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.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Captain Ron Johnson spoke of the need for communication, understanding, and faith at Sunday’s Rally for Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.

Johnson began by apologizing to Brown’s family. “I wear this uniform, and I should stand up here and say that I’m sorry,” Johnson said to a long round of applause. “I’ll tell you right now, I came in today and saw people cheering and people clapping; this is what the media needs to put on TV.”

Johnson replaced Ferguson Police Chief Jon Belmar after several days of over-militarized police presence led to a crisis in the St. Louis suburb. Johnson cited his link to the community, pledged to protect its right to protest, and brought it back to the personal bond he feels with his own family, and how he sees the experience shaping the bond for the families of the Ferguson community.

“When this is over, I’m gonna go in my son’s room,” Johnson said. “My black son, who wears his pants saggy, wears his hat cocked to the side, got tattoos on his arms. But that’s my baby, and we all oughta be thanking the Browns for Michael. Because Michael’s gonna make it better for our sons, so they can be better black men.”


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