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: Bath, Maine, United States

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Why is Washington never sanctioned?



Article 2, paragraph 4 of the UN charter – “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

How can the United Nations, and any of its members, sanction North Korea and then allow the world leader in militarism, empire and chaos creation, the United States, to do what it does?

Why is Washington never sanctioned?  Why is Washington never held accountable for any of its long list of known war crimes?  

Why do the American people allow a series of presidents, Democrat and Republican, to start wars all over the globe and NO ONE is ever punished for these obvious and glaring crimes against humanity?  Why are the American people so damn silent?

Why don't more people get off their butts and help stop WW III now before it happens so we won't have to say shit like, "Oh, why didn't I speak up while I could?"

Let's just be clear here - if the US attacks North Korea then China has said they will have to intervene and so will Russia.  That means nuclear war.  Trump is threatening nuclear war.....

Bruce

Monday, September 18, 2017

October 7 Vigil at BIW during Keep Space for Peace Week


On Saturday, October 7 we will hold a vigil from 11:30 til 12:30 at Bath Iron Works in solidarity with Keep Space for Peace Week - the International Week of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space.
 
We will meet across from the Administration building on Washington Street and walk up to the Navy Research Center at noon.
 
General Dynamics continues to build Aegis guided missile destroyers [equipped with so-called ‘missile defense’ systems] as well as the new Zumwalt which is on track to becoming the most expensive warship ever built.
 
It is imperative that we speak clearly to say No! to the building of warships here in Maine!  No! to the militarization of outer space.  It is time for us to set aside technologies that only enslave us to wars that never end.  The insanity of building these warships must come to an end so we can instead use the Earth’s resources to heal the many ills of our society and those we continue to inflict upon our Mother Earth.
 
Let’s stand together with love and with all of creation calling for DISARMAMENT NOW.
 
Let us ask “Where do these warships go when they leave BIW?”
 
 
Please bring signs and banners.
 
FMI call: Smilin’ Trees Disarmament Farm 763-4062

Gureombi: the Wind is Blowing



"Gureombi: the Wind is Blowing".

This is a full length film about the Gangjeong struggle on Jeju Island, South Korea and is directed by Cho Sung-bong and originally released in 2013.

The US gave the specifications for the Navy base in Gangjeong village to the South Korean government and told them to build the base.  Since the opening of the base last year US Navy warships have already begun to port there.

This heart-breaking film tells the tragic story about the destruction of sacred Gureombi rocky coastline and the still on-going struggle of the villagers and their many supporters.

Gangjeong is a 500 year old fishing and farming village of 2,000 residents that today is being over run by Navy personnel.  This story is just one tiny example of how the demands of the US military empire impact the lives of innocent people all over the world.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Weekend of Preparing for Peace Walk

Fellow Maine peaceniks Russell Wray (left) and Jason Rawn painting a barn

  • Mary Beth (MB) and I had a great day yesterday as we joined Lisa Savage and Mark Roman at the Sierra Club's climate change conference in Lewiston.  We went under the banner of Maine Natural Guard that Lisa has formed to bring the links between endless war and the Pentagon's impact on the environment to the public.  We handed out flyers about the upcoming Maine Peace Walk (October 13-21) that will be calling for the conversion of the Bath Iron Works Navy shipyard.
  • After we left Lewiston MB and I drove further south to York Beach, Maine where Boston-area Veterans For Peace (VFP) members were holding their annual BBQ at the summer home of Vietnam veteran Pat Scanlon. Fellow Mainers John Morris and Peter Morgan also came and we all had a moving time talking about US past and current war mongering.  The collective clarity and commitment for peace at these kinds of gatherings of veterans is always inspiring.  I spent some of the time talking with various guys about coming up for some part of the Maine Peace Walk.  Al Johnson is raising money in Boston for walk expenses which is a huge help.  This is the third year in a row that Al has taken on that task and we are very grateful.
  • In December I will be going to Okinawa with another VFP delegation.  This will be the third VFP trip to Okinawa to stand with the local people as they oppose expanding US military bases on their beleaguered island.  This new delegation will have more younger vets from more recent US wars.  Also several of those younger vets will be women.  
  • Maine artist Russell Wray (pictured above) will be coming along on the trip and is helping Jason Rawn paint a barn in order to make some money to cover his expenses.  Russell is the coordinator of Citizens Opposing Active Sonar Threats (COAST) and has a deep love for sea life - particularly sea mammals.  So this will be a special trip for him. One place we will join the locals in protesting is outside the gates of US Marine base Camp Schwab where the US is forcing the Japanese government to build twin-runways out over pristine Oura Bay for Pentagon war planes being sent to the Asia-Pacific as part of the 'pivot' of US military forces into the region.
  • People who live in South Korea, Okinawa, Japan and Guam are very worried about aggressive language by Donald Trump about 'fire and fury' because they know that their lives will be sacrificed if the US goes to war with North Korea - or China and Russia. 

