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, April 29, 2011

MIXED MESSAGES


  • Despite the campaign sign with the great message above, Obama as president has done just the opposite. He has continued and expanded the wars and occupations and increased military spending. Long-time political activist Ralph Nader writes that Obama will be reelected because he has delivered the goods to the oligarchy. Why would they change horses now when Obama has given them everything they want, plus he has effectively demobilized the left's opposition to corporate domination? It's a win-win for the corporate masters.

Nader says: "Obama is averse to conflict with corporate power and disarmingly expedient in compromising with Republicans, leaving the latter to argue largely among themselves. The political duopoly lets the tactical Obama use the Bully Pulpit to his political advantage, even if his principles perish. Obama can look forward to four more years in 2012."


  • I've been increasing my work on the Global Network's 19th annual Space Organizing Conference that will be held in Andover, Massachusetts on June 17-19. People are beginning to register, overseas participants are making their travel arrangements, and I've been tying up loose ends in the program. Yesterday I reserved a 15-passenger van for the weekend as I know that we are going to have to be transporting people around from place to place during the event. One thing I am most proud of is that more people from Maine have now registered than from anywhere else so far.


  • Word from Jeju Island is that Professor Yang, now is his 24th day of hunger strike against construction of the Navy base, has been admitted to the hospital due to failing health. He is a determined man. Former Jeju Governor Shin was strongly urged by the villagers to end his solidarity fast on the 10th day and he followed their direction but also issued a statement that included these words:

To all the Island people, I apologize to you that I have made you to be much anxious for my fast....However, through my fast this time, I became to know how the navy and Jeju Island have divided the Gangjeong villagers through betrayal, pacification and manipulation, and how the Gangjeong villagers have been living in great fury and suffering for last four years.....I, myself had been in the favoring position of naval base as well until I knew the truth of the Gangjeong village through my fast. As one of the Jeju Island citizens and a former Island governor who has once carried job for you, I feel so ashamed of myself and sorry to all of you. I make an apology to you and beg your pardon.


  • Last night was our monthly Veterans for Peace meeting and I was pleased that the group approved my request that we consider giving Peter Woodruff, who has worked at Bath Iron Works for 30 years building destroyers, an honorary membership in the organization. In addition I had a chance to detail the plans for the upcoming protest at Bath Iron Works on May 7 when another warship is "christened".

  • This will be a busy weekend for me. On Saturday I will head north to the University of Maine-Orono where the annual Hope Festival (organized by the Eastern Maine Peace & Justice Center from Bangor) will be held and I will staff a table to hand out information about the Global Network and the Bring Our War $$ Home campaign. Mark Roman from Solon will join me.

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