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.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Catching up from Bath....




 


  • It's been a pretty intense time since I ended the hunger strike early last week.  The next day MB drove me north to Belfast where I spoke to 32 local folks about Korea and the US pivot to the Asia-Pacific.

  • Before I started my talk though we shared information about LD 1781, the BIW/GD corporate welfare bill now stuck somewhere in the halls of the legislature in Augusta.  Their state representative from Belfast is the Democrat majority leader in the House.  At the beginning of the campaign she leaned toward supporting the bill but the excellent solidarity in Belfast moved their representative to a NO vote on the bill.  Now on some level Democratic party leadership is split on the bill.  At the same time growing numbers of people across the state, as they hear about the bill, are against it.

  • We did have a flurry of media as my hunger strike ended.  One article about the controversial bill and my fasting was first carried on the front page of The Forecaster newspaper.  It then was reprinted in the Portland and Waterville papers.  Maine Public radio interviewed me and a short story about the hunger strike ending was heard several times on statewide news reports. (During this entire campaign we've had 150 letters to editors, Op-Eds, articles, radio and TV interviews on 30 different Maine media outlets.)

  • It appears that the House will vote on the bill on Tuesday so we will return to the 3rd floor of the capital from 9:30 am to noon.

  • On Saturday we had the Lenten vigil in Bath.  The crowd was a bit smaller this time as quite a few folks attended March For Our Lives events in Portland or near their homes.  (Photos above by Roger Leisner and you can see more photos here)

  • After the vigil MB, Karen and I went to a memorial service for our dear friend Sally Breen who died recently after a long and valiant struggle against cancer.  Sally was one of the very first people to welcome MB and me to Maine and took us in for a week in the winter of 2002 so we could get a feel for the cold.  She was a dedicated anti-nuclear activist with a heart as big as the sky.

  • Yesterday, thanks to a tip from Jacqui Deveneau, MB and I went to Portland to catch a great movie called Neither Wolf Nor Dog.  It is a story about an old Lakota man who recruits a reluctant white writer to help him share his wisdom and the story of his people in a book.  See the trailer here

  • I've put on about three pounds so far - took the food reentry path rather slowly not to overload my body at once.  But as a result my energy recovery is also slow.  I want to be able to go, go, go but not possible.  So I took to sewing - repairing a few items - just threading the needle takes me awhile - it's a good rest.

Bruce

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