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.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

CAN'T KILL THE SPIRIT


  • We went to a great fundraiser last night for a Gaza children's water purification and desalinization project. I heard that 175 people turned out at the church in Brunswick for the event to raise money for the Middle East Children's Alliance. Volunteers cooked food for a couple days in advance and a silent auction was held. Fateh Azzam, a Palestinian born in Lebanon, did a presentation about the expanding Israeli "settlements, checkpoints, and wall" that are now breaking the Palestinian lands into fragments that will ultimately prevent there ever being a contiguous Palestinian state. There is a strong and steady Middle East justice organizing movement here in Maine. The speaker asked the audience what former Sen. George Mitchell (from Maine) was doing in his job as Obama's "Middle East envoy" - the audience just laughed. We were all taught during the Cold War that walls were bad and only used by Commie types to deny freedom and such. Today U.S. taxpayers subsidize the construction of the walls around Palestinian lands and we remain much too silent.

  • I sent around an article yesterday from the right-wing Washington Times entitled "Defense Review Calls for Navy Buildup". The report by an independent panel, headed by former White House National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley (previously a Lockheed Martin executive) and former Defense Secretary William Perry, called for expanding the U.S. Navy from 282 ships to 346 warships. The most important line in the article to me is the one that calls on the U.S. to deal with threats from rising powers in Asia and to confront "an accelerating global competition for resources." They are really talking about China and it is obvious that Naval expansion becomes a key military strategy - thus the need for additional ports of call in the Asian-Pacific like the proposed base on Jeju Island in South Korea and new facilities in Guam. How would Congress pay for an expanded Navy? More cuts in social progress - particularly Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare.

  • Noise report: Today the work crews have a day off so it is calm outside. No heavy dust flying around. They finished working directly in front of our house yesterday afternoon so they will move on down the street on Monday. While walking yesterday some neighbors pointed out to us that several trees in their yard by the road will be cut down. Sometimes I wonder if outhouses and hauling water was really so bad after all.

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