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 05, 2018

Day 22: Messages from friends about corporate welfare for GD

Standing at the capital in Augusta last week.  We are going back on Tuesday (March 6) at 9:30 am to stand in the hallway on the 3rd floor with signs appropriate to defeating LD 1781 and hand out flyers to the legislators as they enter the House and Senate chambers.  At 1:00 pm is the Taxation Committee Work Session on the bill (likely the last one) in room 127. We will be there as well.

I've been getting lots of messages on email and Facebook and thought I'd share a few with you.

One of them is from Connie Jenkins who last week (along with five others) met with her State Rep. Ryan Tipping who is co-chair of the Taxation Committee in Augusta.  Rep. Tipping told his constituents in the 90 minute meeting that he thought LD 1781 was a 'bad bill' but because 'leadership' supported the bill he felt he too must support it and was trying to 'make it a better bill'.  Connie wrote him this yesterday in anticipation of the Tuesday Taxation Committee Work Session in Augusta (at 1:00 pm in Room 127) that many of us will be attending.

Dear Ryan,
As you know, there have been numerous letters, emails, demonstrations, and vigils by citizens throughout the State of Maine who are outraged that  people elected to represent us are caving to Party “leaders” and preparing to vote in favor of LD 1781. 

Following is a recent email I wanted to share with you.  It includes coverage of some of the powerful, heartfelt statements at yesterday’s vigil at BIW and a brief “spot-on” summary of the situation we’re in by an emeritus professor of law [Orlando Delogu] at the University of Maine School of Law. 

Please consider these as you prepare for Tuesday.  I plan to be there for the vote and I pray you will vote from principle rather than Party pressure. 

Connie Jenkins

  • I will not vote to spend our taxpayer dollars on a company like General Dynamics. More than 1/3 of the amount they want the state to give them would go to just 1 year of the CEO's salary. We can't afford their jobs or the damage done by what they build. We need to start using our resources to develop clean, renewable energy generation. This effort will create many good paying jobs that will last into the future, reduce pollution and start saving lives instead of taking them. Best wishes, Dave Miramant (Democrat State Representative) from Knox, Maine
  • The crew of the Golden Rule (VFP peace sail boat) are with you. We are concerned for you in your efforts. Stay in touch when possible. Will Van Natta from San Diego, California
  • Yes, we have the same all over where the so-called free market economy is and we have the same struggles to do.  It is great that You fight against the tax release - through it the system is made visible. May we struggle toward a society with different rules : from each according to ability to each according to the needs. Hope You eat again soon, and be careful. We have a long fight and maybe not during our lifetime we see the results...Kerstin Tuomala, Finland
  • I can't help but think that if the good and decent elders of Maine who do not use email petitions, etc., knew what was going on, they would add their voices.  How do we reach/encourage them in a hurry?  Mary Kate Small, Camden, Maine
  • Heard you on the [Maine public] radio this morning. You sounded great and the interviewer framed it nicely.  She didn't try to make you sound like some leftie whack job.  Very sensible, passionate, and committed.  Good for you!  best, Doug Rawlings, Chesterville, Maine
  • Stop supporting the war machine and let Bruce start eating again. Love you. Robin Farrin, Eastport, Maine
  • We cheer for you from Gangjoung!!! Koh Gilchun, Jeju Island, South Korea
  • Great coverage in the Portland Phoenix (scroll to p. 4) of the opposition to corporate welfare for General Dynamics. Bruce Gagnon explains his hunger strike, and Mark Roman explains why 43,000 kids in Maine need the $60 million more than BIW does.  Lisa Savage from Solon, Maine
  • As a friend of mine said, "It’s not every day that we have an issue here in Maine that addresses: military spending, corporate welfare, unfair tax policies, legislative accountability, misappropriation of tax dollars, planet devastation, nuclear proliferation, geopolitical instability, weapons of mass destruction." From former Maine friend Ken Jones now living in North Carolina
  • I see the energy you get from the supporters. You look in good spirits. It's working. Don't give up. I'm so supportive of you and this cause. Go Go Go!!!!! I love you dearly.  From my sister Lynn Stiles in Colorado 
  •  I got a friendly trouble maker to pass out the handouts at [Democrats party] caucus yesterday. She said people had not heard of [LD 1781] before and were grateful to receive the information. I've found that the more people examine this, the more opposition to it we drum up. It really is the epitome of what is wrong with our country. We can't change the whole world, but this IS something within our power to change.  Cynthia Handlen from Portland, Maine


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