Search those Buggers for Weapons



Veterans For Peace in the United Kingdom conduct a vehicle check point to search for banned weapons during the set up of the DSEi Arms Fair at the Excel Centre in London.

Sunday Song




Saturday, September 16, 2017

U.S. 'Ready to Fight' - South Koreans Want U.S. to Go Home



Tensions are heating up on the Korean peninsula, with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Trump exchanging heated threats.

AJ+'s Dena Takruri visits a U.S. military unit in South Korea whose motto is “Ready to Fight Tonight.” And she travels to a village where the U.S. military’s most advanced missile defense system, THAAD, has been installed in a remote village despite protests by local people.

One old woman in the melon farming village where THAAD has been deployed says: "Fucking pack up your fucking THAAD and get the fuck out of here!"

That pretty much says it all......

Friday, September 15, 2017

Space Week Actions List Forming



October 7-14, 2017
 

Keep Space for Peace Week

International Week of Protest to
Stop the Militarization of Space


No Missile Defense
Close U.S. Bases Worldwide
No to NATO
Stop Drones Surveillance & Killing
End Privatization of Foreign/Military Policy
Convert the Military Industrial Complex
Deal with climate change and global poverty


List in formation

  • Bath Iron Works, Maine (Oct 7) Vigil across from administration building on Washington Street (Navy Aegis destroyers outfitted with “missile defense” systems built at BIW) 11:30-12:30 am   Smilin’ Trees Disarmament Farm (207) 763-4062

  • Bath-Brunswick, Maine (Oct 13-21) 6th Maine Peace Walk will focus on conversion of Bath Iron Works with twice daily vigils at the shipyard and door-to-door leafleting. Sponsored by many groups in Maine and Massachusetts.  globalnet@mindspring.com

  • Bath, Maine (Oct 21) Finale event of Maine Peace Walk with music/speakers/food at Waterfront Park in downtown Bath from noon til 2:00 pm.  globalnet@mindspring.com

  • Belfast, Maine (Oct 7) Put up space week posters and hold ‘Stop Militarization of Space’ signs on Resistance Corner. Peace and Justice Group of Waldo County   dscampc321@gmail.com

  • Brunswick, Maine (Oct 12) Showing of new film Village versus Empire by South African filmmaker about new Navy base on Jeju Island that is porting US warships viewed through the eyes of Shaman artist Dohee Lee.  Sponsored by PeaceWorks at the Frontier Café & Cinema.  7:30 pm Tickets $8.  globalnet@mindspring.com

  • Brunswick, Maine (Oct 17) Maine Peace Walk will walk to nearby Brunswick and hold pot luck supper and evening program on impact of Bath Iron Works on the local environment, economy, ports-of-call overseas and the need for conversion of the shipyard to build appropriate sustainable systems.  Hosted by Unitarian Church, supper at 6:00 pm.  globalnet@mindspring.com

  • Colorado Springs, Colorado (Oct 9) Vigil at Peterson AFB at 3:30 pm.  A copy of the recent UN treaty banning nuclear weapons will be presented to base personnel. Peterson AFB is home to Air Force Space Command.    Bill.sulzman@gmail.com

  • Colorado Springs, Colorado (Oct 10) Vigil at Schriever AFB at 3:30 pm.  Again a copy of the UN treaty will be presented to base personnel.  Schriever is home of the 50th Space Wing of the Air Force Space Command provides command and control for over 170 warning, navigational, and communications satellites. Also housed at Schriever AFB are the Missile Defense Integration & Operations Center and the Air Force Warfare Center. Schriever AFB is the main control point for the Global Positioning System (GPS).   Bill.sulzman@gmail.com


  • USAF Croughton, England (Oct 7) March & Rally at U.S. satellite communication and intelligence base. Space communications, drones, bomber guidance, missile defence and command & control functions.  (Also will be the site of Global Network’s 26th annual meeting in 2018) 12-4 pm. Oxfordshire Peace Campaign, oxonpeace@yahoo.co.uk

  • Davis Monthan AFB, Arizona (Oct 10) Vigil at Craycroft Road entrance (at Golf Links Road) from 7:00 – 8:00 am.  Remotely piloting UAV's from the base that are firing guided bombs and missiles and killing more civilians than targeted "terrorists" in Afghanistan, Iraq Syria, Pakistan and possibly more sovereign nations.  A-10 warplanes that train at the base are responsible for the vast majority of radioactive Depleted Uranium ammunition - estimated at well over 400 tons - used in Iraq since 1991.  More info: 520-323-869

  • Gangjeong, Jeju Island, South Korea (Oct 7-14)  Picketing, educating, expressing solidarity with the people of Seongju and Gimcheon against THAAD,  in front of the Jeju navy base, sponsored by the Anti-naval base committee, Gangjeong Village armha2013@gmail.com

