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

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Congratulations Jeremy Corbyn - Congrats UK!

Jeremy Corbyn addressed a Labour Party special conference after winning the leadership race with 60% of the vote.

Corbyn, who began the contest as the outsider, beat frontbenchers Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall after a three-month campaign.

At the conference, where both Corbyn and his deputy Tom Watson were elected, the new leader thanked people in the party, spoke about the campaign, and gave a flavour of his priorities for his leadership.

The big difference is that Corbyn is a long-time anti-imperialist who talks about the ever expanding NATO, nukes, military spending, and stopping the US-UK's endless wars - this helped him to unite the left across the UK as he connected all the dots....

Debunking the Official 9-11 Story



Friday, September 11, 2015

Trump-ism

 
 
 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Working on the Peace Walk


  • The more I learn about climate change the more I can't help but look at the dramatic impact the Pentagon's endless war machine makes on our Mother Earth.  The connection is inescapable.

  • The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty, which extends the 1992 UN Convention on Climate Change that commits State Parties to reduce greenhouse gases emissions, based on the premise that (a) global warming exists and (b) man-made CO2 emissions have caused it. 

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on December 11, 1997 and entered into force on February 16, 2005. There are currently 192 Parties (Canada withdrew effective December 2012) to the Protocol.

The US refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol unless the massive carbon boot print caused by the Pentagon was exempted.  Washington got its way and thus there is no requirement for the Pentagon to 'officially' monitor their impact on the climate.  But the collective evidence is substantial enough to show that in fact the US military (and all the rest of the war machines around the planet) are the top contributors to our rapidly decaying satellite Earth.

  • I've spent all day working on our up-coming Maine Peace Walk that will be learning about and sharing these important war-environmental links, particularly as they relate to the oceans.  We want to share this important story with Mainers as we walk south on US coastal Hwy 1 from Ellsworth in the north to Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

  • Now that we are just beyond Labor Day people are starting to contact us about joining the walk.  I've heard from five new walkers just since yesterday so that is very exciting.  Our sweatshirt with the walk logo created by artist Russell Wray is being printed now.  Russell is with the group Citizens Opposing Active Sonar Threats (COAST) and brings to us the deep concern about Navy sonar affects on sea mammals.  He is working on a banner to be hung on our walk bus and a life-sized dolphin that will apparently ride on top of the bus as well.  So we are making a big effort to increase our visual outreach on this walk.

  • Another exciting development this year is the very active participation of the Boston-area Veterans for Peace Smedley Butler chapter.  They've been involved in the planning committee, have donated funds, and have taken responsibility to house and feed the walkers when we hit York Beach in southern Maine near the end of the walk.  The chapter is also organizing their members to come walk during the latter part of the peace walk as well.

  • Our biggest need right now is to find a covered pick-up truck, a cargo van, or a station wagon to help us haul the gear of those walking during this event.  We've yet to find something for that important task.

Connecting ALL the Dots


London MP Jeremy Corbyn is running to become the leader of the Labour Party.  Here he briefly talks about expanding NATO and the danger of creating war with Russia.

This is the kind of connecting ALL the dots that we in the US had hoped presidential candidate Bernie Sanders might do - but such political leadership and courage are not coming from his campaign.

Corbyn has really turned things upside down in the UK and we wish him well in his efforts to return the Labour Party to it roots as a defender of working people and the poor as well as a party with a real message of anti-imperialism and peace.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

U.S. Long Planned to Take Down Syria

 
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has opened up about his new book, 'The WikiLeaks Files,' speaking about the 'US empire' and telling RT's 'Going Underground' program that Washington had plans to overthrow Syria's government long before the 2011 uprising began. 
 
Speaking to 'Going Underground' host Afshin Rattansi, Assange referred to the chapter on Syria, which goes back to 2006. In that chapter is a cable from US Ambassador William Roebuck, who was stationed in Damascus, which apparently discusses a plan for the overthrow of the Assad government in Syria.
 
“...That plan was to use a number of different factors to create paranoia within the Syrian government; to push it to overreact, to make it fear there's a coup...so in theory it says 'We have a problem with Islamic extremists crossing over the border with Iraq, and we're taking actions against them to take this information and make the Syrian government look weak, the fact that it is dealing with Islamic extremists at all.'” 

Iran Nuke Deal: Protesting Schumer's Subservience to AIPAC


Veterans for Peace and CodePink held a protest in Washington DC (inside the Hart Senate Office building) yesterday highlighting the cozy relationship between Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and the Israeli front group called AIPAC which wants to kill the Iran nuclear deal.

