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, August 26, 2017

Airshow Protest in Maine Coverage



We had about 35 folks there with us today outside the airshow for our protest. The consensus was that we had a good reaction from many of the cars entering the former Naval air base - most of our folks felt that the positive out weighed the negative - of course the vast majority just look straight ahead like zombies and have no reaction. But of those who gave any kind of reaction it was more positive.

I told folks in our closing circle that many people often complain that "we are always preaching to the choir". But today, with tens of thousands of people passing directly by us, we were taking our opposition to endless war right to the citizens that need to hear the message the most.

After the protest nine of us had lunch together at a local pizza joint and then had a meeting at our house of the Maine Peace Walk planning committee. The peace walk will happen October 13-21 and this year will primarily be focused in the Bath-Brunswick area. It was a good day of activism here in the Midcoast and we were very grateful to those who came from across the state to join with us - and our two friends Tarak and Ellen from New York that were with us as well.

 Bruce

U.S. needs to 'release our share' of Afghanistan's mineral wealth......


Friday, August 25, 2017

This is Sick....and Very Sad



U.S. is buying mercenaries to fight its wars on the cheap.

This is evil and shows how far that Washington has fallen.  No morals - it's just all about corporate profits.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Protesting Hells Angels War Show in Brunswick



Seven of us gathered for just over an hour around noon today in downtown Brunswick to hold banner, signs and hand out flyers to promote our protest against the Navy Blue Angels airshow this coming Saturday in our community.

Our timing turned out to be quite good as the Hells Angels flight team was zooming around Brunswick in order to promote their appearance.  They blasted just overhead along Main Street in Brunswick several times and then flew various formations over the city during most of our time on the street.

Many hundreds of cars passed by and got a good look at our banner as did the noon hour walking traffic in the downtown area - a popular place to visit during the summer time.  One German couple stopped to talk to us and told one of our folks that they want the US military bases in their country to leave.

I told people who stopped to talk that while we have to listen to this racket for just a weekend, people living near US bases in Okinawa and South Korea (or many other places around the globe) have to listen to these ear-splitting war planes every day.  Then in war zones like Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen they not only get the noise but also the bombs dropped.

Our flyer promoting our protest on Saturday at former Navy air base in Brunswick reads "Real Angels Don't Drop Bombs".  We got some good responses but also had some hecklers shout at us as well.  Many people's minds have been colonized by the US endless war machine - they've swallowed the propaganda that says the 'exceptional' US military is protecting us here at home.

I think we are going to have a good protest on Saturday outside of the Hells Angels war show.  We'll never end this imperial war system unless we repeatedly speak out.

Bruce

You must stand up with a straight back....



WTHR-TV was live.

Yesterday at 6:08pm 
 
Protesters held a rally in support of football quarterback Colin Kaepernick outside the NFL offices in New York City. Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem due to police brutality against black people and the NFL tried to blackball him from the league.  They have failed but have stirred up national outrage against the NFL.

(NOTE: This was a live, unedited feed from NBC News in New York.)

We like to see ourselves as John Wayne sees us....


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Israel Terrorizing Palestinian Children



Everyone should watch this Israeli Occupier night raid on a Palestinian family. Waking up children at 1:15 am to make their fascist mark and terrify the family.

Don't ever forget that this is paid for with US tax dollars.

Politics as Entertainment (and Distraction)



Trump is not stupid - he is not dumb.  He is a very sick person acting on behalf of the puppet master named Mr. Big.

Trump wishes he could be part of Mr. Big's circle but he is an outlier.  So he debases himself before the world in order to perform the biggest acting role of his life.

Trump's experience in front of the professional wrestling crowds showed that he would be good at taking on the task of rounding up the working class on behalf of the corporate agenda.  It's a brilliant strategy and Trump is doing quite well playing the part.

I am deeply suspicious of everything these days.  The recent election (like most others) was rigged from the start.  The fact that the Bernie Sanders' momentum was killed by the Clinton corporate wing of the 'Democratic Party' was a sign of the lengths the ruling elites will go to deny real democracy at home while preaching its virtues abroad.

What ever political 'positions' Trump may have once had are being cast aside in order to carry out the marching orders from Mr. Big.  He ultimately has no strong inner core of values.  It's all a show to do one primary thing:  keep the public distracted and snarling at each other while the corporations fleece the public purse and destroy the environment.  Even more its a global strategy that requires endless war to take down any obstacles to full spectrum dominance.  Thus the current military takeover of the operation at the White House.

Working class folks who helped put Trump in the White House trusted him and felt they knew him from his exposure on TV.  They hated Clinton (for good reason) and thus saw no other choice.  The Green Party was an after thought for them - especially when its candidate could not easily relate to these same disenchanted citizens.  Trump, by climbing into the wrestling ring, showed the crowds that he was on their side.

