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 20, 2009


* Students at UCLA (California) held a major protest yesterday against the decision to raise their tuition by 32%. Their education will now cost about $10,000 per year. Many of the working class kids attending college at UCLA recognize that they will not be able to afford to continue in school which is exactly what the system intends. Higher level education, in a diminishing job market, will only be for the children of the upper crust. For all of those who often wonder, "where are the students?" this is an answer. When an issue directly impacts a particular group, like students, you will find them in the streets. Now the challenge is to get them to connect their financial difficulties with massive federal spending for endless war.

* The local school district that covers my town, and several other small towns in the area where I live, is not able to afford to pay teachers at their full value. Right now local teachers are working without a union contract. Last Monday night the teachers walked out of a school board meeting in protest. I am totally sympathetic with the teachers but the problem is that the state and our local governments are flat out broke. Sadly though local teachers, like so many others in our society, have yet to make the connection to how military spending is impacting them. Taxpayers in Maine have paid $613.7 million for total Afghanistan war spending since 2001. For the same amount of money 11,574 elementary school teachers in Maine could have been paid for one year. Isn't it time to connect the dots?

* For example, it costs $1 million to keep one soldier in Afghanistan per year. Obama, for the second time since in office, wants to surge the troops there. Where will the money come from? What will have to be cut to pay for more troops in Afghanistan?

* Tomorrow at 1:00 pm a statewide organizing meeting on Afghanistan will be held here at the Addams-Melman House in Bath. People will be coming to discuss and plan for a coordinated response to Obama's troop surge plan. Wouldn't it be great to have many students, workers, teachers and others in the society who are now getting hit by cutbacks at the meeting?

As the chant goes: They say cut back, we say fight back!


Blogger Serifo said...

I will be very disappointed with president Obama if he sends more troops to Afghanistan! The US needs a new strategy based on direct dialogue with regional tribal leaders rather than increasing the military presence in the country.I also hope president Obama and his advisors will read something about Afghanistan`s cultural power structure, because the western model of central government is not working for the ordinary people!


11/22/09, 10:53 PM  

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