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: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Another day under corporate control

  • I spent much of yesterday working on the next Global Network Space Alert newsletter.  I hope to get it to our layout person by the end of the week.  We've got some great articles in this coming edition but as I was pulling things together it is clearer than ever to me just how massive the US effort is to encircle Russia and China in a desperate attempt to hang onto the fading empire.  Washington is rolling the nuclear-loaded dice and appears to think that bluster, threats, destabilization and chaos creation will somehow ensure its hold on the global economic system.  With each passing day more of the world's people come to realize that the once invincible America has run aground on the rocky coast.

  • The demonization of China and Russia on western media is non-stop.  Just to illustrate this point I am right now listening to a corporate talking head being interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR) who is blaming China for 'taking American jobs'.  He didn't bother to mention that US corporations chose to move their production operations to places like China in order to increase their profits.  But all that really counts is what seed is put into the minds of the public. The strategy is to prepare the American people to fear and want revenge against China (and Russia) which means more military spending and more aggressive US operations. This strategy - fear the Indians out west and send more troops - is deeply ingrained in the American psyche. 

  • I also spent several hours yesterday preparing for our upcoming Aegis 9 trial in Bath on February 1-2.  I worked on my testimony and got some advice on how to navigate the complexities of the trial process.  Now that jury selection has been done we will move right into the state prosecutor making his case on Feb 1 and the nine of us responding the following day.  We hope to reach the hearts and minds of the jurors, the court staff and those who sit and watch the trial.  Last time we did this in Bath we heard multiple stories from people who felt changed by sitting through the Zumwalt 12 trial.  In the end we've got to defend our right to step outside of the protest zones that are increasingly feeling like cages in this country.  If we are going to tell the world that America is the epitome of democracy then the people here will need to deal with the realities of the limits that surround us and our certain reactions.

  • In recent days Bath Iron Works is stepping up their public relations campaign to sell their request for $60 million in corporate welfare from Maine.  Their new line is that with the retirement of skilled workers BIW has to train a new generation of workers.  They want money to cover that training.  Of course General Dynamics, when it signs a contract with the Navy to build destroyers, is fully paid by the federal government to train workers.  All of their projected costs are factored into their contract.  Still General Dynamics goes to Rhode Island, Connecticut, Kentucky and Maine and extracts subsidies from fiscally desperate states. This is nothing other than corporate piracy.  Few are willing to fight this in our state and sadly the corporate welfare bill is being sponsored by two elected Democrats in our local community.  I heard last night from a friend in Belfast, Maine who attended a meeting of her state representative (a Democrat) and brought up this issue of the $60 million.  One of the lines from the representative was that 'Republicans get mad when I don't support business'.  There we are....



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