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

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

WHICH PATH SHOULD WE WALK?

  • The incoming Republican leadership, who will now control the House of Representatives in Washington, is proposing $100 billion of cuts in education, law enforcement, medical and scientific research, transportation, Medicare, Social Security, and much more. They plan to exclude cuts to the Pentagon and Homeland Security - in fact they intend to call for increases in war spending. If you want to help stop the $10 billion a month Afghanistan bleeding then fight like hell to defend social progress in your community. The train called human needs and the train called endless war are heading for a full-on collision. Sadly both trains are loaded with innocent victims of the corporate money grab gambit.

  • Under the new Republican controlled House of Representatives there will also be an acceleration of attacks on Muslims across the US. This demonization and fear mongering will be linked to further attacks on our civil liberties and justification for continued military occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), the incoming chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said he plans to investigate the apparent "radicalization" of some Muslims in the US. Look for more FBI "sting" operations where they set up Muslims in phony domestic terrorist operations and then make high-profile prosecutions as they have been doing in recent years across the country.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me.

- Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) was an ardent nationalist and prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last 7 years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

  • The 9th year of the prison at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba will be marked on January 11 with protests by Witness Against Torture. On that day activists will gather at the White House for a news conference with a coalition of human rights and grassroots groups and then proceed in a “prisoner procession” to the Department of Justice, where they will engage in nonviolent direct action. Two years into Obama’s administration the outlook for the remaining 174 prisoners in Guantánamo is bleaker than ever. Despite Obama's campaign promise to close the prison and end torture it appears to be another sad example of the magician at work where he says one thing to get elected but then governs in virtually an opposite manner.

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