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

Saturday, January 04, 2014

THE HUNGER GAMES



  • Our Gov. LePage (right-wing Republican corporate hack) is running for reelection on the backs of the poor.  He wants to drain "welfare" in order to kill it.  In Maine's largest city of Portland the governor has decided to move the state welfare office from the downtown area out near the airport which means folks, already without transportation, will have even more difficulty getting there.  Very slimy politics.
  • It reminds me of when I was attending the University of Florida after getting out of the Air Force.  I was using the GI Bill to pay for school but needed to work part-time to supplement my living expenses.  (I ate alot of peanut butter during those days.)  I answered an advert in the paper from an older woman who was disabled and writing a book about the many forms of genocide during Hitler's reign of terror.  I'd go to the library and do research and make copies for her - as well as rake her leaves and such.  In one book I found a chart called the "Caloric Reduction In-Take Schedule" that the Nazi's had created for the Warsaw, Poland Jewish ghetto.  They had a systemic plan to reduce calories and bring on earlier death for people that they wanted to kill.  A more subtle way of exterminating people.

  • So today when we see this hard-driving "austerity budget" campaign by the corporate oligarchy to cut social welfare programs (and retirement programs) I can't help but see that Nazi chart in my mind.  We now have millions of superfluous populations in the US (and beyond) and the ruling elite doesn’t need them or want them around.  There are many ways to get rid of people - killing them with misbeguided wars - make health care hard to obtain by the poor and working class - and reduce the amount of food people have access to.

  • According to recent statistics, some 14 percent (likely much higher in the real world) of US households are currently dependent on food assistance.  One food pantry worker recently commented to the media about the public's growing fear because of food stamp cutbacks, "They’re just worried to death that they’re not going to be able to feed their families."

  • With a trillion dollar a year military budget you'd think that we could cut there and use those funds to help create jobs and to feed and house the growing numbers of destitute people.  But as I've often said, the oligarchy is going to bring us all onto the reservation now.  The politicians in Washington get to decide whether we get shot or just die from starvation. 
In poll after poll after poll, 75% to 85% in the United States say their system of government is broken. Yet, what remains the top piece of advice to agitators for change? That's right: "Work within the system." And what remains the fallback ultimate reliable justification for launching or escalating or continuing a war: That's right: "We need to bring our system of government to others."

Newark, New Jersey on Wednesday, November 30, 1932: A delegation of women joins forces with 700 hunger marchers from New York as they head to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Hunger March protesting conditions during the Great Depression. The women are singing "Solidarity Forever".

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