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.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


The protesters on the street in Egypt must be feeling intense anger and frustration since Mubarak announced tonight that he was not going anywhere. But I believe it is the tremendous success of their movement that is keeping Mubarak from leaving.

The global corporate oligarchy must be terrified about allowing the Egyptian people, and their supporters all around the world, to have such a resounding victory. Following the quick results of protests in Tunisia, that helped provide the spark to light the fires in Egypt, the ruling elites want to slow this train down. If Mubarak was to depart now, the fear is likely that other fires will get started in other suffering hearts and minds around the world.

Better to throw some cold water onto this raging fire lest it become much more out of control. The decision has likely been made to do everything possible to discourage and frustrate the people in Egypt and beyond.

Leaders in countries like the U.S. will maintain they are on the "side of the people" and have "no control over Mubarak". But I don't buy it. The U.S. does not like seeing its well supplied military dictators toppled so "easily" by determined and non-violent street protests. This would set a bad example for the empire's other client states - and particularly for the colonized people living in the U.S.

But the real power lies in the hands of the Egyptian people these days and they should continue to keep doing what they are doing. It appears that Egyptian protesters are calling for even bigger marches on Friday. The worst thing the Egyptian people, and their supporters across the globe, could do now would be to back off. Now is the time to apply even more pressure and to widen the demands.

Not only should we all be supporting democracy and freedom but we should also be calling for a reordering of domestic priorities everywhere - stop the expansion of militarism - fund human needs - return our civil liberties. This should be the call of all nations and all people.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard on the radio this morning that the army will support Mubarak's decision to not step down. This does not bode well for the protesters, who may now meet violence at the hands of the army.

I think that the best thing for President Obama to do right now is to avoid any sort of military intervention, even one ostensibly to support the protesters. Any intervention on our part, no matter how well intended, will likely foster some conflict later.

Time and time again we have tried to set up other countries' governments, backing the Batista dictatorship in Cuba and deposing the democratically elected president of Iran in the 50's. In a sort of karma, our actions abroad have never failed to cause strained relations with the intervened-in countries. Who knows what kind of consequences our actions towards Egypt will have in fifty years?

I think Shakespeare's MacBeth had it right: "[w]e but teach [b]loody instructions, which, being taught, return [t]o plague the inventor."

2/11/11, 9:25 AM  

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