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, April 22, 2016

Portland Tax Day News Conference

April 19 Tax Day news conference in Portland, Maine.

In my words I made one factual mistake.  I said space technology is costing $100 million per year, I meant to say $100 billion per year.

Thanks to Martha Spiess for organizing the news conference and inviting me to participate.  The event was covered on Maine Public Radio and one Portland TV station.

I really believe in doing Tax Day events.  It is a time when people are thinking alot about where their hard earned tax dollars are going.  On April 15 when we handed out flyers in Brunswick at the post office my opening line was "Want to see where your tax dollars are going?"  Many people said, "Yeah I know where they are going...."

I've felt for many years that the public is on our side more than we realize - they are not stupid.  They just don't believe there is anything we can do about all the Pentagon waste and cost of endless war.  My own mother used to say all the time - "You can't beat city hall."

But my mother also used to read me the children's book called "The little engine that could" - all about a little train that everyone thought would never make it up the big hill, but it did.  I think that book must have helped turn me into such a stubborn guy.

So my organizing strategy is to stay on the case - never give up - find many different ways to keep making the same point.  Get artists involved to help reach people that are visual learners.  Use music.  Organize peace walks through different parts of the state. Use social media.  Write letters to local papers. Hold small vigils and larger protests regularly.  Send delegations to politicians offices.

Studies say that people need to hear things 6-7 times before it sticks in their busy brains.  So keep pushing the rock up the hill.  History shows that now and then walls do come down, humanity makes a great leap forward, miracles can happen. 


Blogger Lisa Savage said...

Amen to that, brother.

4/25/16, 4:22 AM  

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