The rest is history.

My guess is that some groups now being funded to organize anti-Trump events nationwide are indirectly being paid by the same corporate interests that support The Donald.  Keep the tensions high and people focused on the facade.

Our way out of this political swamp is not to spend all our time mobilizing against the actor but instead keep organizing on the issues and show their ultimate connection to the pockets of Mr. Big.  We've also got to do a better job of exposing who Mr. Big is - Wall Street, the military industrial complex, energy giants, insurance companies, CIA, Silicon Valley, and more.

Trump is a jerk and deserves no sympathy from me or anyone else.  But we can't be so focused on the puppet that we miss following the strings to the greedy hands and agenda of Mr. Big.

Bruce

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Washington Pushes Kiev to Increase Donbass Shelling



Donbass Rose writes from Ukraine:

In the world of mass media voice of the people goes largely unheard. All struggles, conflicts and worries of the people are carefully ground up and digested through modern media machines. On this channel we are gathering a collection of videos about ongoing struggles of peoples against the machine of elitism. Once again my dear audience it is up to you to watch or not to watch. The main thing is to think for yourself.
US sponsored puppet regime in Kiev has the job to create as much terror and chaos as possible along the Russian border.....the Donbass region of Ukraine is the ultimate trigger for a US war with Russia and Washington is pushing hard for just that. It's insane for sure......

Read more about the current situation here

Bruce

Plain Clothes Military Coup in Washington

White House chief of staff John Kelly (a general and former commander in the Marines) is now overseeing a virtual military coup inside the Trump administration

I've just returned last night from my son's wedding on the beach in Morro Bay, California.  It was a beautiful event and a great spot to hold the wedding.  His wife Emily's family came over from Taiwan - the second time we'd been with them and we spent some time going to various state parks and wildlife preserves along the coast.  Particularly cool was seeing an Elephant Seal rookery at Piedras Blancas.  Two of my sisters (I have five of them) were able to come which was also very lovely for all of us.

We arrived home late last night soon after Trump had spoken to the nation about extending America's longest, and likely most expensive, war in Afghanistan.  It was no surprise that more US troops will be going to the war zone as his new crew of military brass have convinced him that the US can't 'cut and run' from the region.  The fact that the deep state has inserted John Kelly as Chief of Staff indicates that 'the Donald' will really just be serving as a figure-head in the White House - the real power lies in the hands of the cadre of militarists that now occupy many top positions in his administration.  They will be baby sitting Trump.

The Guardian in the UK spelled it all out quite clearly:

By marching US troops back up the Afghan hill, having previously solemnly vowed to march them down and out of the country, Trump risks the worst of both worlds: leaving the US and its allies neither up nor down, without a clearly defined mission, and stuck in the middle of a worsening conflict.

His speech on Afghanistan on Monday night was long delayed, and it is easy to see why. White House advisers had been arguing for months over what to do about the 16-year-old war, America’s longest. When the speech came, there were no new ideas or initiatives. Instead Trump retained the main planks of Barack Obama’s policy and tried to dress it up as something fresh.

He has committed the US to waging an open-ended conflict with no limit on its scope or duration, and with no agreed measure of what constitutes victory. Now Britain and other NATO allies will be under pressure to perform a similar volte-face, and increase their combined troop deployments above the current level of roughly 6,500.

They were opposed by Steve Bannon and other champions of Trump’s nationalist, “America first” platform, which pledged to end foreign entanglements. Bannon was dismissed from his post as chief strategist last week.

Despite his efforts to justify his about-turn in his prime time TV speech, Trump will find it difficult to convince his domestic supporters, and his foreign allies, that he has a workable policy. And his bad relations with NATO mean he may struggle to get the European troops he wants as the US once again marches up the Afghan hill.

Let's just hope that 'the NATO allies' will think twice before following the US war machine further into this quagmire in Afghanistan - the grave yard of empires.

Let's hope that the liberal Democrats, who had no problem when Obama expanded the Afghanistan war, will also find themselves now able to question and oppose this never ending mistake.

Obviously those who really want to know the truth understand that the military industrial complex loves the Afghanistan occupation - their profits have been massive during these past 16 years.  Also we know that the CIA is heavily involved in the drug trade as the opium from Afghanistan is a big money maker.  In addition the western corporate mining interests have their greedy eyes fixed on the underground profits that are available.

The so-called war in Afghanistan is really about nothing other than securing the country, no matter how many civilians must be killed, to ensure the on-going profits for these corporate pirates that are in control of the US government.  They've held power during all the recent administrations (since Kennedy was killed) but now the curtain has been pulled away as this plain clothes military coup has been put in place.

Bruce

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday Song