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.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


The new Zumwalt class "stealth" destroyer being built by General Dynamics at Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Maine was moved to dry dock and then into the Kennebec River over the weekend.

Coming out of dry dock at BIW does not mean the ship is ready to put to sea. BIW will keep finishing their work on the ship before installing a considerable arsenal of weapons, including two Advanced Gun Systems (AGS), which can fire rocket powered, computer-guided shells that can destroy targets 63 miles away. That's three times farther than ordinary destroyer guns can fire. In addition cruise missiles (the weapons that were first to be fired from destroyers to start Bush's "shock and awe" in 2003) will be installed. The Zumwalt will ultimately be equipped with 80 missiles, including Tomahawk cruise missiles and Seasparrow surface to air missiles.

The $4 billion warship will be one of three Zumwalt class destroyers the Navy builds.  Originally the Navy intended to build as many as 20 of these ships but the Pentagon scuttled the program due to excessive cost.  (Previous destroyers were costing about $1.5 billion each.)  But Obama rescued the Zumwalt with a compromise that will fund the construction of three of this ships - all to be built at BIW.

Navy Capt. Jim Downey, the Zumwalt program manager, told the media that the ship was the "most complex surface combatants the US Navy has ever developed.....[and] make it a 100% globally deployable asset to the fleet."

Translation:  This "stealth" destroyer will be a key element in the US military encirclement of China.

The blessing from Jesus Christ will have to wait until the spring.  You can be sure that a protest will be scheduled when that big event is held.  In the meantime activists in Maine will hold their annual weekly peace vigils at BIW during the entire Advent season (from Nov 30 thru Christmas eve).  They will be done each Saturday from 11:30 am until 12:30 as the weekend shift leaves the shipyard.


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