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.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I'll Never Stop Digging


I had enough of all the mounting insanity and Washington bullshit this morning and couldn't stand another minute in front of the computer.  I went outside and began weeding the garden and before I knew it I'd spent more than three hours going thru every veggie and flower bed with a vengeance.

I transplanted a flowering bush that needed more light and room to spread its feeble branches.  I went to the hardware store and got some mulch to add to some bald spots near our doors.  I planted some more lettuce and peas in spots that were bare after previous plantings.

The work and the dirt were good for me.  I spend many hours each day reading some of the worst news out there always trying to better understand what the deep state is doing now and in the future.  I take seriously the fact that many others don't have the time or the stamina to do what I do.  I often hear from people how much they appreciate that I dig up information and post it on my blog and on Fazebook - otherwise they might not get to see it.

And normally I enjoy digging for information - it's a challenge and I am consumed by the desire to see the full picture - I have a super curious nature and a deep desire to not have the wool pulled over my eyes anymore.

Having grownup on Air Force bases and going to schools on those bases I was indoctrinated as a 'young patriot'.  It wasn't really until I joined the Air Force myself in 1971 that my eyes began to open and my heart quickly followed.

It was my first roommate and co-workers at Travis AFB, California that turned me toward the peace movement.  I became a voracious reader during the 3 1/2 years in the military and remain one now.  It was my reading of the Pentagon Papers (at my office desk at Wheeler AFB, Hawaii) which threw me over the edge and ended all my illusions about American democracy and exceptionalism. (My bosses weren't too pleased with me reading political books at my desk and kept a file on me detailing my many 'insubordinate' transgressions. A fellow GI found the file one day while going through the desk of our boss while he was out to lunch.)

One of my jobs at Wheeler was to service the administrative needs of Air Force officers assigned to US Embassies throughout the Pacific.  When I read their job descriptions they were all the same - they served as liaison between the host government and US weapons corporations.  They were serving as salesmen for the weapons corporations while on active duty.  The US taxpayers were paying for that and I was shocked.  I shouldn't have been.

During that time I made a pledge to myself that once I got out of the Air Farce (it felt like prison to me) I would never put myself in a position again where I was not a free man.  Finding a career (since 1978) as a full-time organizer was a gift and a blessing for which I am eternally grateful.

But now and then it all takes a heavy toll on me.  Yesterday I felt my insides churning as I read article after article about US deception around our expanding war in Syria.

So thanks for the garden to help me release this insanity - that and some music - gives me the peace of mind I need to keep digging.  I'll never stop.

Bruce

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