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, April 16, 2016

Your Tax $$$$ at Work


From a Previous Election Involving a Clinton


Friday, April 15, 2016

The "Color Revolution" World Tour



Laurent Brayard writes (Translated by Tom Winter):

There was a time when I wrote that we were in a Second Cold War. There was also a time when I, like many others, looked upon the fall of the Soviet Union as a great victory for peace.

There is much to say yet about the USSR, certainly the giant had long since been a "dead man walking," frozen, paralyzed, and cornered by a race against the great American enemy, a competition which ended in the complete destruction of a system which was no longer viable neither knowing how to resist the onslaught of the West over time, or how to reform to find the resources to continue the fight some other way. No matter how far from me the idea of a nostalgia that I never had for the defunct union, the fact of the matter is that the cold war never stopped.

It should have.

A documentary from 11 years ago sheds much light on what has been happening in Ukraine and Europe from an American offensive that looks like an overall plan that the CIA developed probably in the early 2000s. For the collapse of the Soviet Union didn't mean peace, far from it. The 2005 film "The US: for the conquest of the East" is a good tool for understanding the mindset of the US deep government and the CIA at the time.

In a very relaxed and open manner, participants clearly explain US plans to destabilize an entire sequence of regimes, all in the backyard of the Russian Federation and with the ultimate aim being Russia itself. On an orange T-shirt, the film shows the revolutions already accomplished and those yet to accomplish, from Belarus, on to Russia, and the countries of Central Asia.



The nonchalance of the participants is disturbing, an American publisher in Kyrgyzstan, a known CIA agent who is behind a revolution organized by the US, passing among activists on the American dole with a large-scale very select menu of several countries with revolutions achieved and those still to come.

Amid unabashed laughter, it's a question of methods, symbols, choosing a color, contamination of the People, especially the young people born after the fall of the Berlin Wall, with unlimited funding by the United States, the money that will flow, the tomorrows that will sing.

All this is alarming because of a great cynicism, notably about the human cost. Certainly, to arrange the "democratic" cause, the CIA officers say they must find the ways and means to engage these muffled and almost game-like revolutions. But all told, it sounds very false; many a time, the cameras are cut, and the participants get annoyed.

Read the rest of this very important article here

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Odessa Stands Up


Odessa in Ukraine has been kicked around by the Nazis and the US-NATO backed regime in Kiev for the past two years.  The May 2, 2014 massacre of at least 50 people inside the Trades Union Hall by Nazis being just one horrific example.  The appointment of former Georgia ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili (a corrupt US-stooge wanted for crimes in Georgia) as the Governor of Odessa stands as another horrific example.

Above is a video filmed in Odessa’s Alley of Glory on April 10, the day the city was liberated from German and Romanian occupiers by Soviet troops in 1944. Crowds chanted anti-fascist and anti-Banderite [Nazi nationalist from western Ukraine who joined Hitler's invasion of Russia during WW II] slogans as uniformed and plainclothes police forced the participants to take off their St George ribbons, the symbol of Russian military victory against Hitler's Army.

The people of Ukraine are stirring. They are tired of the US-NATO Kiev regime's crimes against the people. 

The US goal is to create chaos in Ukraine - right on Russia's border - as part of Washington's plan to destabilize and ultimately force regime change in Moscow.

Washington Working to Keep Syrian War Burning

 
A covert ‘Plan B’ for Syria reserved for a “violation of ceasefire” is being pushed to the US president, anonymous officials told media. Arming “moderate” Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft weapons to fight the “Russia-backed regime” is again on the table. 
 
For more on this, RT America’s Manila Chan is joined by former Pentagon analyst Michael Maloof.

The Truth from Veterans About U.S. Wars



In this episode of Days of Revolt, Chris Hedges interviews two veterans of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Michael Hanes [he went on our VFP Jeju & Okinawa trip last December] and Rory Fanning. They lament the brutality of the American military presence, which they say creates the conditions for terrorism and fuels attacks in places like Brussels.

They also speak out about the painful struggle of coping with PTSD, and the alienation faced by many soldiers when they come home. 

Where Should Your Taxes Be Spent? - Korean Style


Fellow Mainer Jason Rawn (on right in photo) writes from Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea the following:

This is the English text (below) I wrote for a handout on War Tax Resistance we made here in Gangjeong for our two days of Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) demonstrations. We timed them to coincide with national Election Day here, which everyone I know is very happy about because the ruling right-wing party, Saenuri, is no longer in control. People were very worried that if Saenuri did well in this election, it would lead to more crackdowns on free speech, among other things.

