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, December 30, 2006

MOVING INTO THE NEW YEAR

We sold our house yesterday and today a dozen folks came and helped us load up a moving truck and after one hour the house was empty and we were on our way to a local storage facility. We can't close on our new place until Jan 9 so we will be staying with friends in the meantime.

We've only had one snow this winter so far, normally we have about 28 inches by this time, and before today we only had 2.8 inches. Just as we were unloading the truck at the storage facility it began to snow, a light but steady snow and we took it as a good sign. It's snowing harder now and everything is turning a beautiful white.

It was a joyful time to have our extended community come help us with the move and it made clear that our hope of living in an intentional community - a community that shares the work and joys of life will be a great experience for us.

So I am now sitting in a local cafe using the wireless connection as I won't have my own local Internet facilities for a few weeks.

Best wishes to all in the new year. Let's all keep doing what we can to keep the fires of peace burning. Gather yourselves and gather the wood.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

MASS TRANSIT NOW!


Mary Beth and I took public transit to Boston early on Christmas day and had dinner with her extended Irish-Catholic family. Her Uncle Bobby, who drives the rich around for a living, picked us up at the station in Boston and then took us back later that evening so we could make it back to Maine. A great way to travel. Saves gas, reduces pollution, you can have a couple glasses of wine and not worry about driving. I slept most of the way home.

The only problem is that we don't have enough public transit in America. We need to connect every corner of the nation with a rail system that is as good as any in the world. But who will invest in such a system? All the big corporations are moving overseas. They won't build it here.

So that leaves us the taxpayers. All that money we are now wasting in Iraq could be used to create a world-class public transit system. But the oil corporations, auto makers, and road builders won't support it. That means the public is going to have to start rattling our chains and demanding mass transit now!

Gas prices are climbing again now that the election is over. It won't be long before working people won't be able to afford to get to work. When gas hits $4, $5, $6 a gallon people are going to be screaming.

It all fits together if you think about it. We've got to reduce global warming. We've got to create industrial jobs in the U.S. Convert the military industrial complex and build a national rail system. Then we won't have to be doing "endless war" for oil.

Begin to connect these dots in your anti-war and environmental work. The more we link these issues the faster we get where we want to be.

Take a look at the website linked in the headline above.

Help create the momentum for public mass transit.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

GLOBAL NETWORK TURNS 15 IN 2007

The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space was created in 1992 to build an international movement to prevent the arms race from moving into space.

Each year we meet in a different part of the world. If you click on the link in the headline above you will see our new video called War from Space? This video is from our 2006 annual meeting in Vancouver, Canada which was held in conjunction with the World Peace Forum.

On March 22-24, 2007 we will meet in Darmstadt, Germany to celebrate our work together and continue our deliberate and determined effort to expand opposition to Star Wars. We should be posting the full agenda for the Germany space organizing conference on our web site soon.

Our friend Holly Gwinn Graham from Olympia, Washington, pictured above, is one of our new members of our board and is a singer/songwriter who has composed a number of great songs about space. This picture was taken last October as Holly entertained and taught folks during our annual Keep Space for Peace Week of local actions.

The Global Network now has about 150 affiliated organizations all over the world and we are working hard to reach out to new regions of the planet in hopes that a widening consciousness about preventing an arms race in space will help build the kind of international grassroots movement that will be necessary to keep the heavens free from the bad seed of war and greed.

We thank all of you who have helped us in the past and look forward to working with you again in 2007.

Peace to you and your families.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

FEAR ENDS, HOPE BEGINS


by Michael Lerner

"Talk about hope or trust, and you find that people across the board - from Left to Right, from Islamic and Christian to Jewish and orthodox Marxist, orthodox psychoanalyst or orthodox anything - will unite in dismissing you as outside the realm of sophisticated thought and not worthy of serious attention.

The 'default' position of many people is despair. The pain and fear that these people feel at the possibility of allowing themselves to trust again is both understandable and healable but it won't be as long as we allow people to dismiss the possibility of a different kind of world as 'dangerous' or 'shallow' or 'adolescent'.

This is the dimension of who we are that can be called 'spiritual': our insistence that we are not stuck in a world based on fear.... Actualizing that potentiality can only happen when one takes a leap of faith beyond the cycles of past hurts and past betrayals. Otherwise, the past imprisons us forever."

Happy holidays to everyone. Thanks for reading my blog this year. Click on the link in the headline above for a nice end of year conversion piece.
Best wishes for a better 2007.
Bruce Gagnon