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, July 23, 2010

DECISION TIME: CORPORATE WELFARE OR JOBS AT HOME?


This is the key question of our moment.

This war is a massive welfare contribution to the very corporations who want to control global resources and also cut social spending. This story is the same all over the world. Governments are militarizing and cutting back on human progress. Simple as that. They are working us to build weapons and fight their wars so they can control the declining "stocks" of planetary resources.

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) had a district-wide conference call last night and one of the questions came from Sally Breen (a key leader in our Bring Our War $$ Home campaign) from Windham, Maine who asked: "Thank you for your leadership on saying “no” to more war funding. You are a hero to us. What can we, here in Maine, do to support you in opposing more war funding, and even more important, begin economic conversion and spend more money on the environment and education?

Pingree Answer: Thank you for your kind words. The war supplemental is $37 billion and it is now in the Senate and expected to be heard next week. I voted “no” to more war funding because the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing us $7 billion each month, and that is being added to the deficit. We are spending $1 trillion on unfunded wars. We can’t afford to spend this money. I’m hearing from more and more of my colleagues and constituents on this matter. They say we are building roads, bridges and schools in Afghanistan, but we need to be doing that right here in Maine. You mentioned economic conversion. We have excellent workmanship right here at Bath Iron Works and Pratt and Whitney. We have wind turbines where I live on Vinalhaven. The blades for those turbines came from outside the USA. I believe that we should be building the blades right here at Bath Iron Works, and the materials for the blades should be being made in Maine. Pratt and Whitney builds some military equipment, but some of the equipment they build are for commercial uses. We should be seeing more of that here in Maine.

My hope is that everyone will find a small way each day to help kick this debate and new thinking into action. God knows we need to stop this corporate domination madness now while we can still breathe.

One friend told me about a Maine summer party encounter with a fellow worker who defended the military machine.....my friend challenged the thinking of his peer in front of others. Not something that is often done in that particular social setting. When this happens more often we have a movement of consciousness on our hands.

Please water the seed, even those of you living on an island.

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