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.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Day 16: GD bill tabled again in Augusta


John Morris (left) and Peter Morgan at entrance to the House chamber in Augusta

Cynthia Howard offering flyer to Taxation Committee co-chair Sen. Dana Dow (on left)
Mary and Mike Donnelly inside the capital building
Mary handing flyer to union representative from BIW
Russell Wray (left) and Jason Rawn outside the Taxation Committee work session room
Bruce asking Taxation Committee co-chair Rep. Ryan Tipping to vote against this bad bill to give GD $60 million

Ten of us gathered this morning at the state capital in Augusta before the House and Senate members began entering their respective chambers on the third floor.  We spread out along the hallway between the two chambers with our signs and flyers that outlined our opposition to LD 1781 - the $60 million corporate welfare bill that General Dynamics is demanding from the state.

We handed out about 125 flyers to the elected officials, lobbyists and even a swarm of school kids on a tour of the capital building.  We had quite a few conversations with various members of the House and Senate as well.  Our presence was surely noticed and felt.

Just after 12:30 we all gathered in front of the Taxation Committee meeting room where their 3rd work session on this bill was scheduled for 1:00 pm.  LD 1781 was supposed to be the fourth item on the agenda but they moved it to the front of the queue and immediately said they had to table the bill for the third time due to the new language submitted by BIW/GD at the last session still not being understood.  So we will be back at the capital on Tuesday, March 6.

On that day we'll again gather at 9:30 am on the third floor between the two chambers with signs and flyers so we could use some more help on that occasion.  Then at 1:00 pm we'll go down to the first floor to Room 127 for the Taxation Committee meeting.

There are many ways to view these delays but it appears to me that BIW/GD are resisting some language changes that the legislature wants in the bill and likely negotiations are going on behind closed doors.  In the meantime the delay gives us more time to organize opposition and I can say with delight that people are working harder than ever across the state to stop this corporate give-a-way from cash-poor Maine. Our state has massive human and infrastructure needs that $60 million would go a long way in helping us deal with.

So please keep contacting your state legislators and keep writing letters to local papers.  In the meantime I remain determined to continue my hunger strike until the final votes are taken in the legislative chambers.

Bruce

Photos by Regis Tremblay, Peter Woodruff and Martha Spiess

1 Comments:

Anonymous Juy said...

Thank you for this update and thank you for all of your hard work! Sending you love and supports from the bottom of my heart!

No Tax Giveaways to General Dynamics, the warmachine makers!

Money for jobs and educations, not for war and occupation!

2/28/18, 1:47 PM  

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