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.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Jeju Island: Peace in Sea Camp



Aloha,

We Hawaii activists are raising money to send Pua’ena Ahn, a young Native Hawaiian activist, to attend “Peace for the Sea Camp,” which takes place on a different militarized island each year.

Here is the link to the gofundme site: https://www.gofundme.com/send-puaena-and-ned-to-jeju-island

“Peace for the Sea Camp” is a chance for Asia-Pacific millennials to organize in solidarity for trans-Pacific peace. This year, the island will be the infamously beautiful island of Jeju, in South Korea, site of terrible environmental and cultural destruction due to construction of a state-of-the-art navy base to house U.S. and South Korean destroyers outfitted with Aegis missile technology.

The Jeju base is one in a string of island bases being being built to create a deadly necklace encircling China.

If we can raise the funds for Pua’ena to go to Peace Camp this year, it will be the first time that an indigenous participant from a U.S.-occupied island will attend, which will make it especially fruitful for solidarity. Until now, the only islanders who have participated have been from the Korean and Japanese islands, Indonesia and Taiwan. A Native Hawaiian like Pua’ena, and who resides in the “belly of the beast” alongside Pearl Harbor’s Pacific Command, can bring great trans-Pacific solidarity, as well as insights to regional geopolitics. This is much needed during this time of volatility between the U.S. and North Korea, which may now be on the brink of signing a peace treaty.

Please chip in a little or whatever you can to send Pua’ena to Peace Camp. It will be a meaningful step toward peace in the Pacific.

Thank you!

Koohan Paik
Hawaii

Plutocracy II: Solidarity Forever

 
Plutocracy II - Solidarity Forever from Scott N on Vimeo.

Income inequality may be a hot topic during the current American election season, but it's also a stark reality that has plagued the country for hundreds of years. That sad history foreshadows what many are still grappling with today. The feature-length documentary Plutocracy II: Solidarity Forever is a studious and well-produced portrayal of America's long-standing clashes between the working-class and the industrial beast.

The film, which is the second part of an ongoing historical series, covers the seminal labor-related events which occurred between the late 1800's and the 1920's. Its subtitle refers to a 1915 song composed by Ralph Chaplin as an anthem for unionized workers. The film itself is the cinematic version of that anthem, as it allows us a comprehensive understanding of the need for these early labor unions, and the enormous sacrifices of its members to ensure fairness, safety, and equality in the workplace.

The operations of industries like railroads, steel and coal were characterized by slave wages, dangerous working environments, punishing hours, and child labor. With the birth of the labor unions, these industries were forced to re-examine their worker policies or run the risk of losing their businesses altogether. One of the earliest examples of this is the formation of the American Railroad Union in 1893, an event that is prominently featured in the film. After the organization won early successes in recovering wages for denigrated workers, its popularity skyrocketed among the working class. But the heads of industry soon fought back with their far-reaching strong-arm influence, and subsequent public strikes were marred by violence, oppression and unlawful arrests.

Modern political junkies will find special relevance in the film's portrayal of Eugene V. Debs, a co-founder of Industrialized Workers of the World, aka the Wobblies, who eschewed divisions based on race, sex, skill level etc. The film devotes an inordinate amount of attention to their actions in the film, including the remarkable free speech fights in California. In this age of Bernie Sanders and his message of democratic socialism, it is surprising to learn that Debs' popularity in the early twentieth century was particularly pronounced in states that lean heavily conservative today.

Also, the director explores the still-controversial "Propaganda of the Deed" campaign, which was essentially a terrorist campaign against moneyed elites by anarchists. He doesn't pass judgment on these actions, but he concludes that their ultimate effect was to increase the power of the police state.
Plutocracy II: Solidarity Forever is essential viewing for those with an interest in America's class struggles, and the ongoing efforts to level the playing field between the haves and the have nots.

Directed by: Scott Noble

Friday, April 20, 2018

Sachs: "Get out...we've done enough damage"



Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia University), not one of my favorite people, in this moment tells the truth. He calls US policy in Syria "contrary to international law, contrary to the UN charter". 

His focus on revealing the CIA and Saudi regime change operation in Syria, which began under Obama, is important for the people in the US to hear.  We don't often get that kind of historical memory articulated on mainstream TV.

So thanks to Sachs for that.  You can watch Jimmy Dore's excellent commentary on this MSNBC segment here

Bruce

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Libya story....



It has been seven years since the US gathered a 'coalition of the killing' to overthrow the government in Libya, in an effort to bring freedom and democracy to the people there.

How did that one work out?

