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, August 05, 2017

Going Public - Now is the Time for Peaceniks to Raise Sand


I spent much of the day in Brunswick at the 13th annual Peace Fair put on by our local PeaceWorks group.  My table is the one on the other side of the red 'Bring Our War $$$ Home' banner in the photo.  Many different organizations in the community had tables in three different tents and there was wonderful music throughout much of the day.

The fair was held on the Brunswick town green along the main street through town so lots of cars and people walking by saw the two banners I hung by our table. I was joined at my table (which was right next to the Maine Veterans for Peace table) by friends Regis Tremblay and John Morris.

Our primary goal was to hand out flyers about the upcoming Navy Blue Angels airshow protest that I am organizing on Saturday, August 26 from 9:00 am to noon at the former Navy base in Brunswick.  I was also talking to people about our on-going campaign to convert Bath Iron Works (BIW) to appropriate sustainable technology development - commuter rail, offshore wind turbines, solar, and tidal power for example.  I kept telling people that our 'real problem' is climate change and that if we hope to give the future generations a real shot at a life then we have to convert the war machine (which has the largest carbon bootprint on the planet) immediately!

I also hung the yellow Jeju Island, South Korea 'No Navy Base' flag on the front side of our table and since it is in Korean lots of people would stare at it which opened up the conversation about where the warships built at BIW go when they leave Maine.

Additionally I led a discussion group about BIW conversion and met three women from nearby Harpswell that are very interested in the subject and want to come to the trial of the Aegis 9 that will likely be held in late September.  (We were arrested on April 1 at a destroyer 'christening' for trespassing on BIW property.  See the video here)

So it was a good day and always fun to see many old friends.  Being public at this dangerous moment with colorful peace banners and such helps remind the public that not everyone is going along with the pure insanity coming out of Washington and the Pentagon as they talk quite openly about launching a 'decapitation' strike on North Korea or trying to overthrow the government of Venezuela.

The arrogance of the US is just unacceptable and the American people - especially those who claim to be peaceniks - need to get off their collective arses before it is too late!

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