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REPORT FROM BRUNSWICK, MAINE ON HUNGER STRIKE VIGIL

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Day 4 of my solidarity hunger strike

We had seven folks on the windy street today in Brunswick, Maine holding signs and handing out flyers made just for the occasion. It was easy to tell that most people passing by knew nothing about U.S. deployments of Star Wars technology in Poland and the Czech Republic. They knew even less about a hunger strike that began in Prague on May 13 and has slowly grown to involve more people, including myself.

And that is just the reason why I joined the hunger strike on May 24. The time has come for the American people to hear about this new arms race that our government is creating in Europe. We are going to pay for it, in more ways than one. We ought to know something about it and should be talking about it in our communities.

In fact, even the peace movement in the U.S. knows little about Bush’s planned Star Wars deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic. Until we get the attention of hard working activists, who are understandably preoccupied with Iraq, then we will have little chance of reaching the public in general.

By the end of the hour on the street today, I was ready to sit down. But I will be back out again on the corner on Wednesday and every other weekday as long as this hunger strike goes on. I am committed to continuing my own participation in this hunger strike in solidarity with Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar in Prague as long as they continue with theirs.

It is my hope that people will begin to see the connection between the war for oil in Iraq and this new U.S. aggressive military move to essentially surround Russia -- which just happens to hold the world’s largest supply of natural gas and large deposits of oil. The U.S. is undertaking a global military strategy to wrest control of the planet’s remaining fossil fuels. This means massive military spending in the years to come and endless war, instability and occupation.


We have to begin to get the American people to see this larger strategic picture if we hope to stem this tide of growing militarism. It will take endless war with all nations that have fossil fuel resources in order to run our over-consuming lifestyle here in the U.S.

I am not interested in debating whether this hunger strike will stop the so-called “missile defense” interceptor and radar deployments by Bush in Central Europe or not. I am more determined than ever to make sure that people begin to know about them. As Noam Chomsky says, “The public can’t react to something that they don’t know about.”

The American people have been well trained to bury our political emotions behind alcohol, drugs, food, TV, shopping, sex, and sports. My task right now is, in my small way, to help bring these feelings back to the surface where we can scratch them a bit and trigger some kind of creeping consciousness.

I will be posting daily updates on
my blog while I am on this hunger strike so please stay tuned.

If you haven’t already, please be sure to sign the Czech petition at
http://www.nonviolence.cz/

 

Bruce Gagnon is the Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

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