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

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

MAINE DRONE BILL NEGOTIATIONS


The Maine drone bill has hit a snag.  A couple potential drone manufacturers in Maine, along with the Presque Isle airport (who wants to be a drone test site), are pushing for language in the bill to allow testing of weapons on drones.  Maine Attorney General Janet Mills (Democrat) and Gov. Paul LePage (Republican) are largely behind this effort.

The Maine House of Representatives tabled the bill last night in order to buy time to add the drone weapons testing amendment.

Late last night I was talking with Shenna Bellows from ACLU about all this and she said Rep.Seth Berry in the House wants our endorsement of the drone weapons testing lingo for the bill.  Then this morning we got an email directly from Rep. Berry asking for our support.

This is what I wrote back to him:

Seth,
I appreciate your position but you must know that I represent a constituency as well.  I'd be hung from the nearest light pole if I endorsed lingo to allow the weaponization of drones.  I can't morally or ethically do it.
Everyone promises jobs....my job is to try to end wars and the massive military spending. If we converted the war industry to peaceful production we'd have loads of money for building rail, a solar society, fixing roads and bridges, and much more.
The definitive study on creating jobs was done by UMASS-Amherst, please take a look:  http://www.peri.umass.edu/fileadmin/pdf/published_study/PERI_military_spending_2011.pdf
This feverish last minute scramble is how bad laws get written.  That's why I've all along suggested a two-year moratorium should be passed on drones in Maine which would give us all time to do it right.
In the end though the drone testing deal will be a challenge as Obama is calling for 30,000 of them to fly over our heads in coming years.  We will be told it is OK because it will create jobs.
That's why I'm now organizing a walk to stop drones in Maine from Limestone to Augusta next Oct 10-19.  We need more time to get the public engaged in this discussion.
Many thanks for listening.
Bruce K. Gagnon
Coordinator
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

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