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.

Friday, November 13, 2009

MADE IT TO HOOD RIVER

I wasn't quite sure I was going to make it here. A long flight to Oregon in these days of airline decline can be a difficult journey. Mine was.

It took me so long to get out of Portland, Maine's airport yesterday that I missed my connecting fight to Portland, Oregon scheduled at 6pm last night. I got to Newark, where I was supposed to catch my Oregon bound flight, about 7pm. Bad weather in the New York area kept us on the ground in Maine.

After standing in line for an hour I was told that all flights to Oregon were gone for the night and that I'd have to take an early flight this morning (Friday) from Newark to Oregon. But I had checked the weather for today and it appeared that more of the same was expected so I had no confidence I'd ever make it off the east coast.

I asked for any flight heading west last night....none were available I was told by a disinterested Continental airlines agent. I knew otherwise, all you had to do was look at the board and you could see all kinds of flights heading west. So I went to another counter in a different part of the airport and was able to get myself on a half-empty flight to Houston, Texas. It arrived in Houston at 1am and by that time I was spent. Even the airport tram was closed by then so I made the long walk to the airport hotel to get a room and a few hours sleep. The rooms were quite expensive but at that point I didn't care.

This morning I got on a 9am flight from Houston to Portland, Oregon and arrived around noon. I was picked up by Linda Short who is organizing my talk tonight in Hood River.

This is a beautiful place, mountains all around and the river separating Oregon from Washington state. The corporation Insitu makes drones and has been bought by Boeing....they want to expand operations.....the drone business is profitable these days. Money for killing and endless war seems to be abundant with little question or regret from either of our two war parties in the nation's capital.

The lure of 700 local jobs is enticing as even the local timber industry I am told recently laid off 25o workers. We are indeed becoming a more militarized culture everyday. I'm glad some have the courage to stand up and say no to military production. It is an honor to be invited to speak to them.

Linda told me that a few of their local peace group members see the economic writing on the wall and are saying that the drones are not so bad because they "protect our troops."

How can you be a self-proclaimed peace activist and not be against sending the troops into war in the first place? It just goes to show that not everyone who claims to be a peacenik is cut out for the task. Some people will do or say anything to make a buck or remain in the good graces of the status quo.

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