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: Bath, Maine, United States

Saturday, July 01, 2006

MAINE ANTI-WAR ORGANIZING PRESSES ON

 We had a networking meeting in Portland, Maine today of our ad-hoc group that organized the successful town hall meeting last April that drew over 400 folks. We've met twice now following that event to make future plans for anti-war work across the state.

We had good attendance again today with people coming down to Portland from around the state. Also showing up today was Maine State Senator Ethan Strimling who has organized 26 Maine state legislators in a group they are calling "Legislators for ending the war." They are emphasizing how much the war has cost Maine (our share is now over $800 million)and talking about how social services and infrastructure in our state are suffering as a result of endless war spending.

We thanked Sen. Strimling for taking the leadership and challenged him to ask our Maine Congressional Delegation (Snowe, Collins, Allen & Michaud) to vote against all future war funding requests in Washington. We also suggested that the 26 state elected officials talk with the governor about refusing to send the National Guard to Iraq anymore. We also suggested that they might begin to call for conversion of the military industrial complex rather than continually begging for more federal money to keep building weapons. Strimling asked us to help get other Maine state legislators to join their coalition and we agreed to do that.

We are also planning Teach-Ins at colleges and universities around the state this fall and can already report that the University of Southern Maine (Portland) and the University of Maine (Orono) now have people working on these events.

On July 7 we read the names again of dead American GI's and innocent Iraqi civilians - this time it will be done outside in a downtown Portland park. Then on September 20 there will be a town hall meeting in Portland on the topic of impeachment of Bush.

Our next meeting to plan the anti-war movement in Maine will be August 26 in Portland. Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 30, 2006

STORMY TRIP HOME

 I finally made it home last night at 11:00 pm after a 28-hour return trip from Vancouver. Stormy weather throughout North America had caused massive delays in Toronto and Boston so my flights into each of those locations were delayed several times. I have never been much good at sleeping on planes so needless to say I was a bit worn out by the time I got home. And I was not particularly impressed with Canada Air's handling of customer relations along the journey. Basically they didn't go out of their way to provide information and help their customers get scheduled on other flights. It was literally "every person for themselves", a real dog eat dog situation.

So after a good sleep in my own bed last night I am back to work this morning with massive amounts of e-mails and postal mail to sort through. And a trip report to write as well but that will have to wait a couple days. On the July 4 holiday Mary Beth and I will drive over to New Hampshire where I will speak at the World Fellowship Center, a wonderful retreat facility in the woods that does progressive summer programming. Hopefully I will get a bit of a rest there as well.

The World Peace Forum in Vancouver was very good. We had quite a good number of Global Network members attending and we had excellent crowds in each of the workshops/panels that we organized on space. So our message got a good boost with some new folks from all over the world. In the end worth the trip.

Our friend Eric Herter from Brunswick, Maine filmed most of our space events and will create a one-hour documentary about the event. In about one month we will have that available to order. Posted by Picasa