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.

Monday, July 29, 2013


I made it home at 1:00 am this morning.  I could barely make it up the stairs with my bags.  I slept until 11:00 am and had to get to work doing some legal stuff for my most recent arrest at Hancock Field drone base in Syracuse, New York.  As it is I am late on it anyway.

When I came through passport control upon reentering the US at the Dallas airport yesterday the guy at the booth ran my passport into his computer, marked a big red "I" on my reentry form, and said, "Come with me."  My first thought was here we go again.  The same thing happened to me when I came back from our Global Network conference in Sweden last month.

He took me to a room that was filled with Hispanics waiting permission to enter the US and I saw him put my passport on a shelf in an adjoining room separated by windows.  I only had one hour until my plane left for Boston and I figured I'd miss the plane for sure.

After about 15 minutes I saw one officer grab my passport and go to his computer.  When he approached the window he asked me, "Are you traveling alone?"  Yes, I replied.  "You've got a Protection Order against you.  Are you traveling with the person who has the Protection Order against you?"  No, I said, I am alone.  Again he asked me "Are you traveling with the person who has the Order against you?"  No, I said.  He handed me my passport and I was free to go.

The Order of Protection is from the base commander at Hancock Field in New York.  I got it when arrested there last April.  I can't imagine that I'd be traveling with the base commander.

I've got tons of work to get caught up with.  My desk is piled high with mail, phone calls to return, emails to respond to, new names to enter into our database, and a newsletter to get started with.  It's always tempting to come back and try to do it all at once.

Friday I leave for Washington DC to speak at the 90th anniversary War Resisters League conference called Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities.  I'll be on a panel and hope to show The Ghosts of Jeju documentary film during a workshop session.

It's times like this that I wish we could afford to hire a part-time administrative assistant for me.  But such is life in the peace biz.  We take what we can get and make the best of it.

Needless to say I consider myself very lucky to do this work and to be able to travel and meet such outstanding people around the world.  I give thanks and will hit my work pile with the best I've got - in due time. 


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