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, January 24, 2015

Can We Handle the Truth?


Lenten Vigils at Bath Iron Works


Lenten Vigils for Disarmament at BIW in Maine

Starting on Ash Wednesday, February 18, we will gather at Bath Iron Works from 11:30 – 12:30, and we will continue every Saturday of Lent (February 21, 28, March 7, 14, 21, 28 and Holy Saturday on April 4) at the same time.  We will gather across from the BIW administration building on Washington Street.  (In particular the March 21 vigil will be expanded as it will be the official Maine site for the nationally called Spring Mobilization for Peace.)

We stand against the building of these guided missile warships [cruise missiles and ‘missile defense’ interceptors] here in Maine.  We stand together to witness to our absolute need to stop war and our preparations for war.  We stand with the innocent, the voiceless, and those grieving because of our failure to see the true costs of war. 

Lent is a time to fast from our culture of excess by resisting the temptation of militarism.  We need to stand together to express our opposition to this ongoing crime against peace which is the building of these guided missile warships here at BIW.

- Smilin’ Trees Disarmament Farm 763-4062

Protests Inside Supreme Court



From Popular Resistance:

On the anniversary of the Citizens United decision the US Supreme Court was interrupted by a series of protests decrying the corruption of government made worse by the decision.

Reuters reports:

Activists staged a rare protest inside the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, shouting denunciations on the fifth anniversary of a ruling that lifted limits on corporate spending in elections as police rushed to corral them, knocking over chairs and causing a ruckus in the normally staid chambers.

While the protests were ongoing they report “Chief Justice John Roberts tried to begin business but kept being interrupted by shouts.”  The New York Times described the protests reporting:

The disruption came shortly after the justices took their seats on the bench at 10 a.m., when a woman rose in the back of the courtroom and yelled, “Overturn Citizens United.” She was hustled from the room. It was the fifth anniversary of the Citizens United ruling, which allowed unlimited political spending by corporations and unions.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. seemed to take the protest in stride. “Our second order of business this morning …” he started to say, but he was interrupted as a second protester rose, followed, one by one, by five more.

“One person, one vote,” one said.

“We are the 99 percent,” said another.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

KEXP Radio in Seattle



Interview on KEXP radio in Seattle recorded January 18, 2015. Interviewed by Mike McCormick.

U.S. General Awards Medals in Ukraine



General Ben Hodges, Chief of the US Army in Europe, awarded US army medals to Ukrainian soldiers in Kiev's Central Military Hospital on January 22.

The General said the medal is "a symbol of the US army in Europe" and is given "for excellence". 

If anyone had any doubt that the Kiev regime is carrying water on behalf of the Pentagon and NATO then this video should dispel those doubts.  For a US Army general to be visiting Ukrainian soldiers, and awarding medals, indicates to me that this civil war in eastern Ukraine is indeed about provoking conflict with Russia.  There is no question as to who is really running this deadly show in Ukraine.

This is more than unbelievable - it's insane and our country is on a suicidal course that could end in a nuclear confrontation.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Just a Harmless Movie?


The reactions to the pro-war 'American Sniper' film are proving that it is serving its true purpose which is to pump up the domestic jam for all things military.

Just like the 1968 Vietnam war promo movie Green Berets with John Wayne, this new 'American Sniper' is serving the interests of the US war machine.

From what I've seen and read about this new movie it is not intended to question the lies and deception by the Bush administration that initiated 'shock and awe' of Iraq in 2003.  Instead it's purpose is to reenergise the militarization of American culture - to demonize the people of the Middle East in the eyes of movie goers - and those goals seem to have been achieved with many of the legions who have gone to see the box office smash which made an estimated $105.3 million during the entire four-day MLK holiday weekend.

The saddest thing about the film is that it completely drowned out the MLK holiday message of peace and social justice.  Just a coincidence I am sure.......

Jesus is Not an American?

We Steal from Our Children's Future



After all
the lies
all the
false promises
the words
have little
meaning

New enemies
are created
to justify
the thievery
from
our children

We revel
in the
war stories
missile launches
bomb blasts
reenlistment bonuses
memorial parades
flag waving
pledge making

our hearts
have grown hard
and bitter
we are
emotional
zombies
walking dead(ly)

we
continue
to steal
from the
future
generations
with
or without
conscience

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Winning Hearts for Jesus



More evidence that US is heavily involved in outfitting the Kiev regimes soldiers.  American evangelists are sending these recording to win 'hearts for Jesus'.  The Baptists would not have the ability to give these solar-powered recording devices to all of the Kiev junta's troops without Pentagon intervention.

We saw the same thing early on in Afghanistan when US troops were handing out bibles to the civilians there.  The crusaders are still at it!

We Were An Invading Country



The movie 'American Sniper' based on the memoirs of Navy Seal Chris Kyle has grabbed six Oscar nominations and shattered US box-office records. In the process it's also inflamed debate over US wars. Kyle served in Iraq and was credited with being America's deadliest sniper. After leaving the army he was shot dead by a fellow veteran he was trying to help. RT's Marina Portnaya takes a look at the controversy around the film.

US-NATO Ukraine War News


The Kiev puppet regime of the US-NATO has re-launched their offensive on the eastern part of Ukraine where the self-defense forces have held on despite constant shelling of their cities and towns.  Many civilians have been killed by Kiev shelling in recent days.

The battle for what is left of the Donesk airport appears to have been won by the eastern self-defense forces.  The Kiev junta has sent in waves of ill-trained conscripts to try to retake the airport but they faced death and capture.  One of those captured at the airport was the Right Sector Neo-Nazi commander Oleg Mikhailovich Mikats.

