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, July 05, 2014

ISRAELI VIOLENCE RARELY GETS CONDEMNED



The person in the video is 15-year-old Palestinian-American Tarek Abu Khdeir being brutally assaulted by Israeli police. 

Israeli police are refusing to look at a surveillance video showing Abu Khdeir’s assailants. Tarek Abu Khdeir is the cousin of Muhammad Abu Khdeir who was burned alive on Wednesday.  

Tarek Abu Khdeir (Photo provided and published with consent from the Abu Khdeir family)

Friday, July 04, 2014

PARADE DAY IN BATH



We had about 25 of us doing the PeaceWorks climate change & conversion theme in the Bath, Maine July 4 parade today.  This peace train was created by artist Anita Clearfield who helped us spiff up our look.

It's never easy being in these parades because there is so much nationalism and superficial commercial advertising in them.  But we were able to reach thousands of people today....and we were not just talking to the choir either.

I heard only one negative comment ("Go home") as we walked along the parade route.  We got many many kind nods, smiles, gleaming eyes, waves, applauds, peace signs and more.  You could see that loads of people felt glad we were in the parade giving witness to important issues of climate change, peace, and changing our industrial policy to nonviolent and sustainable production.

After it was all over half the folks came back to our house for some food and socializing.  We are so grateful for all those who joined us today.  Your participation made a real difference.

You can find many more photos by Roger Leisner here

NOT PAID, NOT FED TO FIGHT FOR US-NATO



Despite President Poroshenko's promises to financially support the army, Ukrainian forces are still fed with empty promises and raise alarm over lack of basic supplies, food, and weaponry. RT's Maria Finoshina reports.

WALKING FOR GANGJEONG VILLAGE PEACE


Thursday, July 03, 2014

HOW THE SPIN SOUNDS IN KIEV




This short video shows just how the US-NATO corrupt regime in Kiev lies to their own people and the rest of the world.  You'd think that by now folks would learn not to trust these cats but put some bars and stars on a uniformed soldier and they can get away with just about anything.

The first part has the Ukrainian military spokesman saying they take great care not to harm civilians and then the rest of the video shows the truth.

MORE JAIL TIME ON JEJU


More peace activists in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea take a brave stand in non-violently resisting the building of the naval base on the 'island of peace'! We salute your powerful witness against militarism and pray for peace in the Asia Pacific region!

Two more peace activists went to jail today for refusing to pay fines related to protests opposing the construction of a naval base on Jeju Island. Lee Jong-Hwa and Park Seung-Ho took a conscientious stand against militarism and injustice. They said, "We will resolutely resist till the day when the Jeju naval base construction is stopped.” The two men, who were arrested two years ago in front of the naval base project committee building complex and charged with obstruction of business, expect to be in prison for 1 to 2 months. 

Photo by Director Cho Sung-Bong

BALKANIZATION OF IRAQ


Carving up the spoils..... the US-NATO program was always about breaking Iraq into pieces just like was done to Yugoslavia and Libya.....Russia and China are also on the list for carving up.

SOLDIER PROTESTS UKRAINE WAR ON THEIR OWN CITIZENS



Significant protests against the war being waged in eastern Ukraine by the governing regime in Kyiv are taking place by the conscript soldiers of the Ukraine army and their families, friends and supporters. The protests are entirely unreported in mainstream, western media. They take on a renewed urgency as a result of Kyiv's July 1 announcement that it is ending a ten day ceasefire and resuming its military assaults against the towns and cities in the east.

(Click here for many more stories and links about growing resistance to the US-NATO Kiev regime by citizens of Ukraine)

A soldier speaks out

On June 10, a 22 year-old soldier spoke out at a rally in Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine. The text of his moving speech is below.


My first duty [as a soldier] is to save the Ukrainian people. First of all, I have to protect people, not territorial integrity.
[А man from the crowd: "Protect from fascists. It is right". Applause.
I have been drafted into the army. They want me to go to war to kill guys from Donbass, who took the same oath as I did. What I want to say... is the army command urges me to protect the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Then they'll give it away to the EU and USA.
[Voices from the crowd: "Yes! You are right!"]
Only a stupid man* would not understand this. [*the word is "sovok", a disparaging term for older people who have lived most of their lives during the years of the Soviet Union and who will believe anything the mass media says.]
I want to say more... I served in tank force 'Desna'. I took an oath under the red flag of the army [points to a red banner behind him]. It was the 'Alexander Nevsky' regiment. Think about it! In this regiment, now, are those who set fire to internal security troops at Maidan square, who shot my brothers in special units, who study how to fire anti-tank missiles.
They learn infantry weapons, like all ground forces. They are now preparing to kill guys who don't agree with them, who have different positions. They would kill police officers who refuse to obey their orders. It's a fact. This is what I mean to say.
People, look at me. I am 22. I do not smoke or drink. I am of the gene pool of this country. It's a fact. Because of them [rightists and neo-Nazis], the day after tomorrow you will bury guys like me. Do you understand? This is a big responsibility for you.
I urge you all, however possible, not to shed blood. Show prudence, stick to your position—for peace. Of course, if war breaks out, I urge you to provide all possible support for protests against the junta [Kiev government]. Be good people! Down with the junta! The army and the people together!
[The crowd applauds at the end of the speech and chants, “"Down with the junta" and "The army and the people together!"]

