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, October 03, 2015

U.S. Chief Middle East Buddy Saudi Arabia: Executioners Wanted

Meet the new head of the United Nations panel on Human Rights: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Abby Martin takes us inside the brutal reality of this police-state monarchy, and tells the untold people's history of resistance to it.

With a major, catastrophic war in Yemen and looming high-profile executions of activists, The Empire Files exposes true nature of the U.S.-Saudi love affair. 

Friday, October 02, 2015

This is How WW III Could Start


This is Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) who is a leading fascist in Washington - one of many.  His harsh words in this Senate speech indicates the kind of dangerous and provocative talk coming out of Congress these days.

(It's not just Republicans talking like this. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has called for establishing a no-fly zone in Syria "to stop the carnage on the ground and strikes from the sky, to somehow clarify the situation, to try to stop the flow of refugees". Clinton also noted that "Putin is playing a very dangerous and cynical game. He definitely does everything in his power to support Assad and to consolidate the Russian presence in Syria and the Middle East".)

The feeling of US exceptionalism and entitlement is clearly evident in Cotton's  hostile words.  He assumes that the US can go make war anywhere on the planet that it wishes to.  Despite the fact that Syria invited Russia, and not the US, into their country Cotton still arrogantly declares the right of the US to control the world.  He rejects regional powers like Iran, Iraq, or Russia having the right to be concerned about what a mess the US has made in the Middle East.

This kind of talk could get a war going real quick with Russia.  Cotton calls on the US to shoot down Russian planes over Syria.  If his warmongering demands are followed the US just might find itself in the middle of World War III.


Sadly there are many of these fascists in Washington who do want the 'final solution' with Russia and China before those nations successfully create the multi-polar world that would put the US in its rightful place as just one nation among many.  The thought of the US bully having to get along with others on the 'global playground' is just too much for these arrogant cats to consider.

In the end I hope their words are just bluster and will be ignored.  If the public remains silent the power of fascists like Cotton will surely grow.  If the public speaks out and rejects these dangerous and provocative words then, like Dracula, Cotton will shrink under the light of truth.  Let's hope the American people wake up from their own slumbers in time.

Sorrows of Empire

Coleen Rowley interviewed at a Des Moines, Iowa Air Guard Drone piloting base protest.

When Coleen Rowley was an FBI agent in Minneapolis, her office got a lead just three weeks before 9-11: A known Islamic extremist named Zacarias Moussaoui had paid $8000 in cash for lessons to fly a Boeing 747. Rowley's team arrested him and wanted a warrant to search his laptop computer but Rowley's superiors at FBI headquarters said "no."

After 9/11, when it became clear that more could have been done, Rowley wrote FBI Director Robert Mueller a letter pointing out that "no one will ever know" the impact the computer search would have had calling his defense of the agency a "rush to judgment to protect the FBI at all costs." She testified in a Senate hearing a few weeks later. She was chosen by TIME magazine as one of their Persons of the Year in 2002. 

Getting Ready for the Peace Walk


Maine artist Russell Wray made this banner for our upcoming peace walk down the coast of our state.  He will hang it on the side of the bus we will use as the 'blister vehicle' as we head south on US Hwy 1 from Ellsworth to Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  Russell really captured the theme of our walk perfectly in this incredible work of art.

He's also made a fiberglass dolphin that will sit on top of the bus.  Actually he made it years ago for a walk across America and he pulled the dolphin, that he calls Maka, on a cart the whole way.  He's redesigned Maka to sit on top of the bus and even called the state to make sure it would fit under all bridges along the coast.

Russell has carried on the often lonely struggle here in Maine for years as the chief advocate for sea mammals that are impacted by Navy sonar.  So it was an easy decision for him to take on the art work for the walk.  We've been repeatedly moved by his gentle nature and deep affection for our relations under the seas.