I hope you can use some of this information in your work. I will also forward a link to the Korean-language website, which has some photos of people participating in a modified Penny Poll with some very pretty heart stickers.

I've been told this is the first time this kind of activity has been done here. People seem interested, and I look forward to following up in my last few weeks here, as well as during future visits. 

Due to human-caused climate change, we must make huge changes in how we live very soon. The US military and its allies use the most fossil fuels and have the largest Carbon bootprint on the planet. Most of these fossil fuels are used in pursuit of more fossil fuels. There are also nuclear, biological, space, and conventional weapons, torture, surveillance, and many other harmful aspects of militarism to consider.

Activists around the world are organizing the GDAMS from April 5-18. In 2015, 127 actions were held in 20 different countries. GDAMS is part of the International Peace Bureau's Global Campaign on Military Spending. The central question is, "Money for War...Or Human Need?" 

Here in Gangjeong, our action is to speak out and picket during our daily blockade of the navy base here. We will also conduct a poll to discover how local people would like to invest their hard-earned tax money. We ask people to examine their priorities and the long-term well-being of the planet and then use stickers to indicate  what types of projects and programs they value and want to fund. This is an adaptation of the "Penny Poll," a fun activity used by peace activists in the US to start conversations on the subject of divesting from war. 



These are the categories of projects and programs: 

  • Peace: disarmament, conflict prevention and resolution, human security

  • Sustainable development and anti-poverty programs

  • Climate change and biodiversity loss - for mitigation, adaptation, bioremediation

  • Public services/social justice, human rights, gender equality, and green job creation

  • Humanitarian programs to support the most vulnerable groups

Hillary Keeps Telling Lies

 
As Hillary Clinton seeks to defend her role in the 2009 Honduras coup, Democracy Now speaks with Dana Frank, an expert on human rights and U.S. policy in Honduras. "This is breathtaking that she’d say these things. I think we’re all kind of reeling that she would both defend the coup and defend her own role in supporting its stabilization in the aftermath," Frank says. "I want to make sure that the listeners understand how chilling it is that a leading presidential candidate in the United States would say this was not a coup. … She’s baldly lying when she says we never called it a coup."

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Solid Commitment

 
Several ecological protesters put their feet in cement near the state palace of Istana Negara in Jakarta, Wednesday, in protest of plans by state-owned PT Semen Indonesia to develop a new cement factory in central Java. The nine women taking part in the protest have stated that they will not leave the site until they are met by Indonesian President Joko Widodo and their demands are heard.
 

The US-NATO Created Mess in Ukraine



Ukraine slides into chaos as the prospect of all out war re-emerges

by Leon Tressell

The recent bout of in-fighting within the Kiev junta has been accompanied by warning’s from the IMF that Ukraine must do more to deal with the massive problems of corruption before it receives any more loans. The in-fighting between the various oligarchs and their political puppets within the Rada reflects the failure of crony capitalism to deal with any of the pressing economic, social and political problems facing Ukrainian society.

The deepening political crisis within Ukraine reveals how the promised benefits of turning towards the EU and America have failed to materialise. Many Ukrainians have been taken in by pro-Western propaganda that loans from the EU/IMF and a free trade agreement with the EU would bring major social and economic benefits to an impoverished population.

A cursory look at the the progress of Ukraine’s economy since the ‘Maiden Revolution’, reveals how hollow the promises made to the beleaguered population have been. Since 2014 the Ukrainian people have experienced a 22.2% collapse in real disposable income.

The economic hurricane that has swept over Ukraine since the violent overthrow of the Yanukovich regime has had a devastating impact upon the lives of ordinary Ukrainians. Its crisis ridden economy shrank by 10% during 2015 while inflation has exploded from 0.5% in 2013 to 32.7% in February of this year. This dramatic increase in consumer prices has been compounded by the junta raising prices of electricity by 25% this March with another price increase to come in September.

Meanwhile, unemployment has risen to over 10% as a vicious austerity programme has been initiated under the auspices of the Nobel Peace Prize winning EU and its partner in crime the IMF. The poverty rate in Ukraine has mushroomed to a 24.2% of the population according to the UN Development Programme.

