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, November 24, 2017

Making cane syrup in Jacksonville, Florida



Mary Beth and I just arrived in Jacksonville, Florida and tonight we will be staying at the home of longtime friend Al Geiger and his daughter Wendy.

Al's family has had a farm near the Jax airport for a couple generations and each year after Thanksgiving they bring family and friends together to make syrup from sugarcane that is grown on their farm.  The video above shows Al telling the whole story.

For many years, while working at the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice, I had the wonderful chance to spend lots of time with Al who gave the organization land just outside of Gainesville for our office and a summer camp facility for kids.

In the middle of a pine tree farm that Al's family owned was a beautiful pecan grove and Al donated that land to us.  He'd often come to work on various things at this site and we'd have lunch together and talk about politics and life.

Al had much to do with my own liberation from the worries of being a 'successful' activist.  He suggested I just focus on doing the best I could and to leave the worries behind me.  This was such simple and good advice from a wonderful Quaker man and it had much to do with my own positive internal changes at the time.

So MB and I look forward to grinding cane with the Geiger family tomorrow.

After that we'll go on to Gainesville to meet other friends and then spend time with my sister Laura who was the recipient of a healthy kidney from MB 10 years ago.

Bruce

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