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'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

END OF A LONG WEEKEND

I feel like I just walked this long road. It's been one heck of a busy weekend.

Saturday morning I was up early to tape a new edition of my cable TV show called This Issue. I had four guests, usually I like to have just one, but this time I did a show about the militarization of our schools so I had some local parents on to talk about what is happening in their kids middle schools where the National Guard has muscled their way into the classroom to teach courses. The military knows they have to start the kids young if they hope to "brand" their minds.

I got home and had to immediately prepare for a radio interview from British Columbia in Canada about the connections between U.S. and Canadian militarism and what we can do about it. Just that morning I had received an email from GN board member Tamara Lorincz in Halifax, Canada informing me that Lockheed Martin had just given Dalhousie University a $2 million"gift" that will begin to militarize that institution of higher learning. Tamara had made a protest sign and propped up her courage and stood right behind the podium at the official ceremony where the gift was made and a photo of her standing there made it into the local newspaper. (Amazingly they did not haul her off. I guess that is still the difference between Canada and the U.S. Here she'd have been not so gently removed.) She told me that while she was standing there she kept thinking of all the good GN folks she had recently been with at our annual space organizing conference in Omaha, Nebraska. Tamara also informed me that Canada had made a major increase, $30 billion more, in their national military budget last week. Social programs will suffer in Canada as a result.

Following the radio interview MB and I helped a couple of friends who just moved to nearby Brunswick unload their moving van. Heavy stuff up to the second floor tested by already delicate back.

This morning I was out early again to attend the Maine Green Independent Party state convention where I gave the speech on behalf of Cynthia McKinney who is running for the Green Party presidential nomination. I also made a pitch for funds for her as our state needs to raise $5,000 so that Cynthia can have 20 states each giving her that amount which will qualify her for federal matching funds. We are up to about $1,800 in Maine so far. Come on Mainers, let's kick in some bucks! You other states too!

After that I scrambled home to get ready to attend a Democratic party congressional debate here in Bath where all six prospective candidates were in attendance. Our Addams-Melman House members set up a table at the entrance to gather signatures for a new campaign here in Maine to repeal our state's terrible decision to enact the "Real ID" which is a step toward a national ID card and a furtherance of the surveillance society. In Maine they have a thing called the "People's Veto" and if we get 55,000 signatures before July 17 we force the issue onto the November 2008 general election ballot. Tonight we got about 50 signatures. There is a large organizational effort now underway across Maine to get signature gathering at the voting polls statewide on June 10, the day of our primary elections.

I am now laying on my bed, typing on my laptop, to write this entry. I am much to tired to even get ready for bed. Maybe I'll sleep in my clothes tonight. I want to take Monday off. Wish me luck.

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