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

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

WALKING TO END MILITARY MADNESS



  • We walked 12.6 miles from Farmington to Waterville today (had to shuttle a bit because of the long distance.)  After our lunch stop at the half-way point our support mini-bus would not start and we had to have it towed to a repair shop.  Don’t yet know what the problem was.  Going to likely cost us an arm and a leg for the towing and repair.
  • A man named Mike from Cape Elizabeth, Maine showed up this morning to join us for the rest of the walk.  He read one of the articles in the paper over the weekend and decided he wanted to jump in with us.  Good to know that the media we’ve had is having an impact.  Kathy Kelly arrived in time for supper tonight at the church in Waterville. Mayor Karen Heck of Waterville also came to the church to welcome us and told us she issued a proclamation at their city council meeting last night in support of the walk. 
  • Our hosts tonight are Mark Roman and Lisa Savage who win the prize for most hosting during the walk.  This will be the third night they signed up to take on the host duties.  They’ve really given all they have got and more to the effort. (They were both also responsible for arranging the mayor's proclamation.)
  • While we walk the military industrial complex and their dark agents continue apace.  I read today that the Obama administration is loosening controls over military exports, in a shift that former government officials and human rights advocates say could increase the flow of American-made military parts to the world’s worst conflicts and make it harder to enforce arms sanctions. Under the new system, whole categories of equipment encompassing tens of thousands of items will move to the Commerce Department, where they will be under more “flexible” controls. U.S. companies will also face fewer checks than in the past when selling some military aircraft to dozens of countries.
  • I just told Veterans for Peace member Jules Orkin about the bit above and his response was, “Wasn’t that Obama’s campaign slogan – yes we can?”  It’s confirmation of the horrid decision to hollow out our country and turn us into the “security export” bit role players.  We’ll make weapons for conflicts in regions where diminishing natural resources are located and then use those conflicts as an excuse to send in the troops to bring “stability” and, for good measure, a little bit of “democracy”.
  • Many of us have been noticing that the public appears to be more receptive to our message than on previous walks.  We’ve concluded that people are waking up from their deep sleep and starting to realize that we've been shafted and the clamp is ready to come down.  The ultimate question is whether the public will turn toward a fascism, that offers easy answers and scapegoats those who challenge them, or will they recognize the corporate take over of our nation for what it is and move toward non-violent resistance.  By walking we like to think that we offer the people an alternative vision and sign of hope.  Time will surely tell which way the hammer will swing.

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