Huntsville: Visiting the Rocket City to Plan GN 2017 Conference

December 15  2016

From: Bruce Gagnon's Blog: Organizing Notes

I flew from Boston to Huntsville, Alabama on Friday to do a weekend of advance work for the Global Network's 25th annual space organizing conference that will be held in this 'rocket city' on April 7-9, 2017.  Huntsville these days is called the 'Pentagon of the South' and serves as the 'directorate' for the Pentagon's provocative 'missile defense' program.

I am staying in the home of a local couple who have long been peace workers in this heavily militarized city.

When I arrived at the Huntsville airport I was taken aback by the loads of corporate space technology advertisements plastered along the walls as I made my way to baggage claim.  There can be no doubt that Boeing (the largest Star Wars contractor of all) and a host of other aerospace corporations are making big money off the plans to move the arms race into the heavens.

This morning I joined five other local activists on a busy street corner for their weekly peace rally that has been going on here in Huntsville for many years.  Surprisingly there were quite a few honks from cars driving by - mostly from younger people.

After the event two of the activists took me to lunch and we discussed the Global Network's plan to hold our annual event here next April.  They were very helpful pledging the support of the North Alabama Peace Network and the Green Party of Madison County. One of the two activists told me she was excited about the conference coming to her city because local activists feel so isolated.  It will be good to meet others from around the world and across the US who share their desire for peace.

My biggest task this weekend is to find a suitable meeting place for our day-long conference that will be held on April 8 here in the city.  On April 7 we'll have a news conference and a protest vigil at the Redstone Arsenal where the work on 'missile defense' is being directed as the Pentagon deploys these destabilizing systems near the Russian and Chinese borders.

I went to look at a couple potential meeting places and I am feeling confident that we've found a suitable place - with the good help of local folks.

I met one man later in the day who is a retired Redstone Arsenal engineer.  He knows alot about the US 'missile defense' program and told me that he feels it is really an offensive program.  He said he fears that the US wants war with Russia but can't quite seem to figure out why.  I told him that I believe it is because Russia has the world's largest supply of natural gas and because of the melting Arctic Sea ice due to climate change.  I've seen several references in the last year or so from corporate interests claiming that they want regime change in Moscow so they can 'balkanize' (break Russia into smaller nations) due to the fact that Russia has the planet's largest land border with the Arctic.  The fossil fuel mega-corporations want to get at the now exposed Arctic treasures.

In the morning I'll head to the large (and growing) Space and Rocket Museum here in Huntsville.  I fly home in the early afternoon.

It's been a good trip to visit the 'Pentagon of the South'.  I'm told the region has more engineers than any other place in the country.  With the billions of dollars being pumped into Huntsville to help build US 'control and domination' of space this community is on a major growth spurt.

The signs in the airport reveal this reality of Huntsville's addiction to military spending.  Like my own community of Bath, Maine (dependent on federal dollars to build Navy warships outfitted with 'missile defense' interceptors) more and more of America has become reliant on endless war in order to create jobs so workers can feed their families.

What does it say about the soul of our nation that we must remain in a state of endless war in order to drive our economy?  These are questions we will discuss next April 7-9 when we hold the Global Network's 25th annual conference in the 'rocket city'.  We invite you to join us for this important event.

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