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
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.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Yes - Take Action and Survive

Eleven countries are planting a wall of trees from east to west across Africa, just under the southern edge of the Sahara desert.

The goal is to fight the effects of climate change by reversing desertification.

Home and Back to Work

  • I took an Amtrak train yesterday from Baltimore to Boston arriving there at 10:00 pm.  Then it was a two-hour bus ride to Portland, Maine. MB picked me up in Portland so we got back to Bath just before 1:00 am.   A long day and my ears were ringing from the travel noise.

  • It was a good trip to Washington - the conference on War and the Environment broke new ground for the peace movement and my talk seemed to have gone over well.  Once I get the video I'll post it here.  On the way home on the train I wrote an Op-Ed for our local paper that is due the end of this week.

  • My visit with two cousins from the Gagnon side of my family after the conference was really lovely and we went to the place where my father had a chicken farm back in the early 1950s. That was quite special for me to see this place - I'd never been there before.  It was sold before I was born.

  • The photo above is from Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea (standing in front of the new Navy base gate) where they know something about how US bases severely disrupt the life of local farming communities.  The forced US Army deployment of six THAAD 'missile defense' units into the melon farming area of Seongju is a major tragedy for the local people and is already provoking China and Russia to step up their counter-reaction to this destabilizing system.

  • During our Keep Space for Peace Week there will be daily protests in the small villages around the new THAAD deployment site and the folks in Gangjeong village will also hold daily protests against THAAD in solidarity with the folks in the Seongju area.

  • Also today I added a half-dozen more local events to our list during space week (October 7-14) in places like California, Wisconsin, Washington DC and India.  The list keeps inching forward and it is exciting to imagine people around the globe symbolically holding hands and declaring their opposition to the wasteful, provocative and dangerous Pentagon move to militarize and weaponize space.


Monday, September 25, 2017

We Need More of This

I love this video.

We don't have to let the corporate elite divide us....we can reach out and listen to one another.  We don't have to agree on everything but there is no shame in listening to each other.

If you really believe in peace and love then listening is a must.

Don't follow those who say we can't have dialogue.

Congrats to those Trump supporters who shared their stage with BLM.  That took courage and good will.

We need more of this kind of politics today - more than ever.


Help Puerto Rico

Donald Trump spent the weekend further pitting American against American over the issue of football players taking a knee during the national anthem as they used their First Amendment right to express concern about police brutality.

Is it possible that Trump used the NFL controversy in order to distract attention away from the massive hurricane damage in Puerto Rico?

Two reasons come to mind why Trump would do this - first, he does not want us to talk about the present effects of growing storms as oceans warm due to human impacts on the environment.  Climate change is real and Trump, we know, does not want us to talk about it.

Secondly, the cost to help Puerto Rico and its 3.4 million citizens recover from this hurricane (Add to that the damage in the US territory of the Virgin Islands) will be massive - who knows how much?  Where will those funds come from right after Trump and the Congress increased military spending by more than $70 billion?  The nation is already in colossal debt - printing funny money just to stay afloat.

Trump is a master at using Twitter to shape debate - and when you focus attention on one particular issue then something else important does not get talked about.

The top of the fold in the Washington Post newspaper today on page one was the NFL story with a large photo of the hometown Redskins football players linked arm and arm during the anthem.  A smaller story about hurricane damage was below the fold with the words 'Puerto Rico' in the sub-headline in even smaller print.

I'm not saying the NFL protests are not important - I'm saying Trump is manipulating them in order to shift our attention from programs and policies to loot the federal treasury on behalf of his corporate buddies and to avoid crucial subjects like global warming.

The medium is the message.  Divide and conquer is the strategy.  We should all wake up and smell the coffee.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Conversion Means Survival for Future Generations

Maine Peace Walk October 13-21. Come for a day or more.

This year the walk will largely be centered in Bath and concentrate on the serious need to convert Bath Iron Works (BIW) to peaceful and sustainable production.

Accepting our present condition of endless war for fossil fuels is a dead-end street that if not reversed will lead to our collective demise. We must have a conversion that begins with our hearts and extends to the timely task of totally reorienting our national production system.

Maine Peace Walk is sponsored by: Citizens Opposing Active Sonar Threats (COAST); Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space; Maine Green Independent Party; Maine Natural Guard; Maine Veterans For Peace; Maine War Tax Resistance Resource Center; Peace Action Maine; PeaceWorks; Veterans For Peace, Smedley Butler Chapter (Boston area); Waging Peace Maine; Waldo County Peace & Justice 

See full schedule of events at Maine VFP website here

Sunday Song

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Call Trump 'Rockets Man'


Friday, September 22, 2017

Keep Space for Peace Week

Bombs are U.S.

Heading to DC

  • I am sitting in the Boston South Station waiting for a train to Washington DC.  I am going there to attend and speak at a peace conference being held at American University over the weekend.  The conference will connect the US's endless war program and the Pentagon's #1 (of any institution on the planet) carbon boot print.  See more on the conference here

I'll be talking about conversion of the war machine to sustainable production that helps us even a bit deal with the reality of climate change.  I'll speak about our efforts in Bath, Maine to bring the conversion message to our community. I can assure you that people in our community are talking about our campaign - some obviously not pleased with our steady efforts to keep the conversion message in front of the local citizens.  The October 13-21 Maine Peace Walk will increase the visibility of this important conversion message even more.

  • While in DC I will be staying as usual at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House.  Then on Sunday I'll make my way to the Baltimore area and spend the night with my cousin.  On Monday another cousin will take us to the place where my father had a chicken and turkey farm before I was born.  At that time he was a back-to-nature kind of guy on his farm (didn't even have electricity) and then he met and married my mom.  He put in electricity and fixed up the place but she was a city slicker and didn't like the farm life.  She got him to sell his beloved farm and they moved to Florida.  After that he was broken hearted and listless.  When I was two years old he came home one day and said he wanted to go to Georgia and pick peaches so mom threw him out.  That was the end of my relationship with my father - everyone that knew him said he was a quiet and good man, including my mom's own sister.

I grew up not knowing anything about my dad's side of the family so my connection to my cousins on the Gagnon side have been developing only in recent years.  I am very excited to see the old farm. The circle of healing continues......