Schumer has been carrying water for the Israeli war machine which is itching for an excuse to attack Iran forcing regime change in Tehran.  Israel, with more than 200 nuclear weapons, continues to attempt to control politics in the US through the influence of the AIPAC lobby group.

Schumer is expected to become the leader of the Democrats in the US Senate when current leader Sen. Harry Reid retires next year.  How can Schumer lead his party after he tried to kill this Iran nuclear deal which was negotiated by the Obama administration?  How could the Democrats in the Senate vote to turn the leadership of their party over to a proven agent of the Israeli government?

Welcome to politics in the USA......

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Pentagon’s Impact on the Oceans



 Maine Peace Walk – Militarization of the Seas
October 9-24

Ellsworth, Maine to Portsmouth, New Hampshire


The Pentagon has the largest carbon footprint on our Mother Earth.  Waging endless war consumes massive amounts of fossil fuels and lays waste to significant environmentally sensitive places on the planet – particularly the oceans.

The oceans are inhabited by a multitude of different life forms, from microorganisms to whales, many of whom are able to sense sound and use it to find food, navigate, communicate, and avoid predators. Navy sonar blasts wreak havoc on these creatures, disrupting their lives, leaving animals more susceptible to disease and lowered reproductive success, and sometimes injuring and killing them.

Because Navy sonars are extremely loud, depending on ocean conditions, that noise can travel at harmful levels for tens or even hundreds of miles, impacting huge numbers of animals. By the Navy’s own estimates, sonar noise can still be as high as 140 decibels 300 miles from the source, a level that is a hundred times more intense than the level known to result in behavioral changes in large whales.

Some of these exercises will even take place inside designated critical habitat for the already endangered right whale, frequenter of Maine waters. In fact, the Navy is now constructing a 500 square mile instrumented range off the coast of Georgia where it intends to conduct 470 sonar exercises annually - the Navy chose this site just offshore of the only known calving grounds of the right whale! In March 2015 Navy sonar testing near Guam led to the stranding of three beaked whales.

Shipyard Impacts in Maine

Pier-side testing of sonar occurs at Bath Iron Works (BIW) and at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery which results in significant fish kills. Navy off-shore weapons testing exercises puts toxic chemicals and hazardous materials and waste into Maine’s marine environment.

The Kennebec River that BIW fronts is often dredged in order to allow the deep hulled destroyers built there to get into the ocean.  Dredging takes a heavy toll on aquatic life.

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has caused serious pollution of the local environment. The shipyard is on an island that the Pentagon considers as one of their facilities most vulnerable to climate change, particularly their dry-dock facilities. Rising sea levels could affect shipyard toxic waste sites which are now mostly right on the shoreline and would seriously impact water quality and sea life.

Ocean Acidification

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the early 1800s, fossil fuel-powered machines have driven an unprecedented burst of human industry and society. Ocean acidification is the ongoing decrease in ocean pH caused by human fossil fuel emissions. Oceans currently absorb approximately half of the CO2 produced by burning fossil fuel. An estimated 30–40% of the carbon dioxide released by humans into the atmosphere dissolves into oceans, rivers and lakes.

Arctic Militarization Due to Climate Change

In early 2014 Maine’s Sen. Angus King went on a nuclear submarine ride under the Arctic Sea ice which is now melting due to climate change.  Admiral Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations was on the sub and said, “In our lifetime, what was [in effect] land and prohibitive to navigate or explore, is becoming an ocean… We need to be sure that our sensors, weapons and people are proficient in this part of the world,” so that we can “own the undersea domain and get anywhere there.” 

When Sen. King returned from the trip he told his constituents that there has been "a 40% reduction in ice as a result of global warming."  He reported that "previously inaccessible" gas and oil reserves were now going to create "new opportunities".  King concluded, "I am convinced we need to increase our capacity in the region, something I intend to press upon my colleagues on the Armed Services Committee as we work on our military priorities for the coming years."

Rather than drill for more fossil fuels in the Arctic, and create a new arms race in that environmentally sensitive region, the US should be working to convert our military industries to build offshore wind turbines, rail, solar and tidal power.  According to studies done by the UMASS-Amherst Economics Department shipyards in Bath and Portsmouth could nearly double their number of jobs by building rail or wind turbines.  The Gulf of Maine has more wind power generating potential than any other place in the US.