I had a call early this morning from Starr Gilmartin who has been in charge of organizing the first couple of days of the walk in the Ellsworth area.  She's coordinated food, housing, media, public outreach and more.  When she called she asked if she woke me up and I said yes.  'Well this is training for the walk', she told me, 'you've got to start practicing getting up earlier'.  I told her I hoped to begin that training next week......

I've got a long list of Odds & Ends that need to get done before we start walking in Ellsworth on October 9.  I'm still waiting for the call from the local health food store about our order of 10 pounds of chunky peanut butter.  I've got to make a batch of hummus and cut carrots from the garden for our lunches the first few days.  I've got ice in used milk jugs in the freezer to keep our coolers cold.  I've yet to get signs made on sturdy poster board for the walkers to carry. We got a Subaru wagon donated to carry our gear but I discovered the front brakes were shot so yesterday spent two hours in the repair shop getting them fixed.  Gotta have brakes on US 1!

You can follow our walk updates on the Facebook page set up by Lisa Savage.  Find it here

I just learned yesterday that the next 'christening' of a Navy Aegis destroyer at Bath Iron Works here in Maine will happen on Saturday, October 31.   So we will be asking folks to come to Bath for a protest that day (from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm) as we walk.  Timing could not have been better.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Carving Up the Middle East

 
In this first episode of a two-part series for his TeleSUR show “Days of Revolt,” Chris Hedges and Sabah Alnasseri, Associate Professor of Middle East Politics at York University, trace the roots of Islamic State to their origins and explore comparisons to the 20th-century genesis of Israel.

Hedges begins by pointing out how the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916, responsible for “carving up the Middle East and turning countries into protectorates,” has only been changed twice—once with the Israeli independence and now with Islamic State.

As Hedges put it, the tactics used to redraw the map in the Middle East are both effective and familiar, including the “use of foreign money, use of foreign fighters, tactics of ethnic cleansing and terrorism and this mythical vision—in the case of Israel, the recreation of Judea and Sumeria from the Bible, and in the case of ISIS, the recreation of the seventh-century caliphate.”

Alnasseri agrees, opening his response with the observation that, “to understand the pheonomenon of ISIS we need to contextualize it within the setbacks and counterrevolution against the Arab revolutions.“

Interesting Interview on Syria

Srđa Trifković is a Serbian-American writer on international affairs and foreign affairs editor for the magazine Chronicles.

I know this is all very confusing to most people - especially when the media in the west is so full of lies and distortion.  It's hard to figure out what is true and what is not about Syria.

I highly recommend reading this timely article on the Syria situation by journalist Robert Parry here

Endless War $pending



  • Obama      FY2010-15      $663.4 billion per year
  • Bush Jr      FY2002-09*   $634.9    "
  • Clinton       FY1994-2001  $418.0    "    (This was the period after the Soviet Union fell apart thus the lower Pentagon budgets)
  • Bush Sr      FY1990-93     $513.4    "     
  • Reagan      FY1982-89     $565.0    "      
  • Carter         FY1978-81    $428.1     "      
  • Ford            FY1976-77    $406.7     "    
  • Nixon          FY1970-75    $441.7     "     
  • Johnson      FY1965-69    $527.3     "    
  • Kennedy     FY1962-64    $457.2     "     
  • Eisenhower FY1954-61    $416.3     "
  • Truman       FY1948-53    $375.7     "    

*Excludes $80 billion supplemental added to FY2009 under Obama.


 The U.S. military receives more generous funding than the rest of the 10 largest militaries in the world combined (China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, U.K., France, Japan, India, Germany & South Korea). 


Can we not see that both Republican and Democrat presidents have kept the $$$ pipeline into the Pentagon flowing on a steady basis?  All the current talk in Washington about the military budget being in bad shape is pure baloney.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Maine Peace Walk Program

The sacred rocky coastline (called Gureombi) of Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea has been transformed into a Navy base for US warships that will encircle China's coast. The US Navy handed the base specifications to the Korean Navy and told the Korean government to build the base.  The Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins, of which only 114 remain in Korea, regularly pass just off the coast of Gangjeong village and directly through the area that is now the naval base. Navy Aegis destroyers, built at BIW in Bath, will be ported at this new base.


