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 grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Monday, March 02, 2009

SOUTH TO A BLIZZARD

We figured that when we left Maine to go south to DC that we were heading to warmer temps. It was that way for a day or so but last night a storm enveloped the area and this morning, as we left the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House just after 6:00 am, a full scale blizzard was in motion.

We trudged the three blocks to the Metro stop and jumped onto the train and headed to the Pentagon for the weekly Monday morning (7-8am) peace vigil that the Catholic Workers have been doing for the past 22 years. Needless to say it was cold and wet out there and we were not in our usual Maine blizzard clothes - not having brought them along with us. But I still found a way to dress in multiple layers as I wore my pajamas under my street clothes. Every bit helps in a weather emergency.

Maine Veterans for Peace chapter president Dud Hendrick joined us at the Pentagon vigil as did seven students from Loyola College in Chicago who have come to the Catholic Worker House in DC for their "alternative spring break" week. No sun for them, but plenty of fun!

Last night's event at George Washington University, called "A Night with Wendell Berry & Bill McKibben" was quite a treat. The huge auditorium was packed with 700 or so folks who came to support the call for civil disobedience (CD) today at the capitol coal plant. My favorite speaker on the program was Terry Tempest Williams who told moving stories about organizing people in Wyoming who are suffering the environmental effects of strip mining in that otherwise beautiful state.

We head out around noon today for the rally, march and CD. We won't be getting arrested this time as we have to take the train back to Maine tonight. It leaves here at 10:00 pm so it will be a long night on the rails.

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