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

Friday, November 15, 2013


Vietnam-vet Bob Anderson standing outside Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The base is a major space technology development center

  • I am heading today to Washington DC to participate in the Drones Around the Globe: Proliferation and Resistance conference being organized by Codepink. It is being held at the Georgetown Law Center and will include drone survivors and families of victims from Pakistan and Yemen.  This evening I am lucky to arrive in time to attend a concert featuring folksingers Charlie King and Karen Brandow at a local church.  I'll be staying with my usual hosts at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House.  Then on Sunday I'll get to have dinner with cousin Bob Gagnon and his wife at my favorite restaurant in DC.  Should be a good weekend.
  • Yesterday members of our group Bath Citizens for Responsible TIF Action heard extensive coverage of our Wednesday night public forum on a couple of Maine's top radio stations.  Letters to the editor continue to appear in leading papers and the weeklies in the mid-coast region are now giving greater coverage to the BIW tax giveaway issue.
  • This process of corporate threats to move unless they get more money has become an epidemic.  A hot fight is going on in Seattle as Boeing has demanded wage cuts and dramatic retirement program concessions from the Machinists Union.  Boeing has also demanded more tax breaks from the state of Washington.  The state government buckled under pressure and is offering Boeing $8.7 billion in tax incentives to stay.  Union leadership called the Boeing demands "crap" and then 67% of their membership voted against the company proposal.  Boeing is threatening to move to an anti-union southern state to build their new 777X long-haul aircraft. Buckle up we are hitting turbulence!
  • Days ago while going door-to-door in Bath I met one woman who had recently moved to Maine from Connecticut.  She told me the story about Pfizer that demanded tax breaks from the state or else it would move.  Under corporate pressure the state granted a 10-year tax break worth over $60 million.  After nine years and nine months of receiving the tax "incentives" Pfizer announced they were moving more than half of their workforce out of the state.  The greedy corporations are bleeding the American people in this race to the bottom of the barrel.  It is indeed a coordinated corporate strategy of capital accumulation.  The corporations don't care what impact they have on local communities and the workers who have literally given their lives to make the companies wealthy.  This is how revolutions get started.
  • It's always fascinating to see the places people live who are reading this blog.  The past week's top ten are:  United States, Ukraine, China, Bulgaria, Germany, France, Canada, United Kingdom, South Korea, and Russia. Welcome to all of you - even if you work for some government security service.


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