Militarization of the Seas
Pentagon’s Impact on the Oceans

  

Pot Luck Supper Schedule



  • Day 1 (Ellsworth) Friday, October 9 -   Ellsworth Unitarian Church (121 Bucksport Rd) Evening potluck and kick-off program at 6:00 pm. Homestays needed.    Host: Starr Gilmartin 667-2421

  • Day 2 (Orland) Saturday, October 10 - Potluck supper 6:00 pm and program at H.O.M.E (90 School House Rd.) Homestays and sleep at H.O.M.E.  Host: Starr Gilmartin 667-2421 or Lawrence 415-565-9867

  • Day 3 (Belfast) Sunday, October 11 - First Church UCC (104 Church St) Pot luck supper (unadvertised) 6:00 pm, public program 7:00 pm.    Home stays needed & sleep at church: Cathy Mink 323-5160 & Bev Roxby 669-2903.      Host: Joel 338-2282 or 323-0940 at the UCC Church

  • Day 4 (Camden) Monday, October 12 - Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic Church (7 Union St) Pot luck supper and program at 6:00 pm. Home stays needed. Host: Maureen Kehoe-Ostensen 763-4062

  • Day 5 (Rockland) Tuesday, October 13 - Potluck supper and program at Unitarian church (345 Broadway) at 6:00 pm. Homestays needed.  Host: Midcoast Citizens for P & J (Steve Burke 691-0322)

  • Day 6 (Damariscotta) Wednesday, October 14 - Friends Meeting House (77 Belvedere Rd) Potluck Supper and program at 6:00 pm. Sleep at Meeting House.  Host: Friends Meeting (Sue Rockwood 570-854-4458)

  • Day 7 (Bath) Thursday, October 15 - UCC Neighborhood Church (corner of Washington & Centre) Potluck supper and program at 6:00 pm. Homestays needed.  Host: Bruce Gagnon 904-501-4494 & Karen Wainberg 371-8190

  • Day 8 (Day off) in Bath Friday, October 16 - Stay at same homestays again this night. Potluck supper at Addams-Melman House (212 Centre St) at 6:00 pm. Host: Bruce Gagnon 904-501-4494 & Karen Wainberg 371-8190
  • Day 9 (Brunswick) Saturday, October 17 - Pot luck supper at Sternlieb home (21 McKeen St) at 6:00 pm. Walker music program. Home stays needed in Brunswick. Host: Selma Sternlieb 725-7675

  • Day 10 (Freeport) Sunday, October 18 - Pot luck supper at First Parish Congregation Church (on US 1) at 6:00 pm and program. Sleep at church. Host: Paula O’Brien 865-6022 & Sukie Rice 318-8531 & Cheryl Avery 865-0916

  • Day 11 ( Portland) Monday, October 19 - State Street Church-UCC (159 State St.) Pot luck supper & program at 6:00 pm.  Homestays needed. Host: Grace Braley 774-1995

  • Day 12 (Saco) Tuesday, October 20 - First Parish Congregation Church on corner of Beech & Maine. Pot luck supper and program at 6:00 pm. Home stays needed.  Host: Tom Kircher 282-7530

  • Day 13 (Kennebunk) Wednesday, Oct 21 - New School (38 York Street). Pot luck supper and program at 6:00 pm. Sleep at school.  Host: Olive Hight 207-590-9505

  • Day 14  (York Beach) Thursday, October 22 - York Beach (52 Freeman St) Supper, music program & sleeping spot at 6:00 pm. Host: Pat Scanlon 978-474-9195 & Smedley Butler Brigade of Boston-area VFP

  • Day 15 (Portsmouth) Friday, October 23 - Supper and program at St. John’s Episcopal Church (100 Chapel St) at 6:00 pm.  Home stays needed, Host: Doug Bogen 603-617-6243 (Meet at Prescott Park at 5:00 pm for rally)

  • Day 16 (Finale in Portsmouth) Saturday, October 24 - Meet at Market Square 10:00 am. Walk thru downtown and back over bridge to Kittery. Vigil & speakers at shipyard gate (deliver letter). Walk back to Market Square for final closing circle around noon. Host: Doug Bogen 603-617-6243

~ The walk is being 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); Maine Green Independent Party; and Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.