  • Gangjeong, Jeju Island, South Korea (Oct 14) Discussion on the "Keep Space for Peace week and military industry’, as a part of an event on the issue of Military Industry organized by People Making the Jeju, Peace Island to Be Demilitarized.   (armha2013@gmail.com)

  • Gimcheon, South Korea (Oct 7-14) Nightly candlelight vigil against US deployment of THAAD missile defense system near their community (Gimcheon train station). The Gimcheon nightly candle vigil hit its one year anniversary on Aug. 20, 2017

  • King of Prussia, Pennsylvania (Oct 7) Noon, Keep Space 4 Peace meet-up at Lockheed Martin, 230 Mall Boulevard (Mall & Goddard Boulevards). L-M builds the remote-controlled drones, the satellites that direct the drones, and the Hellfire missiles fired from drones.  www.brandywinepeace.com

  • Kyoto, Japan (Oct 7) Dismantle U.S. X-band missile defense radar base and remove out of  Kyoto.  A gathering for the solidarity with people of Okinawa and Korean's anti-THAAD movement, 13:00-15:00, Citizen's Action Centre  Higashiyama Ward, and 15:30-17:00 Demonstration march to Koto City Hall. Contact: 090-15909469 (Mr. Yamamoto)

  • Menwith Hill, England (Oct 10) Demonstration at U.S. NSA/NRO Spy Base in Yorkshire.  6-7:30 pm.   Sponsored by Yorkshire CND and the Menwith Hill Accountability Campaign outside the main gate.    info@yorkshirecnd.org.uk 

  • Nagpur, India (Oct 7) Space week Awareness programme at the M. S. Institute of Social Work, Ms. Suparna Deshpande will organise.  jnrao193636@gmail.com

  • Nagpur, India (Oct 8) Space week Protest demonstration organised by the Railway Pensioners Organisation and members of the Global Network.  jnrao193636@gmail.com

  • New York, New York (Oct 7) An 11:30 am vigil at Washington Square Park followed at noontime with a solemn procession along University Place to Union Square.  There we will join the already-in-progress Yemen vigil on the steps at 14th Street. The message will cover the 16th anniversary of the Afghanistan invasion, the threats to North Korea, weapons in space and all current U.S. wars and so-called "missions." WRL has set up a FB event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/870146323141701/ 

  • Seongju, South Korea (Oct 7-14) Nightly candlelight vigil against US deployment of THAAD missile defense system near their community (a parking lot across from the Seongju County Office)  The Seongju nightly candle vigil hit its one year anniversary as of July 13, 2017.

  • Soseong-ri, Seongju, South Korea (Oct 7-14) Soseong-ri in Seongju is located just next to Gimcheon. It is a small village lived by around 160 people - mostly elderly women and men farming melons. The residents and their supporters have been protesting day and night since the former Lotte Skyhill Country Club site in Soseong-ri was discussed as the planned THAAD deployment site in August, last year. A radar and two launchers of THAAD system were forcefully deployed in the former LCC on April 26, this year. Still they are continuing their struggle to stop more deployment of four launchers.  Beside their 24 hour vigil, they hold a regular rally every Wednesday in front of Soseong-ri village hall which started on Nov. 30. 2016. 

  • Weld County, Colorado (Oct 7) Vigil at Nuclear missile silo N-8 in Weld County at 1 pm, the site of historic plowshares action 15 years ago by Sisters Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert. Bill.sulzman@gmail.com

  • Vandenberg AFB, California (Oct 4) Keep Space for Peace vigil at space warfare base at the Main Gate from 3:45 pm to 4:45 pm.  For information contact Dennis Apel at 805-343-6322.

  • Visakhapatnam, India (Oct 9) Workshop on 'Peace Communication' at Dept of Journalism & Mass Communication of Andhra University as part of Global Network's Peace week. Organizing Team: Dr. Challa Ramakrishna, HOD, Journalism Dept and Mr. Krishnaveer Abhishek Challa, Soft Skills Trainer of AU.  com2mass@gmail.com


Keep Space for Peace Week co-sponsored by: Anti-naval base Committee of Gangjeong village, Jeju Island, South Korea; US Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea & Militarism in Asia & the Pacific; Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom; Global Action Against Military Bases; NoDalMolin (Italy);

Resources:


· Space videos for viewing and sharing available at:  http://www.space4peace.org/videos.htm

·  Latest Global Network Space Alert newsletter at:  http://www.space4peace.org/newsletter/Space%20Alert%2035.pdf

·  John Pilger’s new film The Coming War on China For screenings, contact Bullfrog Films john@bullfrogfilms.com        http://thecomingwaronchina.bullfrogcommunities.com/ 
· Village versus Empire film about Jeju Island through the eyes of shaman artist by South African filmmaker Mark Kaplan.  Order DVD by contacting mark@greymattermedia.co.za          
·  Global Action Against Military Bases  https://www.itstimetoresist.org/call/?lang=en