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

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Sunday, September 02, 2012


Two dozen peaceniks interrupted the fun and idolatry yesterday in Camden, Maine when we protested the port call by the USS Normandy guided missile cruiser at the annual Windjammer Festival.

I brought along our banner from the recent airshow that says "Stop recruiting our children for war" and we held it as a long line of families waited almost an hour to be ferried out to the waiting warship.  (The photos I originally had here were from the Windjammer Facebook page but the person who apparently took them asked me to remove them.  I guess I ruffled some feathers.  People normally share photos on Facebook all the time. Our "freedom" has obvious limits when you challenge the status quo.)

Interestingly the ferry was called the "Pied Piper" which is a fitting name as the children were led out to the warship where they could get indoctrinated once again in the joys of modern warfare/slaughter/blitzkrieg.  What does a Navy warship have to do with a celebration of sailing ships?  Ugh.....

The USS Normandy was cited in 1998 for being having fired the "Most Tomahawk cruise missiles by a U.S. Navy Cruiser" during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  At a million dollars each those cruise missiles killed one hell of alot of people.  But no worries - we are the exceptional nation.  Right?  We kill people so they can be free.......

There were huge numbers of people who passed by us as we held the banners.  A few grumpy white men proclaimed that we were able to protest because they had fought for our "freedom" to do so.  I asked one of them if he knew whether he had been fighting for the "Constitution or corporate interests?"  I got an unfriendly response.

Next Wednesday (Sept 5) the Navy's DDG 112 (The Michael Murphy) will be sent off here from Bath Iron Works with a big ceremony.  In addition the Gangjeong villagers on Jeju Island are calling for a week of international solidarity actions with their opposition to Navy base construction.  It is the Aegis destroyers like "The Michael Murphy" that would make ports of call on Jeju Island as they surround China's coast and pump up tensions in the Asia-Pacific.

I am planning to stand in front of Bath Iron Works on Washington Street from 2:00-4:00 pm and hand out flyers as the workers leave for the day.  My sign will read "Where do Aegis go?".

Please join me if you can.  We must continue to stand in the face of the ever growing militarization of our economy and our nation. 


Blogger Tom Huck said...

Go Bruce Go!

9/2/12, 8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Bruce;

No feathers ruffled when it came to the use of the photos I took. I asked you to take them down because you were using my intellectual property without permission. I'm hoping this makes this through the censorship of comment moderation.

Best wishes

9/4/12, 11:04 AM  
Blogger Bruce K. Gagnon said...

OK Dan, fair enough. Would you now then give me permission to use those two photos on my blog?

9/4/12, 11:33 AM  

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