For full walk route schedule details and flyer see here
See our peace walk Facebook page here

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Keep Space for Peace Week Local Actions List



October 3-10, 2015
 
 
Keep Space for Peace Week
 
International Week of Protest to
Stop the Militarization of Space

   
Stop Drones Surveillance & Killing 
No Missile Defense 
No to NATO 
End Corporate Domination of Foreign/Military Policy 
Convert the Military Industrial Complex 
Deal with climate change and global poverty


•   Andover, Massachusetts (Oct. 8) Vigil from 7am to 8am in front of Raytheon, 350 Lowell St. Organized by Merrimack Valley People for Peace & Friends Meeting Lawrence  brian@quirk.ws   978-685-1389    

•    Augusta, Maine (Oct 9) Augusta Women in Black vigil from 12:30 to 1:00 PM in front of Lithgow Library.  rleisnerrfm@yahoo.com 

•    Bath Iron Works, Maine (Oct 3) 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

•    Boryong, South Korea (Oct 4)   No to THAAD ‘missile defense’ system protest only for the sake of US and Japan destroying peace and economy. Organized by SPARK spark946@hanmail.net

•    Chongju, South Korea (Oct 7)   At Bus terminal.  No to THAAD ‘missile defense’ system protest only for the sake of US and Japan destroying peace and economy. Organized by SPARK spark946@hanmail.net

•    USAF Croughton, England (Oct 3) National March & Rally at U.S. satellite communication and intelligence base. (Space communications, drones, bomber guidance, missile defence and command & control functions.)  12.00 midday to 3:30 pm. Special guest Robb Johnson. Evening peace concert after rally at Friends Meeting House in Oxford at 7:00 pm.  Oxfordshire Peace Campaign, oxonpeace@yahoo.co.uk  

•    Daejeon, South Korea (Oct 6)   At Chungnam university, Mokwon Univ, Daejeon Univ.  No to THAAD ‘missile defense’ system protest only for the sake of US and Japan destroying peace and economy. Organized by SPARK spark946@hanmail.net

•    RAF Fylingdales, North Yorkshire, England (Nov 21) Gathering outside and torch light procession around base. Organised by Yorkshire CND during Bruce Gagnon's mini-tour of Britain more details from 01274 730795 or info@yorkshirecnd.org.uk

•    Hancock Air Base to Niagara Falls, New York (Oct 7-21) The Upstate Drone Action Coalition is planning a 165-mile Walk Against Killer Drones, from Hancock Air Base to the Niagara Falls Air Base with stops along the way in Rochester and Brockport. The goal of the Walk is to heighten public awareness of the mindless murder and relentless terror perpetrated in our names by the escalating use of killer drones.  Please let us know ASAP that you or others you know will be joining us for all or part of the Walk. Contact Peg Gefell at 585-313-6674 or at peg.fink.gefell@gmail.com

•    Janakpurdham, Nepal (Oct 5) Introductory/ interaction meeting about Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and my experience of Okinawa, Kyoto and Hiroshima conferences. Social Development Path (SODEP) http://www.sodep.org.np/

•    Jeonju, South Korea (Oct 3)  At Jeonbuk University, Korean traditional village touring site.  No to THAAD ‘missile defense’ system protest  only for the sake of US and Japan destroying peace and economy. Organized by SPARK spark946@hanmail.net    

•    Kemijärvi, Finland (Oct 3) Peace defenders will hold a street protest against drone testing and war training area where NATO is feared to be preparing for war with Russia.  kerstin.tuomala@pp.inet.fi 

