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: Bath, Maine, United States

Monday, April 26, 2010

MILITARIZING THE CAMPUS


Our Congresswoman, Chellie Pingree (Democrat) in Maine's 1st District, has posted requests for federal funding on her web site.

Here is one of the requests, this one for $5,000,000 for a project called "Advanced Multifunctional Materials for Soldier Support and Protection" at the University of Maine-Orono.

The web site defines the project as: Current troop deployments require low cost, compact, rapidly deployable ballistic and blast protection to mitigate the threat of insurgents and their weapons.

What we are hearing across the nation is that as 45 state's fiscal crisis worsens they are cutting back funding for their state university systems - just like what is now happening in Maine.

As these cutbacks accelerate we find the politicians from both war parties then go to Washington and try to bring money home from the Pentagon and feed those funds into the state university systems to fill the budget gaps. Our public university systems are becoming research and development labs for the military industrial complex and they become more secretive as these dangerous trends continue.

A good friend of mine in Albuquerque, New Mexico reports that the University of New Mexico now has secret areas on the state university campus that are doing Star Wars research and development work. Students at the University of Hawaii a couple years ago occupied the campus administration building after their university signed a deal with the Navy to build a military research center on the campus.

Thus the taxpayer funded institutions begin to betray their original mission of public education for all in an open and democratic environment.

Physics, computer science, engineering, mathematics, and other departments are increasingly becoming dependent on war $$ and ruined as they are captured by the Pentagon agenda. The education community and the society at large become increasingly militarized as a result.

This is not just a coincidence that these trends are occurring. This is all part of the military industrial complex agenda to turn America's role in the global corporate economy to "security export."

If our elected officials representing us in Congress were worth their weight in salt they would instead be working feverishly to stop endless war funding and move those dollars back to our states and local communities for real investment in creating public transportation, open education, health care, building a solar society and more.

Sadly though Democrat and Republican politicians alike are on their bended knees begging the Pentagon for every dollar they can get their hands on and then loudly boasting how they are bringing home the bacon. The bacon though, in the case of military contracts for public educational institutions, comes with strings and helps to contribute to the further militarization of our killer culture.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Diane Lowery said...

Key words: global corporate economy

4/26/10, 10:25 PM  

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