war hawks on Syria - including many who profess to be 'peace activists'. They have obviously swallowed the pill from the corporate media. 

Many so-called independent thinkers don't do their homework and have become slaves to the corporate media's war promotion. If this whole thing blows up into World War III alot of the responsibility will have to fall on the 'liberals' who have paved the path to war with their Russia demonization and acceptance of the 2017 version of George W. Bush's 2003 'shock and awe' in Iraq.

You can read a very interesting and complete review of the current Syrian debacle at the Vineyard of the Saker - I highly recommend it.  Find it here

Bruce

Talk at GN Confab in Huntsville



My talk at the Global Network's conference in Huntsville, Alabama.

Video by Will Griffin.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Report from Global Network 25th Annual Meeting in Alabama


It turned out to be a long hard trip to Huntsville, Alabama for last weekend's Global Network 25th annual space organizing protest and conference.

Three of us from Maine were scheduled to fly from Boston on Thursday, April 6 in order to make it in time to get things ready for a very full weekend of events.  One in our group, Jason Rawn, actually got there as planned as his plane left on time and he arrived in Huntsville nearly on schedule.

But due to major storms in Washington DC and Atlanta there was a national disruption of the airline schedules across the nation.  (We heard Delta cancelled 300 flights.) Eric Herter and I sat inside our plane on the runway in Boston for two and one-half hours waiting to take off but the flight was eventually cancelled.  We were told to retrieve our bags at baggage claim - Eric got his but my suitcase, full of banners and supplies for the conference, was nowhere to be found.

Mary Beth Sullivan was to fly to Huntsville the next day but when she heard about our cancelled flight she immediately took a bus to Boston and met Eric and me at the airport.  By then we had decided that the only way we were going to make it to Huntsville in time for the conference would be to rent a car and drive all night heading south to Alabama.  We took turns driving and resting in the back seat of the rental car for what turned out to be a 20 hour journey.

I had decided to go to Huntsville a day early because conference attendees were planning to begin arriving on Thursday and I was going to pick them up at the airport and get them booked into the hotel where we were staying.  But now that we were driving we had to make other arrangements from the road.

Thankfully Jason got there on time so he rented a car and began looking for those who needed to be picked up.  However, we soon realized that others coming to Alabama on flights from around the country were facing the same flight delays and/or cancellations that we had faced in Boston.  So all of the work I had done to create schedules for pick-up and hotel room pairings were thrown to the winds.

Our Boston rental car crew of three arrived at the Huntsville hotel just an hour before our scheduled news conference that would review for the local media our weekend plans.  But first I was in serious need of a shower.  My bag had not yet been found so a local man loaned me a clean shirt.


Soon thereafter people began to arrive in greater numbers from across the nation - including delegations of Veterans For Peace particularly from Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.  We loaded up our vehicles and made our way to the gate of the Army's Redstone Arsenal for a 4:00-5:30  peace protest as those working for the Army and NASA left work.  There was a steady stream of cars for that 90 minute period and I was quite surprised at the lack of hostility from those driving by.  I expected a strong negative reception and in fact we got a surprising numbers of waves and toots as cars zoomed by.


Inside of my suitcase was a bag full of Global Network space banners that we were going to use at this protest but because the bag was lost we had to make do with a smattering of other signs that people brought along.  Still the event went well and we had a nice closing circle with the 50 people who gathered at the gates.  The place was crawling with media and we were pleased with the photo coverage we got from the Huntsville Times newspaper which you can see here.

One local space center employee told us that NASA had sent an email to all those working inside Redstone Arsenal informing them that we would be protesting.  It was nice to hear that NASA had helped us by informing the workers which I am certain created some level of discussion about our protest even before we had arrived.  I experienced similar situations during my time in the Air Force at Travis AFB, California during the Vietnam War when base authorities would warn us about weekend protests outside our gates - this always insured intense anti-war dialogue inside the barracks, the chow hall, and at our work sites.


