Category Archives: Maine

Gangjeong Village Video Documentarian Jailed

Dungree-1Park Sung-Soo has been documenting the daily struggle in Gangjeong Village since the summer of 2011. He was accused of trespassing when he entered the navy base complex to protest the harassment of two young women reporters with sexual remarks by the base security personnel.

The two young women reporters appealed the incident to the Korean Human Rights Committee, but their case was dismissed.

Dungree

Park Sung-Soo, AKA Dungree, was not able to pay his fine amounting to $1500 U.S. dollars, so he decided to serve out his fine in jail for 28 days. Dungree is resolute in not wanting anyone to pay his fine. He is willing to bear the sufferings he will encounter for the month in prison.

Dungree is a victim of the new government’s strategy to oppress people with¬† fines and to put down the protest against the illegal construction of the base.

Since the beginning of the struggle in Gangjeong Village in 2007 to February 2013, there have been upwards of 700 arrests with 500 indictments. 22 activists have been imprisoned. All have been released with the exception of Prof. Yang Yoon-mo who has been sentenced to 18 months, this being the fourth time he has been jailed. Prof. Yang agreed to end his 52 day old hunger strike on March 24, the third since his protest began.

The average fine against the activists has been approximately $3,000 U.S. dollars, and some have had fines as high as $9,000 U.S. dollars bringing the total amount of fines to $450,000 U.S. dollars. But, that’s not all. The total compensation fee for “damages” is approximately $290,000 U.S. dollars.

All of the activists are willing to go to jail because they cannot afford the fines.

There is no way to sugar coat these gross violations of human rights and the total disregard and disdain for the civil rights of these people who are fighting for self-determination, a transparent and open democratic process, justice, peace, and the survival of their culture, not to mention their livelihoods.

To blame for this most recent displacement of indigenous people, the violation of human rights, the destruction of the environment, the beating of war drums, and the escalation of tensions around the world is the government of the U.S., the U.S. war department, and the military industrial complex.

Meanwhile, the Village is protesting the navy’s military residential housing project which will effectively obliterate this 400 year old village with accommodations for 8,000 military personnel.¬† This base will require maintenance facilities, an airport, radar, fuel tanks, bars, restaurants, shops, and brothels, and probably missile silos.

What is happening on Jeju Island, and in so many other places around the world, are crimes against humanity.

America! Now they are coming for us! Not only is the #1 U.S. export weapons and “security,” but now the corporations are fast at work to get us to pay for their lust for power and profits. They want (Congress will do their bidding) to pay for all of it on the backs of the middle class and the poor.

Every state in this country owes thousands of jobs to the corporations who produce the weapons and supplies of war. Because of this, there is hardly a person in Congress who will oppose their lust for more and more and more. They threaten to close down their factories and move if Congress doesn’t keep increasing the war budget that feeds the military industrial complex.

Just a cursory glance across this land reveals their ugly job-creating lies from coast to coast, and from border to border: tar-sands, Keystone pipeline, the East-West Highway in Maine, the proposed LNG tank in Searsport, Maine, hyrdo-fracking wherever they can find gas. They are stealing our own precious resources like water and selling them for profit.

Meanwhile our states are broke and can no longer maintain critical infrastructure; provide quality education; and protect the social safety net, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

There is only one answer to this suicidal march: more than 60% of the discretionary spending of the U.S. (our taxes) go to the military aka the war department. If one includes veteran’s benefits and NASA, the percentage is much higher. Bush’s wars will cost us more than $4 TRILLION. There are more than 800 U.S. military “bases” in every corner of the globe……supposedly for national security. Read: the interest of the corporations who extract resources and exploit other nations.

The Villagers of Gangjeong along with the Catholic Bishop of Jeju, Bishop Kang, have the answer: “Peace is the way. No Naval Base on the Island of Peace.” It is the moral obligation of every human being to oppose war and work for peace and justice in the world.

For those who are not able to travel to Jeju to support this struggle, you can send donations to www.savejejunow.org to help pay the fines and to support the activists who represent us in this global struggle against the U.S. imperial march towards domination of the world by force.

Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth

Conspiracy theory? There indeed was a conspiracy. There is no doubt about that. But, the question is: who was behind it? Was it really Osama bin Ladin? Or, was it the CIA, the highest levels of government? Was it George H.W. Bush? Was it Dick Cheney?

Theories abound. The TRUTH demands that we keep an open mind and search for it. This documentary, 911: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out, will make everyone re-think the “official story” of what happened on 9/11/2001. It does not purport to answer the questions, who or why. It merely presents evidence not previously revealed and the testimony of experts in the fields of architecture, engineering, chemistry, and demolition that challenge the official report in a substantive way.

So far more than 1,500 architects and engineers and thousands more have signed the petition calling for an independent and unbiased investigation as to why and who did it.The evidence seems irrefutable. This country will never be able to reconcile itself or heal itself unless we search for the truth about what happened on 9/11.

The president and founder of Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth, Richard Gage, came to Portland on June 11, 2012 for a showing of the world premiere documentary that was attended by more than 60 people. I was allowed to film the event and an exclusive interview with Richard Gage. Excerpts from the more than two hours of video are contained in the second edition of my new Television Show, Truth TV, below. The video includes the official trailer, but I encourage you to visit the website and download the pre-release version of the entire documentary.

March Against Fiscal Madness

I gave the opening address at the March Against Fiscal Madness rally in the Maine State House on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. The rally was attended by over 100 concerned citizens protesting Governor LePage’s radical, right-wing assault on the middle class and the poor.

The clip opens with an original song by Morgana Warner Evans, a high school student from Topsham, Maine.

Here’s the video.

Sarah and Josh Taking “Occupy” to Augusta

Sarah, age 22, and Josh, age 29 from Augusta, Maine visited the Occupy Portland site to support, to listen, and to learn. They are taking it back to the state capitol in Augusta.

After listening to Sarah and Josh, and the other people I have interviewed, I don’t know how anyone can think the people in this movement don’t have a focus, or a mission, or an objective. Seems pretty clear to me.

It is so gratifying to see so many young people who are paying attention and taking their future into their own hands. And why not? The future is theirs and it doesn’t look very bright. And yet, they are full of hope.