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.

Friday, January 29, 2010

PLANNING UNDERWAY FOR BIG EVENTS IN NEW YORK THIS SPRING

I am staying at the home of long-time anti-nuclear activist Alice Slater in NYC. Last night we went to a meeting to plan for the April 30 - May 2 international grassroots conference and protest that will happen just before the United Nations Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference gets underway.

About 150 folks showed up last night and it was good to see many old friends there. The events are being called "For Peace and Human Needs - Nuclear Disarmament Now!" See the website here

I have been involved in the planning process on the international committee which has been meeting for about a year via conference calls. Dave Webb (CND Vice-Chair in England and our Global Network Chairperson) and I have volunteered to coordinate one of the workshop tracks for the April 30-May 1 international conference that will be held at Riverside Church in NYC. We will also be doing a workshop on space issues.

Then on May 2 a march and rally will be held in the city. Many groups are now involved and thousands of activists will be coming from all over the world. It should be exciting.

One of the really good things that is happening is that the whole program is going to be about connecting the dots between militarism, human needs, and climate change. Nuclear weapons of course will be a key component of the event, due to the NPT Review Conference, but we are putting the nukes in the larger context of U.S. militarism. One point made at the meeting last night is that we have to talk more about how national (homeland) security needs to be redefined. How can we be secure when jobs, education, and social spending are being cut and we are not effectively dealing with climate change? How can we be secure when our civil liberties are in danger?

Housing will be a premium next May. If you are planning to come to NYC and need to get a cheap hotel room you might want to deal with that soon. You can find info on "cheap" rooms here

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