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 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, February 24, 2018

Day 13: A Holy Day in Bath

We gathered at Bath Iron Works for the Lenten Vigil today at 11:30 am. They will be held weekly until March 31.

Bob Klotz rode his bike up from South Portland (took almost 4 hours) to join us and link his 350Maine climate change work with our efforts to help Mainers save $60 million.  Bob’s been a key force to spread the word about this effort into places where we had few real contacts.

Twenty-eight turned out for the vigil and ‘enjoyed’ the warm spring feeling – but also knew that February in Maine isn't supposed to look like mud season in April.

Our signs focused on the moral need for disarmament and the demand for conversion of the military industrial complex if we wish to actually give the future generations a chance for life.  Our signs had images of rapid transit, offshore wind turbines (the Gulf of Maine has the most wind in the US), and appeals to fix broken Maine.

People are excited about how things are going and the breadth of the letters to local papers that have been printed.  That has been surprising and most helpful.

My plan is to go back to BIW on Monday at 3:30 pm to vigil.

Then on Tuesday, Feb 27 some of us are going to the House & Senate Chambers (3rd floor) at the capital in Augusta at 9:30 am.  The legislature will be in session then and we intend to stand with signs opposing LD 1781.  At 1:00 pm on Feb 27 the Taxation Committee again meets to likely finalize the corporate welfare bill and send it off for final vote in the House and Senate.  We will also attend this meeting.

The legislature will also meet in chambers on March 6 & 8 at 10:00 am and I intend to be at those with my sign.

You might have noticed that we’ve had virtually no mainstream media coverage of our campaign – despite all the many letters to the editor.  My thinking is that the media feel ‘constrained’ by the power of BIW/GD so they stay in line - after all our state is a corporate colony.  But then editors allow the message to get out via our letters.  So at least we are getting something out to the public in this era of corporate media clampdown.

We’ve been trying to also think a bit more strategically – if you live in a community near one of the legislative leaders in Augusta please get some help and let them know how you all feel about LD 1781. I'd be surprised if this doesn't come to a head by the end of next week.

You’ve got to be a pain in the ass to get anything done anymore – so on we go....

You can contact your two local Maine legislators here


Photos by Regis Tremblay


Blogger Geoff Holland said...

You may not be getting much mainstream media coverage, but your efforts and actions are recognised, admired and appreciated by at least some people on the other side of the world such as here in Cairns, Australia.

You are all an inspiration.

One day the Peace Movement is going to spread like wildfire. In the meantime we need to, peacefully, non-violently, keep the flame of the Movement alight.

2/27/18, 6:52 AM  

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