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

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Callousness of Capitalism

  • I am on the bus from Portland to Boston where I will jump on the train to New York City for the Peace & Planet conference and protest this weekend.  This alternative conference is the precursor to the UN's Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference that begins next week.  There will be a big crowd of folks from around the world at the events.  I do two workshops on Saturday and will then participate in a march and rally on Sunday before returning home on Monday.  Many important stories out there today including the following.
  • The callousness of America's political and business leaders is shocking. A new report from UNICEF, on the well-being of children in 35 developed nations, turned up some alarming statistics about child poverty. More than one in five American children fall below a relative poverty line. The United States ranks 34th of the 35 countries surveyed, above only Romania and below virtually all of Europe plus Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. 
  • The great Lakota leader Crazy Horse once visited New York City and the poor white homeless children approached him asking for money.....when he returned to the reservation in South Dakota he told the people, "We are in big trouble. You should see how the white man treats their own children."
  • The Defense Department can’t account for $1.3 billion that was shipped to force commanders in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2014 for critical reconstruction projects, 60 percent of all such spending under an emergency program, an internal report released Thursday concludes. The missing money was part of the relatively small amount of Afghanistan spending that was routed directly to military officers in a bid to bypass bureaucracy and rush the construction of urgently needed roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, water treatment plants and other essential infrastructure.

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  • A local retired union friend went to a meeting in my hometown of Bath, Maine last night that discussed union busting legislation now before our state legislature in Augusta.  All across the US there is an attempt to pass various anti-union measures.  The goal is to destroy the middle and working class in order to bring back a rerun of feudalism where the rich have everything and the rest of us live in the gutter.  In the US labor unions rely on the weak-kneed Democrats to defend them which is a sure losing ticket.  In other countries workers are far better organized and much more radical in their approaches to dealing with the global capitalist crackdown on labor.
  • Tens of thousands of unionized workers started a strike across South Korea Friday, demanding the government drop its bid to reform the labor market and pension program for public workers. The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), the nation's second-largest umbrella union, pressed ahead with its planned strike despite the government designating their strikes illegal.
    re here:


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