By the time our conference began early Saturday morning we had heard from three speakers (Guam, Norway, New York City) who were not going to be able to make the event due to cancelled flights.  In spite of that, the conference went very well and the venue inside the Flying Monkey Theater was a perfect fit for us.  There was plenty of room for literature tables, for serving food and for comfortable seating for those who attended.

We were thrilled to have a three-person delegation from the current NO THAAD speaking tour across the US join us for the conference. Rev. Seonghye Kim (Co-chair Seongju Struggle Committee to Stop THAAD Deployment, South Korea) made an excellent presentation as she brought their important struggle to us.



Saturday's conference ended in spectacular fashion with the Huntsville Feminist Chorus performing for us.  They got such a great response that they did an encore - their rendition of Finlandia brought tears to our eyes.


On Sunday we took conference attendees to the Space and Rocket Museum which was loaded with families and their children.  It was important for conference attendees to see how the coming generations are being indoctrinated to support 'everything space'.  Space technology controls and directs everything the 'warfighter' does these days but these systems are massively expensive.  Thus the need to have a thorough brainwashing program in place to help steer the unsuspecting public to give up social progress to pay for the dazzle and flash of military space technology.


My suitcase finally arrived at the hotel in Huntsville the night before the conference was over.  When I opened it I found a card from Homeland Security saying that had performed a 'routine check' of the bag.  Everything had been turned up-side-down.  The plastic bag with the protest banners that we were going to use at Redstone Arsenal had been ripped open and was tossed back onto the top of the disheveled contents.  I can't help but wonder if my bag was sent off on its own delayed journey in order to make sure that I could not have what I needed for our events.

On Sunday morning the group gathered at the hotel to review and evaluate the weekend events.  People learned a lot from each other and they enjoyed the diverse community of interesting folks who had made the trip to help bring a peace witness and presence to such a vital place in the military industrial complex's growing web of space warfare bases now positioned around the planet.

The members agreed that we should invite Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran Will Griffin (Georgia) to serve on our board of directors.  Will helped quite a bit to organize and promote the gathering and did the welcome speech to the assembled on Saturday morning.

It was also agreed that our 2018 conference would be held in England - either at an expanding US surveillance base called Croughton (near Oxford) or at the Menwith Hill US NSA spy base in Yorkshire.  That decision will be left to our friends in England to make.  It was also decided to hold our 2019 annual conference here in Bath, Maine.

Special thanks go to a handful of local peaceniks in the Huntsville area who really extended themselves to help us in every way possible before and during the weekend events.  We could not have pulled this event off without them and it must be said that living in Huntsville and doing peace work is not an easy task so their efforts on our behalf were even more impressive.


Thanks as well to all those who traveled to Huntsville to join the conference from as far away as India, Nepal, England, Sweden, Japan and South Korea and from every corner of the US.

A series of videos of most of the conference proceedings are available here 

Bruce

Photos from Global Network Conference & Protest in Alabama










Sunday, April 09, 2017

GN Conference Statement Opposing Syria Attacks



On Thursday, April 6, the Trump administration launched 60 Cruise Tomahawk missiles from an offshore Mediterranean warship at an airfield near the city of Homs, Syria’s third largest city.  This attack, supposedly in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack on a “rebel” held city has been blamed on the Syrian government, a charge which they deny.  Not one shred of evidence has been produced by the US government to support their claim.

The US attack is a reckless and dangerous escalation on the part of Trump Administration, which can easily lead to a broader conflagration in the Middle East, direct military confrontation with Russia, and possibly even a nuclear war.


We, the participants at the 25th International Space Organizing Conference of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space gathered in Huntsville, Alabama, recognize the crucial role that militarized space systems play in this and other violent military actions in pursuit of global dominance. We therefore condemn this escalation and call on the US to stop the militarization of outer space, end immediately the bombing of Syria and bring US forces out of Syria and the Middle East.

~ Adopted unanimously by those in attendance on April 8.

Sunday Song