June 01, 2008

On Bruce Gagnon's hunger strike agaInst US missile shield


Czech mate: Gagnon goes on hunger strike Times Record (Brunswick,
Maine) 05/30/2008 BRUNSWICK - Bruce Gagnon of Bath spends about an
hour on the Brunswick Mall each day waving signs and distributing
flyers, hoping to call attention to the U.S. deployment of what he
calls "Star Wars technology."

Though he spends only an hour or so there each day, his commitment
to the cause goes around the clock. Gagnon is in the midst of a
hunger strike that he said will last as long as his friends in the
Czech Republic continue theirs. At issue is the United States' plan
to build a radar base there in support of a missile defense system
in outer space.

Gagnon said since May 24, he has consumed nothing except water with
lemon, orange juice in the morning and herbal tea in the evening.

"I've already lost 10 pounds," he said Thursday while protesting
on the Mall and handing fliers to passing motorists. "I've researched
it and I know you can go 30 or 40 days without medical problems."

The Prague Monitor reported earlier this month that the radar base
would facilitate ten interceptor missiles which are designed to
shoot enemy missiles out of the sky. The Czech government reported
at the time that two treaties on the system were expected to be
signed in June or mid-July at the latest, the Monitor said. Gagnon
has joined other strikers worldwide, including Jan Tamas and Jan
Bednar of the Czech Republic, both leaders of the No to Bases
Coalition, which opposes the deployment of the radar system.

Bednar is showing signs of liver failure as a result of the strike,
but has vowed to continue, said Gagnon. Asked if he'd take his own
strike that far, Gagnon said he would.

According to Gagnon's Web page, for more than two years 70 percent
of the Czech people "have repeatedly expressed their opposition to
the proposed base through mass demonstrations, opinion polls and
petitions, the Czech government has refused to allow a public debate
on the issue. Time is running out, as Secretary of State Condoleeza
Rice is expected to travel to Prague in June to sign the agreement
between two countries."

Gagnon is a widely known activist for a host of causes including
the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, which
he coordinates. He and his supporters - some of whom are joining
him in this week's protest - are regulars on the Brunswick Mall
speaking out mostly against the War on Terror. Opposing "Star Wars"
technology is not a new endeavor, though this time, his protest and
hunger strike are spurred by loyalty to his Czech friends. He knows
he's just one man, but hopes his message will spread.

"Most people know nothing about any of this," he said. "By doing
this we take a leap of faith that's like planting seeds in a garden
and we hope the seeds grow."

He said his mission is complicated by an apathy in the United States
that's the result of consumerism and overstimulation from the media.

"The American people have become sheep when it comes to political
action," he said. "Just about everywhere else in the world, people
are more engaged than we are. For me, being out here is as important,
if not more important, than the issue. It's a way to make eye contact
with people when they're trying to look away. I'm not going to let
that do that as long as I'm on this planet."

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011 (207) 443-9502 http://www.space4peace.org
global...@mindspring.com http://space4peace.blogspot.com (Blog)

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