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

HEADING RECKLESSLY TO FISCAL CRISIS



John just leaves out one important group in this excellent piece and that is the majority of Democrats who support the war spending over and over again along with the Republicans.

The Dems though also support most of the social spending initiatives but know that the programs can't be properly funded because so much money is given to the Pentagon each year.  

SHELLING AND RECEIVING IN EASTERN UKRAINE



Ukrainian military "high-precision warfare" shelling of the cities and towns in the east ....directed by US-NATO.

 
Civilians are being killed in large numbers on the receiving end of the Kiev regime's offensive against their own citizens.  Their crime?  They want to be able to speak their native Russian language, elect their own mayors and governors (that are currently appointed by the Kiev oligarchs) and had the temerity to hold a public referendum indicating as much.  They also oppose the growing Nazi influence inside the Kiev government and military forces.  Because of all that the people in the east are now being exterminated.  The plan is to turn over their land to Monsanto for GMO farming, to Chevron and ExxonMobil for natural gas fracking, and to NATO for military bases on Russia's border.

ON THE HOME FRONT


  • I made this pesto yesterday with some garlic scapes from our garden and from the garden of a local farmer friend.  I mixed in olive oil, walnuts and some lemon juice as well.  Very good and quite spicy.  Got to do something with the stuff coming our of the garden so this made good sense.
  • Mary Beth (home with a rare mid-week day off) trimmed my hair and beard today - it's been hotter than normal this week and I needed some relief.  If this heat continues I just might shave the whole beard off.  I can grow it back next fall.
  • The sky is turning dark and you can hear what sounds like a bowling alley in the heavens.  A tropical storm is heading up the east coast and coming our way.  The garden will appreciate the deluge.
  • I have to drive south to Biddeford tonight though, likely through the storm, to tape an hour-long public access TV show with my friend Richard Rhames.  I recently had him on my show and now he is reciprocating.  He calls his long-running show "Out in Left Field".  Richard grows vegetables for a living on his family farm and finds it hard to make a living these days with the agri-business take over of food production.
  • Friday is the July 4 parade here in Bath and local peace and environmental activists will gather around 9:30 am to prepare our participation in the annual event.  We will carry art props, signs, and banners under the theme of climate change and conversion.  How can we expect to deal with the harsh reality of climate change unless we immediately begin to turn toward alternatives like rail systems, solar, wind turbines and the like?   Continuing to flush our tax dollars down the hole of endless war preparation will surely give us the kind of results that in the end led to the collapse of the Aztec empire.

RUNNING OUT OF TIME


Tuesday, July 01, 2014

A DEPOSTIC BRANCH




"PATTERN OF UNLAWFUL KILLINGS"



Amnesty International is accusing Israeli forces of using reckless violence in the occupied Palestinian territories. A new report from the human rights group goes as far as to suggest some killings may actually be war crimes.

CAN WE SEE THE PUZZLE COMING TOGETHER?


I did a radio interview last night on Voice of Russia about NATO expansion and earlier in the day I was called by a reporter from Tokyo Shimbun.  The Japanese newspaper wanted my take on their right-wing government's decision to revise the interpretation of war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution to allow Japan to join the US in the provocative program to control China.  Of course I said that this would be a dangerous and expensive step by Japan and it clearly indicates that the US had finally succeeded in forcing this change.

For years successive US administrations have been trying to get Japan to renounce peace and become full partners in US war mongering.  The peace community in Japan, remembering the total catastrophe of their nation's imperial rampage through the Pacific during WW II, fought long and hard to stop this change.  But like most other citizens around the world they are losing their ability to influence their government - now under the control of corporate pirates.

The US is creating an Asia-Pacific version of NATO to checkmate China and Russia.  Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Guam, and others are being brought into this military alliance.  In each of these places the US is forcing host governments to cut social spending and to buy more weapons (preferably from the US) and make them "interoperable" with Pentagon operations.  By doing this the US is able to share the cost of empire and give the illusion that the "international community" is united behind the corporate plan for global domination.

