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.

Monday, June 29, 2009

THE SHOW MUST GO ON



This is a really important video by Bill Moyers from some years ago on the power of the CIA.

Last year I read a book called The Game Player by a former CIA agent Miles Copeland. He was pro-CIA and very enthusiastic about having worked for the oil corporations during the period of 1950-1970ish.

Copeland worked in the Middle East and with great affection told story after story about helping to kill or neutralize those who stood in the way of corporate control of the oil region.

In one section, where he talks extensively about Egypt, he tells the story about how former Nazi operatives were weaved into the CIA Middle East operation:

"The idea of planting on Middle Eastern governments Germans suspected of war crimes had a lot to say for it, because they were generally both anti-American and anti-Soviet, and presumed to be anti-Semitic and therefore anti-Israel. Most of them were also anti-Arab, although they had the wit to conceal that fact. Anyhow, all of them were opportunists, willing to work for anyone who paid them, and they happily passed on to their Middle Eastern employers any advice prescribed for them. Naturally, we had some trouble in getting clearance for projects involving the use of Nazis and ex-Nazis, but our difficulties disappeared when our friends in Israel's Mossad admitted that they, too, were using ex-Nazis for a number of nefarious purposes, and for the same reasons that they were attractive to us."

Copeland eventually leaves the CIA and goes to work directly for oil corporations but continues doing the same covert work. He described how often, when he would enter a particular Middle Eastern country to work on an operation, the US Embassy and the CIA assigned there did not know what he was doing. His orders were coming from a "higher authority". The secret government at work. It's even more so today.

Yesterday we had our monthly pot luck supper here at the Addams-Melman House. It was a pouring buckets-of-rain day, and I spent alot of time talking with one woman peace elder in our state. She voted for Obama and told me "I just don't want to believe" that he has been such a disappointment. The feeling of betrayal is beginning to creep into her soul. What is left to do she wondered? Take the money out of politics and instant run-off voting (IRV), she asked? Yes I told her, those are good but even if we had that the corporate dominated media would make sure their interests would win elections 9-times-out-of-10. In the end we have to take the whole system on I suggested.

Then this morning I got a call from a Global Network member in conservative Indiana. He had seen my new video and wanted to put it on his cable TV show - his lifeline. He talked for some time about how their local peace group, before the elections drawing a couple hundred to events, was now down to six stubborn people. He too had voted for Obama but was glad to see my critical review of Obama's foreign policy on the video.

We all need permission at times to keep at it, especially when the slogging gets tough. As Pink Floyd says, "I've become comfortably numb."

I told my friend, he is a Veteran for Peace member too, that we've got to see the incoming and outgoing ocean tides in our minds. The rush of activism comes and it goes. The job of an organizer is to keep the fires burning during the out-tide so that when the people inevitably return there is a place for them to move into immediate action. In the lull period we have to stay visible in every possible way and to keep putting the pieces of the puzzle up on the wall so people can begin to interpret the whole picture.

The people though, in their hearts, know the true score. But everyone wants to be liked and they have long ago learned to "toe the line" as they taught us in the military. Take away all desire and will to step out when told by the oligarchy to sit down and shut up.

Eventually though people will be forced off the dime and back into action. The contradictions are catching up with the collapsing system and they are a bit hard to ignore these days.

But we have to go global. We seen people in Iran protesting as they become victims of the big power game now underway spelled - OIL. The only way to take down the global corporate power elite is to link our realities to this larger picture.

But at the same time the place to do that work is locally. We've got to help our fellow citizens to move from fear and lethargy into action. It's a lifetime gift.

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