•    King of Prussia, Pennsylvania (Oct 10) Noon, Demonstration and kite flying in front of Lockheed Martin (L-M) at intersection of Mall & Goddard Boulevards.   L-M is making a killing in drone war and surveillance technology, building the remote-controlled unmanned planes and satellites that direct the drones and launch their deadly Hellfire missiles which L-M also builds. For more info Brandywine Peace Community, (610) 544-1818 brandywine@juno.com  or www.brandywinepeace.com 

•    Kolkata, India (Oct 11) Public Meeting at Kolkata organised by Mrs. Arundhoti Roy Chouddhury (arundhoti@gmail.com). Global Network board member J. Narayana Rao to speak.

•    Kyoto, Japan (Oct 3) Kyoto Coalition against the U.S. ‘missile defense’ X-band Radar Base in Ukawa village will hold indoor Rally at 14:00 pm. The venue is Higashiyama Ikiiki Shimin Katsudo Center. And then, we will march on central Kyoto. The march will starts on 17:00 pm.  kyogamisaki2013@yahoo.co.jp 

•    Largo, Florida (Oct 7) Demonstration from 4:30-5:30 PM at the Young-Rainey Star Center at the corner of Bryan Dairy and Belcher Roads in mid-Pinellas County, site of a Raytheon plant.  Raytheon was the fourth largest weapons contractor in the world in 2014, with sales of $10.2 billion, and is very active in drone production. sjstew@gte.net

•    Maine Walk for Peace: Pentagon’s Impact on the Oceans (Oct 9-24) Join us in shedding light on the Militarization of the Seas as the US Navy (outfitted with missile defense and space-directed missiles) ramps up their global operations to encircle Russia & China. We will explore environment impacts of Navy on the oceans.  Walk from Ellsworth to Portsmouth, NH.  See flyer at www.vfpmaine.org

•    Menwith Hill, England (Oct 6) Demonstration at U.S. NSA/NRO Spy Base in Yorkshire.  6-7:30 pm.   Sponsored by CAAB  mail@caab.corner.org.uk  or percy@phonecoop.coop

•    Minneapolis, Minnesota (Oct 14) Bridge vigil at Lake St & Marshall Ave.  Twin Cities Peace Campaign.  Braun044@umn.edu

•    Montrose, California (Oct 9)  We will call to Keep Space For Peace at our weekly Montrose Peace Vigil, Fridays 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., at Honolulu Ave. and Oceanview BLvd., in the Montrose Shopping Park. rmedford@ucla.edu

•    Nagpur, India (Oct 3) Mass Rally at Motibalgh jointly by S.E.C. Rly Pensioners Assn and Pragatisjheel Railway Mahila Samaj. Coordinator J. Saraswati.  jnrao193636@gmail.com

•    Nagpur, India (Oct 3) Program on the dangers of weaponization of space at 11 AM to be held at the Women's College.  jnrao193636@gmail.com

•    Nagpur, India (Oct 3) Program on the dangers of weaponization of space at 2:00 with the students at the National Social Work College.  jnrao193636@gmail.com

•    Nagpur, India (Oct 4) Bernie Mayer (American Gandhi) will address a women's rally at 4:00 pm on how the masses can be attracted to struggle against space weaponisation through Gandhian technique.  jnrao193636@gmail.com

•      New York, New York (Oct 7) Please join us in demonstrating against the ongoing wars in Afghanistan (invaded 14 years ago on Oct. 7, 2001, by the U.S.), Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and other countries in the region. Bring signs, banners, leaflets, and loud voices. We are also joining Keep Space for Peace Week. Noon to 1 pm at Times Square Military Recruiting Station located at 43rd Street and Broadway/Seventh Ave., Manhattan. Sponsored by NYC War Resisters League & Granny ​​Peace Brigade. For more information 718-768-7306 or nycwrl@att.net

