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.

Friday, August 22, 2014


Rangeley, Maine where the Pentagon is considering basing up to 60 'missile defense' interceptors aimed at Russia and China

In recent days two newspapers in Maine, the Portland Press Herald (largest paper in the state) and the Times Record (from the Midcoast) have written editorials opposing the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency proposal to base up to sixty interceptors in Rangeley.  Also being considered as a host site for the expensive and destabilizing 'missile defense' (MD) base are Ohio, Michigan, and New York.

It was quite encouraging to read these two editorials both of which commented on the fact that the Pentagon does not really want the base.  It was mandated by Congress that public hearings be held in the four states because the lead contractor for this MD project, Boeing Corporation, used its considerable influence in the halls of government to sell the project as a jobs creator.  Who can argue against jobs, right?

The Times Record editorial took this jobs issue squarely on by writing:

$3.4 billion can create a lot of jobs for some lucky community. But that same $3.4 billion could be used to replace the highways in a large state such as Maine, or rebuild our aging schools, or pay for alternative energy systems to keep school costs down, or improve the whole country’s airports. Or fill in the blank for the job creating stimulus of your choice...
Let’s be clear. If we as a state are seeking a federal boondoggle to create jobs, let’s ask for one that is life affirming and useful to the majority of our citizens. The missile defense system in the western mountains does not meet this criteria in any way. 

Every now and again we get a sign that the local media is paying some attention to what activists are saying about issues like more military spending.  These editorials are evidence that our combined voices are being heard by someone.  That's encouraging.


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