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.

Friday, June 17, 2005

VISION OFFENSIVE NEEDED

I drove to Norway, Maine last night to speak to a group of people about the conversion of the military industrial complex. I had to leave the office early in order to get there in time to meet my hosts for dinner. Along the way I listened to National Public Radio's report on the Democrat's hearing about the Downing Street memo. Before I left I had heard the testimony of Cindy Sheehan, mother of Casey who was killed in Iraq on 4/4/04. Last winter I had Cindy, who lives in California, on my local cable TV show and had organized a dinner talk for her at a local restaurant. She spoke powerfully yesterday about the betrayal she, and other parents of GI's killed in Iraq, felt by our current war-hungry government.

During the Q & A time after my talk we spent a lot of time dealing with the profound feeling of powerlessness felt by many in the public at this moment. Even though polls show that 60% of the American people want the troops to come home, there is still strong support for the war among key leaders of the Democratic party. If the opposition party still supports the war, how can we expect Bush to feel the heat? Even Howard Dean has stopped talking about Iraq since becoming the chair of the Democratic party.

It is clear to me that we need to urge local activists to run people in primaries all over the U.S. during the next election cycle. They need to run as Democrats and Greens and speak out strongly against the war, military spending, and the need to offer an alternative economic vision for the nation. They need to talk about conversion of the military industrial complex, the need for rapid development of sustainable technologies (wind, solar, public transporation, etc) and they need to call for a reinvigoration of funding for our human infrastructure including education, health care, child care, environmental clean-up and the like. We need to go on a vision offensive. We can't wait for the Democrats to wake up from their corporate funded decade drinking binge. They (with a few noble exceptions) are an unreliable political partner.

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