The script is as follows: demonize the leader, bomb them, arm ISIS 'rebels', kill the leader, turn the nation into chaos, steal their resources, make lots of money from the war. 

Same story now playing out in Syria.

Up next:  Iran, Venezuela, Russia and China......

Hold onto your hats.....

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Grandiose plans for U.S. space 'control and domination'



Gen. John Hyten, USAF, commander of US Strategic Command, says the US government must fund "the Big 6” programs to modernize and improve America’s nuclear deterrent -- the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine, the B-21 Raider bomber and its companion long-range strike weapon, intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear weapons, and nuclear command and control.

Hyten discusses how to improve the agility of the force, Russia's nuclear strategy and how the United States and its allies must respond, deterring war in space and much more in a wide-ranging April 12, 2018, interview with Defense & Aerospace Report Editor Vago Muradian at the Pentagon.

They are spending us into oblivion. The US cannot afford these programs as poverty is rising to unprecedented levels.

The US spends about 35% of the world total in military spending while the Russian are just over 4% of the global total.  Just who is leading the arms race? 

Deja vu - all over again


No war in Syria protest in New York City last weekend.

Surprisingly the Wall Street Journal has done an article exposing how Israel has been funding and giving medical care to ISIS-related terrorist groups operating in Syria.  This is something we've all heard about but rarely do you see a mainstream media source disclose this story.  See it here

On another media matter I've been hearing lately alot of criticism about Amy Goodman at Democracy Now (DN) for continually carrying water for the Pentagon line on Syria, the so-called White Helmets, and the larger Russia recycled red-baiting line regularly promoted by Congressional Democrats and networks like MSNBC.

Here is an instructive tweet from very respected journalist Aaron Mate who left Democracy Now and is presently working for The Real News Network.  Mate shares his take on DN.


Many believe the $$$$$ from Ford Foundation (with longtime CIA ties), George Soros (Open Society Foundation), and other such funding sources have had negative influence on the reporting of DN on these crucial stories.

This is essentially how the US organized the coup d'etat in Ukraine in 2014 by funding NGO's in Kiev with money from Soros, National Endowment for Democracy, and other CIA sources.  They poisoned the debate and used the NGO's to turn out folks to protest and then the neo-Nazi groups took over with their violence and pushed the coup into motion.

Money talks...again, as I stated yesterday, it is always wise to 'compare and contrast' your media sources - even when you think they are on the left.  It also helps to know where they get their money.

Bruce

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Censorship at Fazebook

I often share things on Fazebook.  I  learned in an English class during college that we should always 'compare and contrast' our sources of information.  Especially when we are already controlled by an armed corporate state.

Having grown up in-part overseas at US bases in Germany and England I learned to take the wider view.  I still remember seeing a 'Yankee go home!' message spray painted on a Wiesbaden city wall I passed while walking to school from the heart of town apartment we rented for a year before moving into base housing.  

There is too much on my mind so I want to share these things.  I read all day in my work and see my role as one who passes information onward.

I tried to share an article widely today but FB has blocked me from sharing any posts (other than to groups I manage) until Friday. That is censorship and I've asked them why it is happening. 

I think I already know the answer - so I ask others to help share this important article. The clampdown is here...... 


  • You're temporarily restricted from joining and posting to groups that you do not manage until Friday at 10:21am.
  • If you think you're seeing this by mistake, please let us know.

I wrote them back by clicking on the 'let us know' line just above.  I typed in the box below that popped up - 'This is censorship.  Please tell me why it is happening.'  No reply yet.

Facebook Blocks

To help keep Facebook safe, we sometimes block certain content and actions. If you think we’ve made a mistake, please let us know. While we aren’t able to review individual reports, the feedback you provide will help us improve the ways we keep Facebook safe.

Please explain why you think this was an error
Thanks for taking the time to submit a report.
Learn more about what happens when you’re blocked or if your content was removed.

This the world we live in now.  FB is a corporate tool to monitor us and train us just what the dimensions of our new box will be that the corporate system will assign us.  If we speak out then we will be 'contained' using various high-tech methods.

I don't accept this and have been watching closely as the writing on the wall gets ever more shocking. 

The happy thought is that the western war machine (US-NATO) is now losing and most of us living in their countries know the score.  It's an empty society here in the US.  They are dumbing us down, medicating us, and forcing legions into resignation and acceptance. 

I joined the annual PeaceWorks tax day flyering at the Brunswick post office for an hour this morning.  I stood by the big blue drive-up mail box on the street.  I held a sign that read 'Stop war in Syria'.  I offered a flyer as folks put their windows down and tried (sometimes vainly) to slip their annual tax return into the box.  Most people accepted my offer to help them put the mail in the box.  About 60% of the people took my flyer which was a graphic illustration of the budget pie that reveals 54% of every discretionary tax dollar goes to the Pentagon.  Got a good number of honks and waves from cars going by.

