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.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Young People Surging in Solidarity

  • Young people by the hundreds protested inside a Donald Trump rally last night in Chicago and as a result the presidential candidate cancelled his event just prior to its start.  Trump has repeatedly called for protesters to be punched in the face, dragged out of his rallies, and even once contemplated from the stage whether they should be killed.  In recent days at one of his events in North Carolina a young black man who had been peacefully protesting inside the Trump rally was hit in the face by one of the right-wing Trump supporters who was later caught on video saying next time he'd kill the kid that he had just smacked.

  • It's really amazing to me that despite Trumps efforts to divide people against one another we are seeing growing numbers of Latino, African-American, Arab and white students joining together in solidarity.  This is very encouraging and just the right way to respond to the ruling class attempts to pit people against each other.

  • Rather than accept responsibility for his own role in escalating tensions at his campaign events Trump is blaming those who he has been verbally attacking.  Just today he even called on presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to tell his supporters to stop protesting at Trump events.  (While it is certainly true that there were a few Bernie campaign signs in the Chicago crowd last night the bulk of the young folks who are protesting at Trump events appear not to be there representing any particular candidate.)

  • I've long felt that as the US economy continues its inevitable collapse (largely due to the many years of massive wasteful military spending and endless wars) the corporate oil-i-garchy that runs things in Washington is totally invested in making sure that the public turn on each other rather than to turn their sights toward Wall Street, the military industrial complex and the bought-and-sold Congress.  The Occupy movement and those continuing to keep alive the message about the greed of the 1% are helping to ensure that the public doesn't fall for the divide-and-conquer tactics encouraged by the corporate elite.

  • On Tuesday this past week when I was arrested along with six others at Beale AFB in California after our drone base civil resistance we were taken by the military police (MP's) by van inside the base to a cold and stark building for processing.  While in there for about 90 minutes I asked to use the toilet.  They didn't have a bathroom inside the building but had a portable toilet about 100 yards away.  Two of the MP's walked me to the toilet and just as we were coming back into the building a Senior Master Sargent who appeared to be in charge of the MP's came roaring out of the building saying, "I'm never going to let my kids be like those people."  Of course he was pointing his finger at those of us who had just been arrested for stepping over the white line onto Beale.  I told him as I passed him in the doorway - "You never know man" - meaning that try as you might to control the minds of your own children they will hopefully learn to think for themselves.  Especially when so many young people today are in major protest mode due to climate change, massive debt from college loans, no jobs, endless war and much more.  Young people are coming to the realization that if they hope to have any future on this planet they'd better start raising hell now while they still can.


Blogger Lindis Percy said...

Dear Bruce and all the others who were arrested for 'crossing the white line'...WELL DONE!

As you know we have had a huge struggle at NSA/NRO Menwith Hill about a wretched yellow. Everything changed and for about 2 years it has been so good. The police sanctioned a very different way of protesting and we walked up to the main gates and well over the yellow line. But last week....big steps back and I was arrested and charged for failing to comply with instructions concerning a Dispersal Order that had been suddenly and surprisingly authorised. I will be challenging the validity of the Order if it comes to court...I very much hope it does as it is a serious move by the police. Love and solidarity to you all Lindis.

3/12/16, 7:03 PM  

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