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

Thursday, January 18, 2007

WORKING MAN FOR IMPEACHMENT

We are seeing a bit of a stirring in Washington DC as the national demo on January 27 approaches and the peace movement escalates (or surges) pressure on Bush and Congress. The Dems are having to come back and reconsider their earlier anemic response to Bush's troop surge plan after they were overwhelmed with calls from back home. The polls are going off the charts as now over 70% of the American people want the troops home. We've still got a long way to go but things are turning.

The carpenter we have hired to work on our new house loves to talk politics. Paul is a working class man of French-Canadian origin who spent his early years drinking and drugging - likely not engaged in politics. His dad worked in the textile mills. He's one of those guys that many people in the peace movement think we need to "educate" about our issues.

I met Paul a couple of years ago when he was hired to do repair work at our place in Brunswick. He does quality work and I noticed he liked to talk about Bush. Soon enough he was sending me emails, most of which were anti-Bush. When we hired him to take down a wall in our new (old 1790) house we learned even more about how engaged he is with what is going on.

He told me the other day he had an argument with a Republican friend of his about the need for Bush to be arrested and thrown in jail. See Paul is a guy who has seen the inside of jail a few times and he knows a bit about the law. He knows that his arrests years ago for a few minor wild nights is nothing compared to what Bush and his pirate crew have done in Iraq. Paul is calling for Bush's impeachment. He is furious about the hypocrisy and double standards at work in America.

Unlike Bush, Paul has to work for a living and spends hours each day doing back breaking work. By the time he is done at the end of the day he is ready for a shower and a rest. He's not likely to attend many demonstrations or evening meetings but he is watching, listening, and speaking out in his own world.

We need to thank the Paul's of the world who are helping us build the peace majority in America. They are a major reason why the Dems are slowly speaking out. People like Paul don't get enough credit.

(Artwork above by Natasha Mayers from Whitefield, Maine)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

LOST OUR SOUL AT WAR


I've spent the last few days painting and working on our new house in the nearby town of Bath. Our phone number has changed and we hope to be moving in by Jan 21. It's a big place with 15 rooms and our plan to is have an intentional community evolve from it. Mary Beth, our friend Karen Wainberg, and I have bought the place on Jan 9.

Yesterday we had 10 people come help with the painting. At lunch we all barely filled up the kitchen so we know the place will be just right for having pot luck suppers and the like.

Bath is a wonderful town with a rich history in ship building. Unfortunately now the only kinds of ships they build are Navy destroyers (Aegis) that are being outfitted with Theatre Missile Defense (TMD) systems. Tomorrow we will join a MLK day march over the Bath bridge to remember King. From the bridge we will see the current Aegis being built. People will talk about MLK's dream but won't likely mention military spending.

I saw today in the news that Hillary Clinton had gone to Iraq so that she could get a better understanding of the situation there. She might just try listening to the American people who, now by the number of 70%, want our troops out of there. But Hillary has to go listen to the "boots on the ground" as she plays the game of mind manipulation politics.

Hillary, just say the boots need to come home now.

Say we need to cut the funding.

Remember what MLK said about a nation at war while people at home need jobs, health care, clean water and the like. King said we had lost our soul in Vietnam. It's still lost today in Iraq.