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

Monday, August 29, 2016

Working on the 2016 Peace Walk

MB and I just got back from a four-day trip to Downeast Maine where we spent a couple days being a tourist and walking along the beautiful rocky Atlantic coast.  We stayed our first night in Eastport and then our second night with friends in Hancock.  Our artist friend Russell Wray is the one who made this dolphin and banner (above) for our walk through Maine last year.

Russell is now working on the banner design for our Maine peace walk this October 11-26 that will travel from the Penobscot Nation on Indian Island (Old Town) inland to Dexter, Pittsfield, Unity, Waterville, Augusta, Norway, and Lewiston.  Then the walk will come back to the coast and head south from Brunswick, Freeport, Portland, Saco, Kennebunk, York Beach, and then end in Kittery at the Naval submarine shipyard.

The theme this year is Stop the War$ on Mother Earth as we attempt to connect the dots on our major challenges ahead.  There is no way we can flourish on this planet unless we deal with climate change and we can't stop climate change unless we deal with the certain fact that the Pentagon has the largest carbon bootprint on the Earth.

We think we are going to have a bigger walk this year than ever before for numerous reasons.  I hope most of them are obvious to you.  We've also got the best organizing committee yet for this walk, the 5th such one I've helped to organize through Maine.

On the last two days of our trip MB and I redrove the first half of the walk route because we needed to add two new night stop venues into our planning.  This was the third time to drive this route and each time you see new things - beautiful landscapes, the way of life of local folks, possible break stops along the road and more.

Peace walks are always magic and this one will have its own special qualities.  We will be honored to be led again by Buddhist monks and nuns from the Nipponzan Myohoji order.  This Buddhist order is known for leading peace walks and building peace pagodas around the planet.

This will be the 10th walk I have helped to organize - five in Florida when I worked there and five here since moving to Maine in 2003.

It gets into your blood these peace walks do - you see so many opportunities to reach 'beyond the choir' - alot of people clamor that we need to do more than preach to the choir so this process of walking the state, carrying a sign with my message, works well for me.


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Update on Ukraine Situation

The US-NATO war project in Ukraine has stalled.  Europe is growing tired of the Kiev regime and the US has made such a mess of things there is little room for maneuvering.

Here is a good overview of the situation. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sunday Song

Demonizing Russia Good for War Machine Profits$

A wonderful book I'd highly recommend is Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas by Mari Sandoz. I want to share one story from the book.

After gold was discovered in the Black Hills the U.S. Army was sent in to clear the Indians out of their paha sapa even though they had been promised in a previous treaty that they would "own" this territory as long as the grass grew green. The inevitable battle led to Custer's last stand and the resulting major military campaign to bring the "hostiles" onto reservations in the dusty lands of southwest South Dakota.

Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull held out as long as they could. But the cold winters and diminishing buffalo and other wild game forced them ultimately to surrender. This process literally broke the hearts of the people. The conditions of surrender were that they had to give up their guns and their horses - essentially their very way of life.

The government was to provide them with all they needed from then on. Food, clothes, and even tepees. But they soon found out the promises were not honored. The blankets they were given were so thin they could not keep the people warm at night. The flour had bugs in it and the bacon was rancid. The people could not even go and hunt anymore as their guns and horses were gone. They continued to starve and die. But they honored their word to the white man's government and stayed peaceful.

The weapons contractors, that had grown rich from the Indian wars in the 1860's, were getting restless. This peace with Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull was cutting into their previous enormous profits. So they came up with a plan.

They created a national public relations campaign and had artists create renderings of Crazy Horse on the war path again killing farmers and raping white women and children. These stories were placed in the big newspapers across the country and the public became outraged. Soon the Congress appropriated more funds to return the "hostiles" to the reservation.

In fact, during this campaign of deception, Crazy Horse was sitting in his tepee on the reservation without a gun or horse to his name.

When you think about it the story is virtually the same today in Iraq. The government creates a pubic relations campaign about weapons of mass destruction and then sells the story using the mainstream media to justify a war and make enormous profits for the weapons corporations.

When I was in the Air Force, during the Vietnam War, I learned how they did the same thing to sell that war as I read The Pentagon Papers - the government's own secret history of how they lied to create that war.

The process is again under way today in Asia-Pacific as we see the U.S. beginning to provoke and demonize China and Russia in a new arms race that would bring huge profits to the war industry.

They say that every criminal has an MO - modus operandi - method of operation. When I was young I wanted to be an FBI agent when I grew up so I could fight against organized crime.

Then one day I woke up and realized that the military industrial complex was the essence of organized crime. So I took myself to the peace movement where I could fulfill my boyhood promise to work for "truth, justice, and the American way."

Sometimes I wonder if the fate of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull and the other native people will be the fate of the American people of today as well. In order to pay for endless war the government, clearly under the control of the military industrial complex as former President Dwight Eisenhower warned us, is now moving to destroy social progress in our country as they cut education, health care, and the like. In a way I wonder, are we now being brought onto the reservation too?

Under the New World Order job # 1 of corporate globalization is to maximize profits internationally. Allegiance to country is a thing of the past. Corporations move overseas to seek the lowest wage workers possible. Unemployment grows and the local tax base drys up as jobs leave the U.S. The process of corporate disinvestment in America is underway. The Pentagon says that "security export" will be our role under corporate globalization. Endless war.

What can we learn from the time of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull?

Crazy Horse is remembered for these words: "A very great vision is needed and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky."

What is our vision for the future of North America and for our Mother Earth?


Maine's Racist Governor Loses Grip Once Again

Our Gov. Paul LePage here in Maine has a long history of raging against critics who challenge his racism, frequent gross exaggerations and outright lies.

Just a couple days ago LePage went after the Democrat in the state legislature who chairs the Health & Human Services Committee in the House of Representatives. 

The dispute is over whether Blacks and Hispanics from out-of-state are the primary reason drugs are flowing into Maine.  LePage claims he has a three-ring binder full of photos of Black & Hispanic faces who have been arrested for these crimes.  Law enforcement officials in LePage's home town of Lewiston were quoted on the radio saying that 90% of those arrested for drugs in their city are white.

The FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Service reported that, in 2014, 1,211 people were arrested for selling or making drugs in Maine, and, of those, 170 – or 14.1 percent – were black.

After seeing LePage (who is a big supporter of Trump and whose daughter has been hired to work on the Trump campaign) do this repeatedly over the last six years in office one might wonder when the Democrats who control the state House will vote in favor of impeachment articles that have previously been filed against LeRage.

The man is sick and should not be leading our state government.  He belongs in a program for alcoholic abusers.


Friday, August 26, 2016

I Am Free

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Protests Widen in South Korea Against U.S. THAAD Deployment

Thousands of South Koreans in the city of Gimcheon have joined protests against the planned deployment of an advanced US 'missile defense' system called THAAD near their city.

Protests against THAAD have erupted almost daily across the country since the announcement of the decision by Washington to deploy the system which will be aimed at China and Russia.

White Helmets Equals Black Ops

Funded by US AID - that should tell you something.....

White Helmets are nominating themselves for the Nobel Peace Prize.  I'd guess that Obama will send a letter of recommendation on their behalf.