The truth is that the people of the world are not on board this suicidal march into endless war and economic strangulation at home.  People know what is going on and are increasing rising in opposition to these plans.  But just like we found here in the US during the popular Occupy movement, the voices of the 99% have to be shut down or if left unrestrained stand the good chance of creating truly popular uprisings to corporate authority.

The one thing that gives me hope these days is to see the connecting of dots that is increasingly being done by popular movements around the world.  Militarism is connected to growing poverty and repression.  War for resource extraction is connected to growing ecological crisis and climate change.

We have to do more thinking about ways to grow these important issue linkages in our local communities, country, and beyond.  When we get our multi-layered global movements humming along these lines we will make a big jump in consciousness raising and more unified action.

Monday, June 30, 2014

UKRAINIAN REFUGEES


The UN has reported that more than 100,000 refugees are fleeing eastern Ukraine (mostly into Russia) as the regime in Kiev continues to shell civilian targets.  In the video below the US denies the refugee number.

Here are some words from the refugees:

Woman:


The situation in the cauldrons of Kramtorsk and Slavyansk is deteriorating by the hour. The reports of chlorine gas being used starting yesterday are confirmed. The nazis will do the same with gas they did with bombardments. First one single mortar shell, then 5, then 50 as the world ignored the shooting at civilian targets. Missiles. First one, then 5, then salvos. Gas. Yesterday a single attack using 'non lethal' amount on a block post. Today more. What of tomorrow?

We are working hard on getting more women and children out. We have two who should be here shortly. More will come later this week. We/they waited too long. It is difficult now to get them out of some areas, impossible for some areas. T

The silence from The West is deafening.

Woman:

I worked in a bank office. I have been there for some years. I have not been paid since March. Every week we were promised we would be paid next week. 3 weeks ago masked and armed men came to the office with manager. They ordered us to leave. We stood outside and watched as the men loaded all the computers, machines and records in to two large cars (trucks) and last they brought all the money in large black metal boxes. We asked them about our money and they pointed their automats at us and told us to shut up. They left. That night the bank office was burned. Our самообороны (defense forces) was blamed for the fire. It was not our men, it was the men who took all the money.

Militsiya (police) are useless. They don't work, they are cowards, they are waiting to see who wins this war. When there is trouble we send children running to get самообороны to us.

Shooting started. They shoot from the radio tower on the hill at us every day and every night. Many shops have been damaged. Almost all shops have stopped working now. No one could get their money from banks. All banks are closed. Every day someone is killed near us. We do not have any самообороны post in our area. The guns are very big. We can hear them when they shoot. We have nowhere to hide.

The factory where my husband worked was hit. It burned and there was some kind of white powder on the ground when we went to see the factory. самообороны told us not to touch the powder, it was phosphor and would burn our hand. There are no fire cars to put water on the fire. There is no water for them to use. My husband was not paid from May. His owner ran to Kiev long ago.

My husband went to самообороны. He told me I have to take the children and leave. We could not leave, there is no way out for us. We have no money to pay someone to help us. Our city is blocked by the enemy. No one can come in or out. We have no water, no electric, almost no food, no milk for the children, just porridge I make with water I get from a water car самообороны brings sometimes.

4 days ago my husband told me to pack very few things and be ready to leave. I do not question my husband. 2 days ago my husband in the night told me to wake the children, it was time to leave. He took us down the stairs to a car waiting for us. The house (flats building) across the street was burning at the top. I kissed my husband goodbye, he kissed our children and we left. He told me there was a way he will let me know every day he is alive. He said I would understand when I got to safety. He gave me 50 griven (4$), that is all he had. I did not know where we were going, he did not tell me.

(She began to weep) I thank God my children are safe. I am worried of my husband.



WE ARE WITH ISIS



ISIS proclaimed Islamic order on territories they captured both in Iraq and Syria. The area they now hold contains economically vital oil sites. Where does ISIS get the funding it needs to snatch power in the region? Even Washington has played its role in the rise of ISIS - as RT's Marina Portnaya explains.

TWISTED UP IN MONEY


Twisted Up in Money

We've become twisted
we are out of our minds
money is the book
we worship

Natives called it
'green frog skin'
paper covers heart
heart goes cold
and greedy
mean

we are twisted
because
we lost our way
our reason for living
our human purpose
the vision has been
stomped

there is a twisted
war on now
the good,
the people
who want to share
and be kind
are the enemy
of greed

Sunday, June 29, 2014

SUNDAY SONG




UKRAINE: NATION OF OLIGARCHS



Seek truth from facts with intelligence expert William Engdahl; economist Professor Michael Hudson; former US intelligence officer Scott Rickard; and the prosecutor who put Yulia Timoshenko's partner behind bars, Martha Boersch.