•    Nonsan, South Korea (Oct 5)   No to THAAD ‘missile defense’ system protest only for the sake of US and Japan destroying peace and economy. Organized by SPARK spark946@hanmail.net

•    Pyongtaek, South Korea (Oct 8) At Railroad station.  No to THAAD ‘missile defense’ system protest only for the sake of US and Japan destroying peace and economy. Organized by SPARK spark946@hanmail.net

•    Sacramento, California (Oct 7) No New Wars, No Killer Drones. Sac Veterans for Peace weekly vigil, 15th & L, Sacramento. 4 – 5 pm.  All welcome. FMI: 916-456-4595

•    Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado (Oct 7) Protest at Air Force Space Command’s Space Warfare Center and new joint interagency combined space operations center that will bring the civilian spooks from National Reconnaissance Office and National Security Agency together with military space agencies like Defense Information Systems Agency. bill.sulzman@gmail.com

•    Seattle, Washington (Oct 6) We will bring information and stand vigil on Tuesday of ksfp week at the Seattle Federal Building from 11am to 1 p.m. in concert with the weekly peace vigil.  miraleslie@gmail.com

•    Seongnam, South Korea (Oct 9)   (At traditional market) No to THAAD ‘missile defense’ system  protest only for the sake of US and Japan destroying peace and economy. Organized by SPARK spark946@hanmail.net

•    Seoul, South Korea (Oct 23) No to THAAD only for the sake of US and Japan destroying peace and economy protest rally when Security Meeting of US and S. Korea is being held. Organized by SPARK spark946@hanmail.net

•   Stockholm, Sweden (Oct 9) Swedish Peace Council and Women for Peace will arrange a standing demonstration at Mynttorget at 11.00-13.00.  Holding a banner condemning the drone warfare and speaking about the final performance of nEUROn (a huge drone prototype collectively manufactured by Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and Greece.)  Lappland.norberg@gmail.com

•    Suwon, South Korea (Oct 10)   No to THAAD ‘missile defense’ system protest only for the sake of US and Japan destroying peace and economy. Organized by SPARK spark946@hanmail.net

•    Tucson, Arizona (Oct 6) Vigil at Raytheon Missile Systems. Join the Raytheon Peacemakers as we demonstrate against war and those who profit from it.  Survival demands better ideas, not better weapons.  Hermans Road entrance. (3rd traffic light south of Valencia on Nogales Highway, the extension of South 6th Avenue). Park off Nogales Highway, between railroad tracks and highway.  Signs provided, or bring your own!  More info: 520-323-8697.

•    Ukawa, Japan (Oct 31) US Base, No Thanks: Festival for Life. Close the dangerous Missile Defense X-band radar immediately, Return the Peaceful Land to our Kids. 12:00-13:30 Music, bazaar, socializing. 13:30--15:30 Mass Meeting, report from Congressmen, Solidarity Messages from Okinawa and overseas. 15:30 Marching to the Construction site of US Military Personnel. Place: Amity Hall of Tango (Amino Town of Kyotango City) Organizer: Ukawa Villagers Concerned the Construction of  US Military Base, Coordinating Committee of Concerned Citizens of the Affected Communities of Tango Area    fujioka@ec.ritsumei.ac.jp  

•    Vandenberg AFB, California (Oct 7) Vigil in solidarity with "Keep Space for Peace Week" at the main gate of space warfare base from 3:45pm to 4:45pm. For info, contact Dennis Apel at (805) 878-2614.

•    Washington DC (Oct 5) Pentagon will hold "Keep Space for Peace" and "No Weapons in Space" signs during Dorothy Day Catholic Worker weekly peace vigil. 7-8 AM artlaffin@hotmail.com 

•    Washington DC (Oct 9) White House will hold "Keep Space for Peace" and "No Weapons in Space" signs during Dorothy Day Catholic Worker weekly peace vigil. Noon-1:00 PM  artlaffin@hotmail.com

~   Keep Space for Peace Week is co-sponsored by the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom

Resources:

•        Download our full-size space week poster here