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

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


  • The mainstream media is promoting the inevitability of Hillary Clinton's nomination for president as representative of the Democratic Party.  The oligarchy likes Hillary knowing that she would help keep much of the left demobilized (like Obama has done) while giving Wall Street and the military industrial complex virtually everything they want.  She would also continue the austerity cuts on the poor and middle class.  I'll never forget watching Bill and Hillary on TV sitting in the front row of conservative evangelical minister Billy Graham's last big "crusade" before he retired.  He stopped in the middle of his sermon, leaned over the podium, and said, "Hillary, you are going to make a great president."  The next day I noticed that the former president Bill Clinton flew to Kennebunkport, Maine to play golf with daddy Bush.  Sort of like going to see the godfather to get his blessings. 
  • Our campaign here in Bath to oppose tax breaks for the General Dynamics Corporation (that owns Bath Iron Works - BIW) is growing as we approach the Wednesday evening city council public meeting.  We've been hearing from more and more local citizens that are contacting city councilors with their opposition to the tax break.  The public hearing begins at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, Nov 20 at city hall.  Should be very interesting to see how it all goes.
  • On Friday, November 22 Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is coming to BIW to inspect the new Zumwalt "stealth" destroyer and we will hold a vigil in front of the administration building on Washington Street from 3:00 - 4:30 pm as the workers leave for the day. 
  • Then the annual Advent Vigils for Disarmament (led by Smilin' Trees Disarmament Farm), to be held in the same spot at BIW, are scheduled every Saturday from 11:30 am - 12:30 as the weekend shift leaves work. These vigils will take place November 30 and then again on December 7, 14 & 21.  Advent is a time to prepare for peace and in that spirit we hope you will join us in opposition to war and in hope for conversion of the military industrial complex to peaceful and sustainable production. It's good to remember the words of the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass - "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will".  We'll never see a release from our addiction to militarism and war unless the public, the military production worker unions, courageous elements within management, and the peace movement make the conversion demand over and over again.  The politicians will then begin to hear our voices. 


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