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.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tax Day & Election Day

  • I was up early this morning to catch a ride with Mary Beth who travels the 45 minutes to Portland for work each day.  I was invited to speak at the Tax Day news conference held there at 11:00 am.  Since we left home at 7:00 am I had some time on my hands.  After going to Portland's iconic Becky's Diner for breakfast I went to a local coffee shop and pulled out my computer for a couple hours of work before the event began. Martha Spiess did a nice job of organizing the news conference and Maine public radio and one TV station came out to cover the event which ain't too bad around these parts. I spoke about the need to convert the military industrial complex at places like Bath Iron Works here in Maine and told how they'd double the jobs there if they built commuter rail systems.

  • In a Tax Day statement, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein called for a massive reduction in U.S. military spending, with her campaign saying that “in addition to bankrupting us financially and morally, the inflated military budget has created a trigger-happy foreign policy, leading to disastrous military interventions and regime change. In the Middle East, this has produced failed states, mass refugee migrations, and ever-worsening terrorist threats.”

Stein said, “The best way to reign in wasteful federal spending is to slash the dangerously bloated military budget by at least 50%. … Instead of needless and destructive wars, that make us less safe not more safe, it’s time to bring our tax dollars home to rebuild America. We can build real security funding schools, creating jobs, providing universal healthcare, repairing our infrastructure and funding the transition to 100% clean renewable energy.”

  • Like most people I've been following the run-up to today's New York primary.  Last night I saw that Hillary Clinton had said that Bernie Sanders opposed abortion which of course is a ridiculous statement but it must indicate that her support amongst women was dropping.  So like she always does when she is in trouble Clinton just threw out another of her many lies.  The other thing of considerable note is the voter suppression that is going on by the Democratic Party to discourage voting.  I saw that thousands of people had their party affiliation changed in the computers without their permission likely making it impossible for them to vote today.  You can see one such story here.  In Brooklyn more than 126,000 names have been purged from the voter lists.  See that story here. If the corporate masters can't win an election the fair way they will always try to cheat.  Those who run the Democratic Party are doing every thing they can to hand the nomination to Clinton.


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