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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

UPDATING THE WAR $$ HOME CAMPAIGN

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, California is sponsoring a Bring Our War $$ Home resolution at the next meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors


Last night I spoke at an event in Windham, Maine organized by one of our Bring Our War $$ Home leaders Sally Breen. Windham is a small rural town just west of Portland and Sally has been working to bring the topic to her community.

About 20 people attended to hear four of us speak about the need to end war spending. Included in the audience was Sally's state representative, a reporter from the local newspaper, and a staff member of our Congresswoman Chellie Pingree who read a nice prepared statement encouraging our efforts. Rep. Pingree has voted against the last two war funding supplementals and just last week voted along with the progressive caucus in the House of Representatives for the alternative People's Budget. It failed to pass the right-wing dominated House (both Republicans, 239 of them, and Democrats, 108 of them, voted against it) but it got 77 yes votes.

One of the speakers on the panel last night was a former Cumberland County Commissioner, who lost in the last Republican-tide election. She spoke from her experience of seeing the federal government dump social needs onto the local and state governments who have no resources to deal with these problems. She spoke eloquently about the need to Bring Our War $$ Home - making the case that war spending is indeed a "local issue" that elected officials in Maine should take a position on.

In my comments I warned that there would be no "economic recovery" in Maine or the U.S. unless and until our government halts its spending on endless war. I illustrated this point by sharing that U.S. multi-national corporations have created 2.4 million jobs overseas in recent years while cutting 2.9 million jobs in this country. How can there be recovery when corporations are moving jobs overseas like rats off a sinking ship? If we hope for economic recovery we must call for the conversion of the military industrial complex and use our presently wasted tax dollars to invest in rail systems, education, health care, home weatherization and the like here at home.

Bring Our War $$ Home resolutions have now passed in the following local communities:

  • Maine - Solon School Board, Deer Isle town meeting and Portland City Council.
  • Massachusetts - Amherst and Northampton City Councils
  • Connecticut - Hartford City Council

Nationally CodePink has hired a full-time organizer to work on the Bring Our War $$ Home campaign and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles will introduce and champion a Bring Our War $$ Home resolution at the next annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Baltimore. If you live in a city of 30,000 or more people please ask your mayor to sign on as a supporter of the resolution. You can get more information here

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