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, October 17, 2017

Listen....



PreEmptive Nuclear Madness USA 

We got nuclear armed subs patrolling their coast
But we all like to think he is the maddest the most
We threatened to take him out
Every other day
And then we get bent when he says
He'll make us pay
B1s take of from the island of Guam
To harass the Koreans make them worry about the bomb
With 3 air craft carriers and a nuclear armed fleet
An ever imminent threat to bring the nuclear heat
The US dropping bombs all over the earth
With no concern about what life is worth
But they keep shouting it from the TV set
About the Mad Korean and his nuclear threat
The threat that is real to the entire world
Preemptive US attack to start the death swirl
Because China and Russia are not going to wait
They got em too so they'll retaliate
And when the first US city is in a mushroom cloud
With 1000s more on the way - funeral shroud
They said the Korean was mad but it matters no more
Because the world was incinerated in a nuclear war

Latest Guests on This Issue



The latest edition of This Issue features Will Griffin (Veterans For Peace) who is an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran and Joyakgol from South Korea - a long-time peace and environmental activist on Jeju Island and on the mainland.  We discuss US policy in the Asia-Pacific region. They are presently participating in the Maine Peace Walk.

The Numbers Don't Lie


Monday, October 16, 2017

Truth on a Car Bumper


Make Australia Less Great....again


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Outrage in Busan as US Navy Nuke Sub Crew Party Before the Storm






Busan, South Korea: People protest. How do the crews of US nuclear submarine Michigan dare to hold a party with long-dressed women while war crisis is being intensified?

"Get out of Korea.  Go home," the woman shouts to the two highly-dressed American Navy personnel in the car.

Post by Im Sangmin

Holding Out a Vision for Solutions Not Endless War



Economic conversion, defense conversion, or arms conversion, is a technical, economic and political process for moving from military to civilian production.

The sixth Maine Peace Walk for Conversion, Community and Climate is concentrating on the serious need to convert Bath Iron Works (BIW) to peaceful and sustainable production.
Learn more about the Maine Peace Walk: http://vfpmaine.org/2017%20…/Maine%20Peace%20Walk%20Call.pdf


UMASS Amherst Economics Department study shows that we could have more jobs for people if we spent on alternative domestic spending priorities, in particular investments in clean energy, health care and education, versus military spending:
https://www.peri.umass.edu/…/PERI_military_spending_2011.pdf

Video by Will Griffin (Veterans For Peace)

Posting Flyers in Bath Calling for Conversion of the Shipyard


Our peace walk van with Aegis destroyers under construction at Bath Iron Works in the background (click on photo for better view)

 
Yesterday we began doing our door-to-door flyer dropping across the city of Bath.  We’ve divided the city into three parts – north, central and south and will do this over a three day period.  We finished up the northern part of the city of 10,000 people on Saturday sooner than we had expected.

We had six two-person teams that each had a pre-mapped section of the city to cover.

One flyer team of Liz McAlister and me on the way to northwest side of Bath yesterday to post peace walk flyers.  Liz was married to Phil Berrigan who did two plowshares actions at the shipyard in Bath
 
This morning many of our folks went to a local church together and since we had an early rain we are waiting until after lunch to get out and start doing our door-to-door efforts again.

Last evening a dozen of us went to a local restaurant for supper and shared stories from the day.  People were a bit surprised that the reactions they got from people as they flyered the neighborhoods were more positive than they had anticipated.  Local citizens appear to be getting it when we make the link between rapidly escalating climate change and the need to convert our fossil fuel dependent economy, and our #1 polluting military system, to alternative sustainable production.

All one has to do is feel the weather here in Maine this week to notice the reality of global warming.  It’s in the mid-to-high 60 degrees.  In normal times in Maine it would be much colder with wool caps and gloves needed.  Currently many people are still walking around with T-shirts on.

The lobsters are heading north as the Gulf of Maine heats up.  Now is the time to make this conversion transformation while it might still have some impact, even if it would be small, on the coming ravages of global warming.  If we wait much longer our children and grandchildren face very rough times ahead.

