20 January, 2004
From: Bruce Gagnon
I've just returned from a trip to Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut where I spoke at meetings organized by the Green Party. During the next couple of months I will be doing a lot of traveling throughout the New England region, New Mexico, and New York as I work to promote the Global Network's 12th annual international conference that will be held on April 23-25 this year in Portland, Maine. The event will be called Resisting Empire: Understanding the Role of Space in U.S. Global Domination. Already we have confirmed Dr. Helen Caldicott as one keynote speaker and we are working to confirm former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney as the other. Cynthia wants to come but there is some complication as she intends to declare for the race for her old congressional seat that weekend. We are keeping our fingers crossed.
Last week, during the big northeast cold snap, I drove three hours north to Blue Hill to speak to a meeting of the Island Peace & Justice group based on Deer Isle. Fellow Veterans for Peace member Dud Hendrick made the arrangements and my breath was taken away by the beauty of the island in the midst of freezing temperatures and howling winds. Some have asked how I am doing in Maine since our move here last spring from Florida. Let me assure all of you that I LOVE IT HERE. The people in Maine have been so very welcoming and the natural wonders of the state are something to behold. My biggest challenge so far is learning to drive in the snow. SLOW DOWN BRUCE!
I have also started a cable TV show called This Issue. I have taped three shows which are now playing on three different cable TV stations (Portland, Bath and Brunswick.) I've been the guest on many cable TV shows as I travel and always wanted to do one where I could interview lots of great folks who are doing good work, but I never lived in a place that had a commitment to public access like they do here in Maine. Through the program, I hope to show the connections between all the issues of peace, military spending, globalization, human needs, the environment, and so on.... Plus, it is a lot of fun, energizing, and a nice break from the constant barrage of bad news.
Speaking of bad news, this past week George W. Bush made his space policy announcement that intends to have the U.S. return to the moon and then on to Mars. What he didn't explain is that by establishing military bases there the U.S. can take control of helium 3, a resource which could become as profitable in the future as the "gold rush and the oil boom" according to a space writer recently in the New York Times.
Knowing that the announcement would be a good media opportunity I wrote a news release, with the help of our board member Dr. Michio Kaku, and sent it out to our media list. (I have been assembling this list ever since our first big space campaign in 1989 when we took NASA into federal court to block the Galileo plutonium launch.) The media do not often focus on our issues, but when they do it can get quite busy. During a two day period last week I was doing non-stop interviews as were several of our allies in other groups who work on the space issue. Here is a list of those who called our office:
Our new video, Arsenal of Hypocrisy: The Space Program & the Military Industrial Complex, has only been out for a couple of weeks and is selling like hotcakes. We've already gone through our first order of them and have had to place a second order with our producer Randy Atkins in Gainesville, Florida. The video was recently accepted into the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. Just today I got a call from a filmmaker in Hollywood who viewed it with other people in the industry and gave us very good reviews. The woman told me that they are using the video as a guide to create a film whose development is being funded by the BBC and other interested parties. We'll see what comes of it.
So this period reflects our two primary strategies. Work hard to reach people by speaking to them directly, and utilize mass communications where possible. When not available, create our own and promote them widely.
Thanks as always for your support and we hope to see you in April in Maine.
Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 319-2017 (Cell phone)