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

Sunday, April 15, 2012

THE REDWOODS WILL OUTLAST EMPIRE

I got to visit the Hendy Woods State Park before my noon time talk in Boonville yesterday. This park is the site of the only easily accessed ancient redwood groves in all of Mendocino County and is slated for closure on July 1. It is one of eight state parks in the county, and is among legions across the state, that will be closed due to Gov. Jerry Brown's budget cutting plans.

The visit put my talk in some context as it is tangible evidence of just how insane the whole current program of U.S. militarism really is. The $10 billion our government wastes every month on the occupation of Afghanistan could easily be used by states that are in fiscal crisis to solve their woes. The recent announcement that the price of the Aegis destroyers made at Bath Iron Works in Maine will jump in cost from $1.5 billion each up to between $4-7 billion per copy indicates that the military industrial complex has no national conscience as they continue to steal from the future generations. (Just where are the loud voices of the "fiscal conservatives" in these moments?)

These trees at Hendy Woods are up to 1,000 years old. They've seen a few empires come and go during their days. They are likely to witness the collapse of the murderous and arrogant U.S. military empire as it is now overextended and withering from within. When a nation abandons its own children, its elderly, its homeless, and turns neighbor against neighbor as a way to divert attention from its own misdeeds you know its days are numbered.

My talk yesterday was at an event hosted by John Lewallen who has been harvesting seaweed in this area for 35 years. He is running for Congress and asked me to come talk about economic conversion of the military industrial complex. He is trying to bring that issue to the public during his campaign.

Later today John and his wife Barbara will drive me further north to Garberville where I will speak to a meeting of Veterans For Peace. (John was in Vietnam for two years during the 1960's.)

As you drive through this part of California you see miles and miles of vineyards. I am told that "newly rich" (dot.com folks) have bought up lots of land in this region and their wine making operations are using up significant amounts of already scarce water. This mono-culture is beginning to change the local community where growing marijuana has been the largest economic engine for years. One man told the story about how he has been swimming in the river for more than 30 years but one of the new rich land owners, who doesn't even live here, has positioned security guards along his land and won't allow local folks to have access to the water anymore.

Money is king and money destroys no matter where it goes. But in the end the redwoods are likely going to outlive this greedy culture that we have introduced.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Cheryl Wolfe said...

If a huge wave of radioactive materials hits the west coast within a year, as some predict, then the redwoods very well could outlast empire.

4/15/12, 4:43 PM  

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