Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'll be taking an 'unpaid leave of absence' from my job at the Global Network from December 15-March 15, 2020 in order to help my friend Lisa Savage on her campaign for the US Senate in Maine. She's running as a Maine Green Independent Party member and needs to gather 2,000 petition signatures of registered Greens during that period. I'll be back to GN after March 15.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

CUTS IN BIDDEFORD - SINGING THE BLUES

Last night I drove south to Biddeford, Maine to be on a local cable TV show called "Out in left field." I was on the show a couple months ago and had such a good time with the hour-long interview, they asked me to come back. Three folks do the interview and I've never had so much fun talking politics.

When I got back from Biddeford last time I told the story on my blog about the cable facility being inside an old school. They also have a free clinic inside the building and, like last time I was there, it was full of people last night.

I was told by my hosts that Biddeford is having one hell of a time with its town budget. They are having social problems dumped on them as the feds dump onto the states and then the states dump onto the local governments. The local government then gets to be the bearer of bad news. In the case of Biddeford, the bad news is that the local education budget must be cut.

On the cable show we talked about the costs of endless war. We talked about space technology coordinating modern warfare. We talked about America's empire and how the hopes and dreams of the people are fading as the Pentagon eats up our hard-earned tax dollars.

After the show was over I told my hosts about Cornell West's latest book, Democracy Matters, and how he has a chapter in it on the "blues." West says that white folks had better quickly learn how to sing the blues. Blacks have been singing them for hundreds of years in the U.S. as they have learned how to survive in this mean-spirited capitalist system where the dog eats the dog. White folks, not just Indians, are now being put onto the reservation. White folks will now face the humiliation of mass unemployment, no health care, bad education, losing hope. This will mean more social dysfunction for our children.

There is an alternative. But that would require a political fight. It would require people to quickly organize to oppose the expansion of the military industrial complex and endless war. It would require a political demand that we not spend $100 billion or more a year in Iraq and instead use that money for education, health care, public transportation and the like. So it is really up to you. Do you want to have to sing the blues?

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