In desperation the Kiev regime is drafting another 50,000 conscripts who will be quickly 'trained' and thrown like cannon fodder into the civil war.  Recent reports have been that many of their soldiers are refusing to join the battle which has made it necessary for another call-up of unwilling men.  See this short video below of one recently captured Kiev draftee who indicates his unwillingness to keep fighting. At the end of the clip see one of the self-defense forces leaders describing an unknown military shell they captured - would not be surprised at all that the US is providing Kiev with depleted uranium shells.  That would be a war crime since they produce radioactive debris.



The US-NATO military machine are doing their best to rescue the collapsing Kiev project.  RT reports that Washington is sending in more Pentagon troops to advise and direct the Kiev forces - likely fearing they will lose without active US support.

“This week, a delegation from the US Army Command, headed by Commander of US Army Europe, Lt. Gen [Frederick Ben] Hodges, will arrive in Ukraine,” Vladislav Seleznyov, spokesman for Ukraine’s General Staff of Armed Forces, said at a media briefing in Kiev on Monday. 

There are also growing reports that various European economies are being heavily impacted by the US-NATO sanctions on Russia.  Many business leaders across Europe want the sanctions lifted but the EU governments appear to be under the control of the US and unable to make independent decisions about their own policies.

The new Republican controlled Congress in Washington is going to be eager to push further war moves toward Russia.  There can be no doubt that the US is playing with fire and the global community needs to speak out now before this proxy war gets even hotter.

Budgets are Moral Documents



My latest show which reviews the recent election and discusses Maine issues with Leslie Manning, member of the Friends [Quaker] Committee for Maine Public Policy and the Public Policy Committee of the Maine Council of Churches.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Spying on the Press



British security agency GCHQ has stored thousands of emails from journalists working for the world’s biggest news organizations, according to a new batch of Edward Snowden leaks. Emails from the BBC, Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post and others were saved by GCHQ, allegedly as part of a ‘test exercise’ conducted by the agency.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Ground Zero Protest



Ground Zero Center for Non-violence Action: Memorial on the Death of Planet Earth. January 17, 2015 at Trident Naval Base Bangor.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

I Am Here



It's like quoting
from the bible
the sacred cows
are coming home
to graze
on the bones
of the nation
'wasichu'
the one who eats
the fat

CONTRACTS AIR FORCE

Northrop Grumman Technical Services, Herndon, Virginia, has been awarded a $963,500,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) ground subsystems support. Contractor support includes sustainment engineering, technical assistance and program management services for ground subsystems to include sustainment, assessment, system modification and technical support. Work will be performed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Vandenberg Air Force Base, California; Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana; Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota; F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Needham, Massachusetts, and is expected to be complete by Jan. 31, 2020. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with two offers received. Fiscal year 2015 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $4,361,537 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity (FA8214-15-D-0001).

People rise up?
Not if the
capitol crew
has their way
elections
part of the entertainment
these days



Up against the wall
time to stand
or fall
no half-stepin
no time for mythology
no time for me-ism

We've had our minds
colonized
lost our humanness
back down the road
a piece

finding bits of it
along the way now
moss on trees
small boy
whistling
warming hearts
he deserves
a chance
to live
we fight for him



we walk on
singing da-da-da-da
and stomping our
sore tired feet

We love
the drum
chant gets us
up the hills
and down
the wet road
mile after
mile

Cars whiz by
clouds in the sky
many wonder why
I have no doubts
I am here

Defending Social Progress from the Agents of Doom




Yesterday about 60 people gathered at Ground Zero Peace Center for a five-hour meeting that included speakers and music.  I talked during the event about the program of the Global Network and my participation in the MLK peace walk through Washington state.  Following the meeting the folks broke up into small groups and I joined the one that was planning the civil disobedience action at the front gate of the Bangor Trident nuclear submarine base.

The submarine base is less than one mile down the two-lane country road from the peace center.  We walked in single file through the rain to the base and then had a moving ceremony that was highlighted by several women in black robes holding candles in front of a coffin that contained the earth.  Gregorian chants were played on a sound system as the state police and base security (one with sentry dog and machine gun) lined up to block any attempts to cross the 'forbidden line' toward the base.

After some time the casket was carried into the roadway that leads into the base and people were immediately detained by the police. A second group entered the roadway and then I was the last to step beyond the forbidden line into the road and I kneeled down and initially refused to move.  One tall state policeman ordered me to move and as I looked into his eyes I noticed that he was quite unsure of himself in that moment.  I eventually stood up and was moved to the middle of the four-lane base highway and like the nine others was ticketed on the spot for 'unlawfully' being on the highway.  A fine of $56 was handed to me for my brief moment of civil disobedience.

This morning I did a half-hour radio interview on KEXP radio (Mike McCormick show).  I've been on the show once before some years ago.

I head home early in the morning. It's been a great visit to the Seattle area and I thank Nipponzan Myohoji for the great peace walk experience.

If you want to see the American people just go join a peace walk and the public will drive right by.... people of all ages, colors, income levels.  The highway is still the one place you can have face-to-face contact with the non-choir.

It was fitting to be part of this symbolic action at the front gate of the Navy base after walking so far through the region.  The Navy (which recently acknowledged that their ship building budget is 'unsustainable') wants even more of the nation's treasury for aircraft carriers, nuclear subs, and destroyers that are all far over budget.  The only way to pay for them is to further decimate social spending across the land.  The 15 new incoming Republican senators in Washington have pledged to dismantle the food stamp program and attempts are presently being made to destroy Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

For me this peace walk was a living prayer and cry out to the public to defend these programs against the agents of doom who now run the US government.

Sunday Song