But a supervisor from the post office came out and said they got a call from someone who said I was interfering with their access to the mail box.  The postal person told me I had to leave the spot.  I responded that I'd been standing in this spot for years and had no intention of moving.  She next demanded that I not touch the mail which was illegal to do.  I told her I was just trying to help people put it into the box. The whole scene was insane - just imagine the mean-spirited person that called to complain about me.  That is the kind of person who usually makes the case that we need a huge military to protect our 'freedom'....

Brunswick is a college town (though it is a junior Ivy league one) and somewhat 'liberal' although their local state representatives all voted in favor of the recent General Dynamics corporate welfare bill at our state capital.  In other words it is a town controlled by Democrats. And Democrat is no guarantee anymore of much when it comes to standing up to the corporate oligarchy. 

Another article I tried to share on FB today is called November Midterms: Meet the Former CIA Agents Running for Congress as Democrats

Maybe you can help share it as well.

Bruce

Returning to Okinawa for Six-Day Protest of 500 in front of Henoko Gate


I will be returning to Okinawa later this week as part of a three-person Veterans For Peace delegation.  We've been asked to come and join a week long action in front of the US Marine base at Camp Schwab that sits along pristine Oura Bay where the US is now attempting to build twin-runways on top of the bay where endangered species live.

In order to build the airfield in the bay millions of dump truck loads of landfill must be placed there and the people (who have been protesting at the base every day for the last 13 years) have put out a call for 400-500 people each day to come and help block the construction gate.  So our VFP delegation will join that blockade for the week of April 23-28.

Fellow Mainer Dud Hendrick (Deer Isle) and Tarak Kauff (Woodstock, NY) will be along for this VFP delegation.

See some of my past posts about Oura Bay here

Bruce

Below is the statement sent out by the Okinawan peace movement explaining the purpose of the week long action.


Nonstop Six-Day Protest of 500 in front of Henoko Gate
Statement

During the Nago mayoral election, the government’s ruling party poured overwhelming amount of election funds and people into a small town of 60,000 people like a rushing jet stream of mud swallowing everything. As a result, citizens have been divided and a deep scar has been left.

In the upcoming Okinawa gubernatorial election in November, the government will no doubt intervene in the election in Okinawa at an incomparably larger scale than in the Nago mayoral election.

We are seriously taking the result of the Nago mayoral election and feel an urgent need to create a new movement toward the Okinawa gubernatorial election. If we lose in the gubernatorial election to a candidate who cheers on the Japanese government, it is clear to everyone that the new military base construction in Henoko will accelerate ever more rapidly and create an irreversibly grave situation.

Seawall construction started in Oura Bay in April 2017. But this construction has for the moment stopped. The reason appears to be, as the media says, the existence of fragile ground and active fault in the seabed. Hence the Okinawa Defense Bureau is moving forward the seawall construction on the Henoko side with terrible speed. If the enclosure is completed, earth and sand will finally be poured in there and then the landfill will start.

By changing the initial plan and making the landfill in the shallows on the Henoko side, the Japanese government is trying to make the Okinawan people feel “Henoko can no longer be stopped” and give up and undermine the support for Governor Onaga.

What is needed now more than anything is to energize the movement in front of Camp Schwab in Henoko and actually stop the construction. If citizens numbering from 400 to 500 can gather in front of the gate, the construction can definitely be stopped.

If this is realized, undoubtedly the Okinawan people’s will to oppose the new military base construction in Henoko will remain unshaken and it will back Governor Onaga’s demand to revoke the approval for the landfill and his determined exercise of administrative right.

Okinawan people remember how more than 150,000 Okinawan lives were taken during the Battle of Okinawa and their chimugukuru (deep spirit) will never accept a new military base. We can no longer allow the Japanese government’s discrimination and repression against Okinawa.

We earnestly call upon all the people in Okinawa, Japan, and the world to participate in the action below. Please support and collaborate with this action.

Date: April 23 (Mon.) -28 (Sat.), 2018, 8 AM―4 PM
Place In front of Henoko (Camp Schwab) Gate

Nonstop Six-Day Protest in front of Henoko Gate Action Committee
Okinawa Heiwa Support, 198-2, Henoko, Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture,
905-2171

FAX: 0980-55-2245
Email: atsumarehenoko500@gmail.com
Contact Info: 080-4343-4335