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. I'll be back to GN after March 15.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

OCCUPY TEACH-IN

I raked leaves and brought in fire wood today for more than two hours. It was unusually warm and humid outside, the evidence of climate change here in Maine is real and sad. All week we are seeing 50 degree temperatures when it should be much colder.

I love being outside doing the bending and hauling and lifting. It's good exercise and I was sweating like a pig. I enjoy being around the trees which are bare these days. I picked up lots of twigs that fell after our snow last week. The twigs go into large barrels in our shed and will be used for starting fires in our wood stoves.

At 4:00 pm today many local peace and Occupy activists went to Bowdoin College in Brunswick for a Teach-In on the Occupy movement. A Bowdoin student organized the event and there had to be more than 125 people there......about 60% adults and 40% students. A great discussion took place following some presentations by three faculty members as well as CodePink Maine activist Lisa Savage who graduated from Bowdoin many moons ago. A woman faculty member said that in her ten years of teaching at Bowdoin this was the first time there had ever been a public discussion about income inequality. Bowdoin is a rich kids school.

For a good 15-20 minutes once Q & A started the students commented back and forth. The first one to speak was not at all taken by the Occupy movement and felt that the attacks on the 1% were unfair. He felt the 99% should stop complaining and get on with life......There were a couple more students who also shared those feelings but there were some really thoughtful students who spoke up as well. One told the story that he had been woken up very early this morning by some clanging sounds outside his apartment window. When he looked out his window he saw a man rummaging in the garbage dumpster. It was clear that the student was quite moved by this scene.

As usual no one, except Lisa Savage, had mentioned endless war or the costs of war so when I got up I made sure to connect the dots of expanding militarism to ensure resource and market control to the benefit of corporate globalization. MB then followed and connected cut backs in human needs to the expanding military budget.

Sometimes it pays to show up and speak out. We are still the 99%.

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