Bruce

Sunday Song




Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Reluctant Soldier



I have frequently written about how the self defense forces in the Donbass (eastern Ukraine near the Russian border) came together in 2014 after the US directed Kiev regime began shelling their own citizens.

Miners, shop keepers, teachers, electricians, musicians and the like formed local militias so they could defend their families and their land that were being mercilessly attacked after the 2014 US engineered coup d'état took over the 'government' in Kiev.

This short interview really touches me as the man clearly displays his desire to hang on to his humanity as he goes through this terrible period of having to fight to protect his family from the Washington-Brussels war on the people of the Donbass region - whose only crime is they live near the Russian border.

May this war end soon - but sadly it appears the corporate controlled regime in Washington is more committed than ever to expanding the attacks on the people of eastern Ukraine.

Bruce

Hey Trump - Quit Fu+#ing with Iran



The US decision to walk away from the Iran nuclear deal is stupid, provocative and highly dangerous.  It is a fool's errand and was obviously directed by Israel which has undue influence on US decision making.

I refer you to a piece by The Saker on this issue which you can find here

The US government - if one can really call it that - is a frigging mess.  There is no real foreign policy - only threats of war everywhere.

Again I must ask - why would any person or government anywhere on this planet have even one tiny bit of trust and faith in Washington?

The way this US imperial madness ends - without blowing up the world - is for everyone to walk away from US global leadership.  There is nothing in Washington to admire.  Nothing in Hollywood to admire.  There is nothing in the US news media to admire.

Admire our landscape - baseball maybe - but don't follow our so-called leaders unless you want to head over a very steep cliff!

Bruce

Friday, October 13, 2017

First Vigil at BIW Today














After our orientation today the Maine Peace Walk gathered at Bath Iron Works (BIW) for a vigil during the afternoon shift change. We were able to hand out about 30 flyers to the workers as they were heading home.

Tonight we had a wonderful dinner prepared by Morgana Warner Evans at the Addams-Melman House in Bath.

We'll be back out at 6:00 am in front of BIW as the Saturday morning shift arrives at the shipyard.  After breakfast we'll start our door-to-door flyering across the city of 10,000 people during the next three days. 

Find the full peace walk schedule here 

Photos by Peter Woodruff & Will Griffin

Jeju Island Film Smash Hit in Brunswick, Maine



As we drove up to The Frontier Cafe & Cinema last night we spotted a display sign outside with the name of the film we were sponsoring and the words 'Sold Out'. What a thrill it was to see that the place would be packed - with 40% of the people attending faces we did not already know. 


Joyokgol from Jeju Island, South Korea said a few words and then sang a song entitled 'No Navy Base' before we began the wonderful documentary by South African filmmaker Mark Kaplan. I had previously seen the film via computer so watching it on a full-sized theatre screen for the first time was exciting.


After the film was over I jumped up and said a few words including the following:

Over the years we've had seven of us from Maine go to Jeju Island.  When we were leaving people asked us, "What are you going to do when you go home?"

We need to look around and notice the local manifestation of this [US imperial] insanity and begin to deal with it.  That is the reason we are focusing our Maine Peace Walk this year in the Bath-Brunswick area.
Joyakgol took over and answered questions from the audience which in most part stayed around much longer than I had expected after the film was over.  You could tell that people have the Trump versus North Korea mounting tensions on their minds.  Joyakgol clearly stated that North Korea was not going to attack the US or South Korea and was a militarily weak nation that would be destroyed in a war.  North Korea boasts as a way to hide their weakness.  The people of South Korea understand this he said and the American people need to come to understand this fact as well.

We officially begin our peace walk with an orientation today beginning at noon and then we'll do a 3-4 pm vigil at Bath Iron Works as shipyard works knock off for the day. It's going to be a great week - when ever you bring good folks together sparks fly and lives change. 

Bruce