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.

Monday, June 15, 2009

June 12, 1982



This date, June 12, 1982, lives in my memory. It is the day I began working on space issues.

Almost one million people demonstrated in New York City on that day against nuclear weapons. The nuclear freeze campaign took off like a bat out of hell right after that. It was a historic event.

I didn't go to the protest but instead watched the rally and speakers on C-SPAN from my little wooden bungalow in downtown Orlando, Florida. My son Julian was just one and a half years old at the time.

After the disarmament rally was over C-SPAN switched to a right-wing conference where Lt. Gen. Daniel Graham was speaking. At the time he was Ronald Reagan's head of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), or Star Wars as we called it.

Following Graham's formal speech he was taking questions from the audience and a guy asked him, "Hey, General they say there are almost a million people in NYC today protesting for disarmament. Aren't you worried about that?"

Without missing a beat Graham responded, "No, I think it's great. They are out there protesting against ICBM's and we're moving into space. They don't have a clue. Let them keep doing what they are doing."

In that very moment I became a peace in space activist. I hardly knew anything about space but I lived in Central Florida, just next door to the "space coast" at Cape Canaveral, so I began looking into the issue. The next year I went to work for the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice and in that job took people to the space center over and over again to help expand the public consciousness about what the Pentagon planned for space. (More of their plans here too.)

So 27 years later we are still at it, trying to head the space warriors off at the pass as they used to say on the old TV cowboy movies.

It's a date that will live with me forever.

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