Help Save Our Seas

If the seas die so do humans on Earth and much of the wildlife.  Now is the time to speak out for ending the massive military impacts on the world’s oceans and for conversion of our fossil fuel dependent military industrial complex to sustainable technologies. We will walk to bring attention to these crucial issues.  

Please help us carry this message to the public by joining with us.

Maine Walk for Peace is sponsored by:  Maine Veterans for Peace; PeaceWorks; CodePink Maine; Citizens Opposing Active Sonar Threats (COAST); Peace Action Maine; Veterans for Peace Smedley Butler Brigade (Greater Boston); Seacoast Peace Response (Portsmouth); Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space; (List in formation)    


To view the walk flyer and daily walk schedule please click here

Monday, September 07, 2015

Crimes Against the Peace (for profit.....)


Not at all surprising to see this very important report.  The US-NATO war project in Ukraine promises the psychopathic leaders in Kiev that they will get rich if they just push the bloody war against people in the Donbass (eastern Ukraine).

This is how the imperial system works - find some low life scoundrels and make them rich if they carry out the blood letting on behalf of corporate capitalism.  And then of course blame it all on Putin!  Works every time - just like a charm......

The Real Struggle Starts From Now On

Jeju Island Catholic Bishop Kang U-Il

The overflow crowd outside of the grand opening of the St. Francis Peace Center in Gangjeong village


Sung-Hee Choi reports from Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea:

[Sept. 5] Bishop Kang U-Il says, “The real struggle starts from now on.”

On a gently rainy day, about 500 priests, sisters, laymen, villagers, and peace activists gathered to celebrate the opening of the St. Francis Peace Center in the village. The event organizers had expected about 200 crowd.

The four story building, of which the idea was first initiated by Fr. Mun Jeong-Hyeon and Bishop Kang U-il, is hoped to be ‘an outpost for the peace of Northeast Asia’ (Bishop Kang)

On the day, the words by Bishop Kang, the Board President of the Center, was resolute, touching and inspiring.

The Jeju Sori, a local media, excerpted some of his long speech. Thanks to it, here I also translate some of his words as well.

............................................................

“There are people who ask whether the struggle has finished with the naval base [that will port US warships aimed at China] being almost completed. No. It has not finished. The real struggle starts from now on.”

“In April 2005, I expressed my opinions, for the first time, against naval base construction. There are five reasons following the public teachings."

“Firstly, war is disaster. It cannot be a solution between nations. It is because such thing did not happen in the past and would not happen in the future, either.”

"Secondly, when a state power takes arms force, it can be justified and get citizens’ sympathy only by strict conditions. The mobilization of state power against the struggle in opposition to the Gangjeong naval base can never be a self-defense. “

“Thirdly, modern arms are weapons of massive mankind-killing. The increment of arms cannot be connected to peace."

“Fourthly, we are dumping tremendous budgets into arms production. What if it is used for the nation progress, for the poor..?”

“Lastly, why there should be a military base in Jeju, the far-most from the Korean truce line and the tainted by the wounds of the April 3rd incident? Jeju is the Peace Island designated by the government. The relationship between any military base and the Peace Island is like water and oil."

“With the construction of the naval base, the death of the April 3rd spirits has become meaningless…”

“Sixty-seven years ago, more than 30,000 people, more than 10% of the whole population of the Jeju Island people lost their lives for the April 3rd incident. [A massacre of Jeju peasants directed by the US military.] They were mostly innocent Island people nothing to do with ideology conflicts. They died without knowing the reasons of their deaths.”

“There are people who say that there is no more need of struggle since the Gangjeong base has been almost completed. No, the real struggle starts from now on.”

“The people we counter is not those who covered the Gureombi Rock with concrete. Nor the youths who come to the naval base to fulfill their duty for national defense. It is those who consider war positively.”

“It is the struggle against those who justify war preparation disguising their violent spirit with the logic of national security. On any basis, war is not right.”

The U.S. Military Empire of Overseas Bases




Abby Martin is back on the air and debuts teleSUR's The Empire Files exploring the U.S. Empire and its rise to world hegemony.

See interviews American University professor David Vine about his new book 'Base Nation' about the huge string of US military bases around the world. 

Whose interests do these Pentagon bases actually protect?

Sunday, September 06, 2015

On Israel's Occupation of Palestine

 
Miko Peled speaking about Israeli policies in Palestine during the recent VFP national confab in San Diego......

Sunday Song