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'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Monday, January 23, 2012

ASSORTED PIECES OF THINGS


  • I went to an interesting lecture last night at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. David Zirin, the sports writer for The Nation, spoke about "Not Just a Game: Power, Politics and American Sports”. He's a very entertaining and interesting speaker. He just wrote a book with 1968 Olympian John Carlos (remember the people power salute?) and they've been touring the country together, often stopping to meet and speak with Occupy movements. Even Mary Beth, who expected to be bored and sleeping by the end of his talk, loved Zirin and found him interesting as he integrated corporate sports issues with politics in general. You should check out his blog here
  • The Artists and Poets Walk through South Korea arrived in Gangjeong village over the weekend, just in time for the Chinese New Year. What a feat it was, especially through the cold and snow of a Korean winter. That is just the kind of national outreach that is needed to bring more awareness to the Korean people about the Navy base fight on Jeju Island.
  • Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, will speak on Friday at Bowdoin College. I will go to hand out leaflets to the hundreds who will likely attend. We are organizing an Occupy Brunswick public meeting on February 12 so it will be a great opportunity to spread the word. Bowdoin is having a full week of speakers - the student who opened the Zirin event last night made some veiled reference to trouble on the campus last year as the reason for this week of speakers. It was not clear what she was referring to but she kept talking about the "chance to open your mind" - so I think it must have something to do with the fact that most students at Bowdoin are rich white kids who tend to be arrogant and conservative. (I heard that some Bowdoin students recently were chanting on the campus "We are the 1%"). There must have been some food fight last year with the small group of progressive (and people of color) students on campus which made this week a "healing" time. But I am only speculating - I'm curious now and must find out the whole story.
  • This coming Saturday a statewide "Visions and Strategies for the Occupy Movement in Maine" conference will be held at the University of Maine-Augusta. There is alot of buzz about this meeting and I think there will be a big crowd attending. It speaks to the fact that despite most Occupy camps having been forcibly shut down by the gendarmes, the movement lives and breathes. Should be a fun day.
  • The Newt Gingrich victory in South Carolina has thrown the Republican nomination process into further turmoil. One Gingrich adviser said people want "a tough guy". I'd call him a bully, a racist, a corrupt hack, a thug. The oligarchy likes the idea of turning the electoral process into a boxing match - making it very ugly and dirty. The more voters that get turned off and don't show up at the polls the better they seem to figure. It's all ultimately a distraction from the fact that the 1% is ripping the 99% off big time. The current political slug fest helps mask that reality.

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