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, February 22, 2014


A story telling friend visited last night for dinner and wood stove sharing afterwards.  James Williamson, from good New England stock, is a very bright man.  He lives in Cambridge, Ma. and frequently drops by Harvard to listen to many speakers who normally represent mainstream views.  James loves to ask long and complex, but pointed, questions and prides himself on getting his face and question on the C-SPAN TV channel. He was on two nights ago and called me to quickly turn the TV on and see him in action.

After talking for a good while we watched a couple episodes of the Netflix produced House of Cards series about the corruption in Washington.  James had not heard of it, MB and I are just new to the show.  (I read that the show has become popular in China.  I can imagine why, show just how corrupt the US government is to blunt some of the corruption charges always aimed at Peking.)

Before James left in a cab at midnight, on icy streets, we both shared our admiration for the Brecht poem that he sent me days ago.  We talked about the life of Brecht, his isolation from his German homeland during WW II (living in Sweden, Finland and Los Angeles.)  He was called before the House Un-American Activities hearings in Washington (talk about corruption!) and asked if he was a communist and who else was as well.  After the war he ended up living in East Germany where he was given a theatre by the state so he could produce his plays.  He obviously had to learn to walk the political tight-rope there to some degree.... but don't we all?

As James was leaving last night I asked him the question that I always ask at least once each visit....what do we do now?  Last night he gave his best answer yet......local work connected to the bigger picture.

Create local media, take on local corporate and/or corrupt institutions, build a movement to convert the military facility in our own community, make sparks fly, make waves, make positive demands, force the local power structure to show themselves and deal with you......have some fun with it and keep the spirit in a good way.


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