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.

Thursday, November 07, 2013


Blackfish, a powerful new documentary film by Gabriela Cowrperthwaite explores the inhumane capture and treatment of killer whales by marine entertainment parks.

The documentary takes the viewer on a roller coaster ride from breathtaking footage of orcas swimming in the wild to the cruel capture of orca babies. In their natural habitat, these magnificent mammals swim 100 miles a day.  In captivity, they are barely able to move around, damage their teeth on metal railings, and act out aggressively towards each other.

Interviewee John Crowe cried as he describes the legacy of orca capture for entertainment purposes, spotlighting the notorious Penn Cove captures in 1970 by scientists in Washington state.  Mothers and mature family members refused to leave the babies behind in the nets; several adult whales died.  The scientists then cut the whales open, filled their bodies with rocks, sinking them, to destroy of evidence of what they had done.  Orcas' brains are much more developed emotionally and socially than those of humans; they live in social groups called pods; males never leave their mothers. Separating members from their pods is an enormous act of emotional and social violence.

Blackfish explains how killer whales become deformed (their tails bend in a weird way); their teeth and health are compromised, and why their life span is reduced from that of human lifespan equivalent to 25-30 years in captivity. 


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