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.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

INVITING YOU TO FAST ON JUNE 22

Day 12 of my solidarity hunger strike


It's raining steadily outside today so we have cancelled my daily hunger strike vigil in Brunswick. Tomorrow should be better.

I got an email this morning from a friend in Maine who I knew when we both used to live in Florida. She is asking her friends to join her in the June 22 day of fasting in solidarity with people in the Czech Republic. A second friend in Maine wrote me saying he was going to fast that day as well. A woman from Gainesville, Florida wrote today to say she will strike from June 16-23.

I have to admit I love to eat. I love the preparation of food, the smells, and the joy of eating. In fact I like to eat just a bit too much. When it comes to pasta I have few boundaries. Seconds, thirds, you get my drift.

This hunger strike has been very hard for me but at the same time much easier than I would have expected. I don't think I could have ever come this far on my own. But having the inspiration of knowing that the strike is connected to something larger, something important that I really believe in, has made it almost easy for me at times.

There are some really good cooks in our intentional community house. Levi blows my mind with some of the Oriental fragrances he can whip up. Karen knows how to spice up a dish. Even Mary Beth, who denies that she can cook, was reluctant to share with me that she made herself one of my favorite pasta dishes last night.

Not having eaten in 12 days though has given me a chance to reflect on and appreciate how much we over eat. I've thought alot about how our culture has taught us that meal time is just another consumer experience when instead it is a spiritual practice. We've largely lost the sacred connection when we commodify our mealtimes.

If you decide to join this hunger strike against Star Wars on June 22, or even for longer, please just remember one thing. It is a political act. As you strike please find 1-2 things you can do to make public your reasons for acting. Write a letter to your newspaper, to the politicians, share your story with others, stand on a street with a sign, speak up at church or at a meeting and tell people what you are doing, climb to the top of the tallest building around and drop a 20-foot banner (just don't fall).

Your single act might seem small to you. Someone might say you are being silly or infantile - you are wasting your time. But just tell yourself that on June 22 you are connected to a beating heart around the world that confidently understands you are planting a good seed of consciousness. You are acting to prevent the next arms race before it happens.

We have nothing to lose except the sacred sky.

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