As if this was not bad enough, the EU and IMF are insisting that the Kiev junta go much further in bringing the country towards Western style social democracy by cancelling energy subsidies and proceeding to the whole-scale privatisation of the country’s public assets. A recent IMF report published on 8 March 2016, laments the fact that the privatization of public assets is moving at a such a slow pace. You can just imagine Hedge fund hyenas and other Western financial criminals drooling at the prospect of getting their hands on Ukraine’s portfolio of public assets which are estimated by the IMF to be worth $72 billion.

The IMF bemoans the fact that,’Public assets continue to have a negative fiscal impact’ upon the government’s finances. This is code for the junta to get a move on and let Western asset strippers come in and buy up Ukraine’s public assets at knock down prices. The IMF report bemoans the fact that endemic corruption is leading to some state assets being sold cheaply to Ukrainian oligarchs.

It is against this backdrop of economic collapse and political in-fighting between the various oligarchs and their political puppets in the Rada, that sets the scene for a renewal of hostilities in the Donbass region of Ukraine. The so-called Minsk 2 ceasefire has utterly failed to solve the desperate problems facing the people living in the People’s Republics of Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR).

It has not brought political stability to the rest of Ukraine quite the opposite. The Minsk 2 ceasefire agreements are used by the gangster-capitalists ruling in Kiev to continue their misrule over Ukraine by diverting ordinary people’s anger and dissatisfaction towards the so called ‘frozen conflict’ in the south east of the country.

On the one hand you could argue that a renewal of all out war seems unlikely considering Ukraine’s vassal status towards the EU.

The Kiev junta is being exhorted by EU leaders to fully implement the Minsk 2 peace agreement which involves a constitutional amendment giving the DPR and LPR special ”decentralized status” within Ukraine. The old adage he who pays the piper calls the tune comes to mind. After all the EU has loaned 11 billion euros to Ukraine and formed a free trade agreement with Ukraine that effectively gives the EU control over Ukraine’s economy. You would expect the Kiev junta to act like obedient puppets after hearing their masters voice and fully implement the Minsk 2 peace accords and get on with rooting out the corruption that is endemic within Ukrainian society.

However, the Kiev junta is getting a different message from its American sponsor. Last year the U.S. Congress passed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act that increased sanctions against Russia and gave Obama the authority to increase U.S. military aid to the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF). There is strong bipartisan support within Congress to greatly increase military aid to the UAF to include so-called ‘lethal aid’ and ‘defensive’ weapons.
  
See the rest of this article here

Maine Peace Walk Update - Oct 11-26

Maine Peace Walk in 2014
 
 
Yesterday Russell Wray and I did the first drive of the next Maine Peace Walk route.  The dates have slightly been adjusted to October 11-26 in order to better accommodate monks and nuns from the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist order who will lead the walk.
 
We will begin things on October 11 with a potluck supper hosted by the Penobscot Nation on Indian Island, Maine. 
 
The title of the 2016 walk is Stop the War$ on Mother Earth.
 
Here is the daily schedule below.  We are looking for churches for community suppers and floor sleeping in most of these communities.  If you can help us with that please give me a ring.
 
Note:  On some of the walk days, due to distances, some shuttling will be required.
 
  • Oct 11  Penobscot Nation on Indian Island (orientation, supper and opening program)
  • Oct 12  Indian Island to Dexter
  • Oct 13  Dexter to Pittsfield
  • Oct 14  Pittsfield to Unity
  • Oct 15  Unity to Waterville
  • Oct 16  Waterville to Augusta
  • Oct 17  Augusta to Norway
  • Oct 18  Norway to Lewiston
  • Oct 19  Lewiston to Brunswick
  • Oct 20  Day off in Brunswick
  • Oct 21  Brunswick to Freeport
  • Oct 22  Freeport to Portland
  • Oct 23  Portland to Saco
  • Oct 24  Saco to Kennebunk
  • Oct 25  Kennebunk to York Beach
  • Oct 26  York Beach to Kittery Naval shipyard
Additional note:  There is some discussion now taking place within the Veterans For Peace Smedley Butler Brigade in Boston that they might want to keep the walk going from Kittery into Boston.  More on that later.
 
Stop the War$ on Mother Earth

2016 Maine Peace Walk

The 5th Maine Peace Walk will take place on October 11 – 26.  The organizing team is made up of individuals who are dedicated to creating a more peaceful, sustainable and just world.  We come together out of our deep concern about the many different wars being waged on Mother Earth, ranging from over-fishing, deforestation, and human-caused extinctions, to climate disruption and endless war. 

