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

Friday, September 23, 2011

SPACE JUNK POLLUTES SPACE



An old NASA satellite is out of control and plunging back towards Earth. But U.S. scientists have been left guessing where it will land - as it could be anywhere on the planet. RT's Peter Oliver sought out some top Russian astronomers and cosmonauts to look at whether we should be watching our heads.

They also talk about the growing problem of space junk that orbits the Earth at 15,000 mph.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

TO BECOME HUMAN AGAIN



  • The gigantic hammers are busting the sacred rocks on Gangjeong village coastline again. The South Korean Navy has ordered that all signs, flags, and banners be taken down in the village. Sounds like martial law to me. Activists defied orders and barricades and made their way back onto the rocky coast to interrupt the destruction.

  • The execution of Troy Davis has once again exposed the mean-spirited nature of America. People all over the world are broken hearted and furious about this latest display of racism and violence. The U.S. is always scolding others around the world about the need to "renounce violence". U.S. corporate controlled politicians like to lecture the Palestinians or the Taliban about the absolute necessity for them to quit their ways of violence. Then the hypocritical U.S. sells more weapons to Israel and turns its head as they slam the helpless people in Gaza. Or the U.S. fires its drone-directed missiles into a wedding or funeral in Pakistan making sure that even more people become "terrorists" in retaliation to the senseless killing of innocent people. The blood has flowed in the hearts and minds of the American people since the early days of the Pilgrims landing on Massachusetts shore in 1620. It's been a blood lust ever since - genocide of Native Americans, introduction of slavery, civil war, westward expansion, innumerable wars and Manifest Destiny turns into today's endless war for global corporate domination.

  • It's no wonder that more than 10% of the American people are taking anti-depressant drugs. People who understand the true nature of corporate control are suffering from social isolation and the anti-human nature of this capitalist system. It's no wonder that people don't believe that we can change anything - that all the doors to true democracy are slammed shut, locked, bolted, and guarded by the corporate police. The lesson of the Jeju Island resistance to the destruction of Gangjeong village is that the human spirit can indeed survive and flourish even in the midst of this violence and anti-nature assault. In fact, the process of fighting for each other and for the natural world is what reconnects us to our humanity. Fight and survive. Fight and find your true humanity. Fight and come alive again. Fight and reject the corporate death machine. We don't have to kill in order to fight. We can shake off our mental chains and stand against the insanity of a corporate order that rejects life and has declared war on the natural world.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

COVERAGE IN WATERVILLE PAPER

We got coverage in this morning's Waterville newspaper about our work yesterday at the University of Maine-Farmington. You can see it here

Dan Ellis and I will now head to Waterville to hold our Bring Our War $$ Home banner on a busy street during the noon rush hour. After that we go to Belfast to do the same for afternoon traffic and then to the Afghanistan war documentary film at the public library.

Will get home late tonight.

So we've had something in two major papers in Maine the last two days. Got to keep pumping up the jam.

Give us a hand and write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Use the words Bring Our War $$ Home.

Let's help shape the debate as the "Super Committee" in Congress tries to do everything they can to avoid cuts in Pentagon spending. Make a demand.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

PRESENTATION IN VIRGINIA



My talk at the Military Industrial Complex at 50 conference in Charlottesville, Virginia this past year.

REACHING OUT TO STUDENTS

I am sitting in the Student Center at University of Maine-Farmington with fellow activists Dan Ellis (Brunswick) and Mark Roman (Solon). We are behind two tables that are laden with our literature and we've already handed out hundreds of flyers to the many students who pass by this busy spot.

We've got our Bring Our War $$ Home banner hanging on the wall behind us and signs on either end of the table.

At 11:30 this morning I was able to talk with about 25 people for an hour about our month long Care-a-Van around Maine. Sitting in the room was a reporter from Waterville Sentinel newspaper who had heard about the meeting which was set up on the campus by fellow Veterans for Peace member Doug Rawlings. Doug teaches Peace Studies here and is also organizing the concert tonight with folksinger David Rovics. We'll have a literature table there as well.

At 4:00 pm Dan, Mark, and I will move out onto the street in the downtown area for an hour of holding signs and banners and leafleting folks on the street as they prepare to head home from work.

This morning I picked up the Portland Press Herald and saw that my letter to the editor about endless war spending, along with a couple others on the same subject, were printed in the paper. You can see them here

It is our goal during this 30-day period to reach beyond our normal organizing boundaries - to reach deeper into the public and help expand people's consciousness about our work to Bring Our War $$ Home. Today is an example that if you get out and do the work you can indeed break the chains of our inner boxes.

Tomorrow Dan and I head to Waterville and Belfast for more of the same.

Monday, September 19, 2011

TAKING IT TO WALL STREET



Protests continued today on Wall Street in New York City following this on Saturday.

This is a great spot to hold protests as it is the symbol of greed, corporate control, the excess of capitalism, the arrogance of the rich and their contempt for working and poor people in this country and around the world.

Anyone who defends the rich from tax cuts and strict regulations, and claims to have the interest of working people at heart, is playing games with our heads.

This is why we have government - to protect the majority against the greed and corruption of the oligarchy.

EVACUATING TOKYO?



More than 60,000 protested in Tokyo today against nuclear power. This report indicates that radiation levels are climbing in Tokyo. Can you imagine evacuating 35 million people?

Nuclear power stations must be shut down everywhere on this planet. We can't wait for more accidents like Cherrnobyl and Fukushima.

See news article about Tokyo protest here

SKUNKS, POTATOES, LEAFLETS, PEACE

We got home last night from Virginia and the conference called "Military Industrial Complex at 50". I'd venture to guess there were up to 150 folks who passed through the event during the course of the weekend. Many great speakers and a good hosting by local activists in Charlottesville. Our host family loaned us their second car so MB and I could come and go as we wished. Some wonderful meals were served including an authentic Afghanistan supper the first night prepared by local Afgan restaurant.

You can see an article about the confab in the local Charlottesville newspaper here

It was fun to be back in the south again - land of growing militarism, grits, and southern drawls (each one distinct in their own way from different parts of the region).

But it felt good to come back to Maine when we landed in Portland. As our plane made its way to the gate I could smell that distinct smell I've come to know in our state - skunks. Just about everywhere you go in Maine, as it gets dark, you are bound to smell a skunk. I turned to MB on the plane and said, "It seems Gov. LePage has just made a visit to the airport." But then as we drove north on I-295 I could smell skunk spray along the highway, so it appears our right-wing governor was just one step ahead of us.

Today I plan to dig up potatoes in our garden and prepare for a busy week with the Bring Our War $$ Home Care-a-Van. In the morning a handful of us head north to University of Maine-Farmington where we will spend the early part of the day talking to and leafleting students. In the afternoon we will stand in the downtown and hold signs and banners and hand out more leaflets about the campaign. Then in the evening we'll attend the David Rovics concert at the university.

We'll spend the night at the home of Veterans for Peace co-founder Doug Rawlings and then head to Belfast the next day where we'll repeat the bannering, leafleting and such on the streets of that community before attending an evening documentary film showing of Kill/Capture (the US military campaign in Afghanistan and targeted raids using classified intelligence, drones, and Special Operations Forces as a tactic) at the public Library at 6:00 pm.

Then on Friday I'll head back north to the Common Ground Fair where the Bring Our War $$ Home campaign will share a table with Maine Veterans for Peace on Friday/Saturday/Sunday. The fair draws tens of thousands of Mainers each year and is a wonderful place to do outreach.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

SUNDAY SONG