Close to home we support the Penobscot Nation’s struggle for Justice for the River, opposition to the East/West Corridor, and conversion of war production to alternative energy at Maine shipyards.  We know from past experience of walking through rural and urban Maine that many people will be reached with our messages. We hope this spiritual act of walking and sharing conversation and food will help people in our state feel less isolated and despairing about the future.   

We welcome everyone to join our walk for an hour, a day, or more and to help in any way they can to contribute.   We invite environmental, peace, church, and social justice organizations to sign on as a co-sponsor of the walk.  We ask co-sponsors to make a donation of their choosing and to help spread the word about the walk to their members/community.    Tax-deductible donations can be made by check to Global Network, designated “For Peace Walk” and sent to:

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME  04011

For more information:  Please contact Bruce Gagnon at: globalnet@mindspring.com                          (207) 443-9502

Co-Sponsors:  Penobscot Nation; Smedley D. Butler Brigade Veterans for Peace (Boston area); Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space; Maine Veterans for Peace Chapter 001; Citizens Opposing Active Sonar Threats (COAST); Veterans for Peace (National); Peninsula Peace and Justice; Maine Natural Guard; Maine War Tax Resistance Resource Center; Veterans For Peace, Jim Harney Chapter 003; Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine; Greater Brunswick Peace Works; Alliance for the Common Good; Grandmothers Against the East/West Corridor; Resources for Organizing and Social Change (ROSC); Pax Christi Maine; Friends of the Piscataquis Valley.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Let Me Give You a Bomber.....



Not only does the B-21 'new' stealth bomber not have a name - there is also no damn $$$$ to pay for it.

Guess the cost estimates - $500-$800 million each!

But the war mongers go right ahead and build the hype anyway.......get the public excited so they'll ignore the price. 

Don't worry we can cut more social programs to pay for the planes.  Why don't we just defund Social Security and Medicare?  That should cover it......

Monday, April 11, 2016

Democrats Rig Primary System for Hillary

Bernie Sanders wins Wyoming but Hillary Clinton nets more delegates.Joe Scarborough: It is a system rigged against voters.Watch more: http://on.msnbc.com/1qDlp3J
Posted by Morning Joe on Monday, April 11, 2016

Nuclear Hypocrisy

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry puts his arm around Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida after they and fellow G7 foreign ministers laid wreaths at the cenotaph at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum in Hiroshima, Japan. Reuters


Washington is all about show - not substance.  John Kerry makes a false pilgrimage to Hiroshima at the very same moment that the Pentagon is building new generations of nuclear weapons and deploying 'missile defense' systems throughout Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Guam, Philippines and in other countries in the Asia-Pacific.  All these systems are aimed at China.

The Washington Post reported that while in Hiroshima Kerry visited the atomic bomb museum.

“Everyone in the world should see and feel the power of this memorial,” Kerry wrote in a guest book after touring the museum. “It is a stark, harsh, compelling reminder not only of our obligation to end the threat of nuclear weapons, but to rededicate all our effort to avoid war itself. War must be the last resort – never the first choice. This memorial compels us all to redouble our efforts to change the world, to find peace and build the future so yearned for by citizens everywhere.”

It's things like this that make me so cynical about our government.  Here we have Kerry with his hands dripping in blood from Syria, Yemen and Ukraine talking about war as a last resort.  As the US-NATO are holding war games all along the Russian border he is talking about the need to "rededicate all our effort to avoid war".  (The US and South Korea continually hold similar war games along the North Korean border.) Pure bullshit.  It's all public relations for the folks back home.  Even many so-called 'liberals' here still buy this garbage line that the USA is out making peace around the world.  Far from the truth!

If the US was actually serious about building peace they'd cut the Pentagon budget that now has hit the $1 trillion a year mark.  The US counts for more than 34% of the global total of military spending. 

John Kerry, and the rest of the bunch in Washington, are a bunch of empty pretenders.  How anyone can buy their bullshit anymore is way beyond my imagination.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

NATO Pushing "New Platforms with More Capability"


An interesting example showing how NATO (using Canada) trains eastern European military forces to be aimed at Russia.  In this case Romania is dragged into the coming steaming war kettle in order to take down Moscow.

Toward the end of the video the key to the golden money chest is unveiled - the Romanian officer confirms that their meager national resources will be used to buy 'new platforms like the F-16... with more  capability.'

The weapons industry back in the USA will keep cranking, local communities will become further addicted to military jobs, and US and Romanian citizens will see more drastic austerity measures as the US-NATO war machine rumples on.

This is criminal, immoral, unethical, provocative and insane.  Why is Bernie not talking more about all this? 

Sunday Song