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.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

BIW schedules another destroyer 'christening' - Convert the shipyard


Next BIW Civil Resistance List for June 22


  • Ashley Bahlkow North Yarmouth, Maine
  • Meredith Bruskin Swanville, Maine
  • Dan Ellis Brunswick, Maine
  • Jim Freeman Verona Island, Maine
  • Ridgeley Fuller Belfast, Maine
  • Bruce Gagnon Brunswick, Maine
  • Suzanne Hedrick Nobleboro, Maine
  • Dud Hendrick Deer Isle, Maine
  • Cynthia Howard Biddeford Pool, Maine
  • Connie Jenkins Orono, Maine
  • Ken Jones Asheville, NC
  • Tarak Kauff Woodstock, New York
  • Brown Lethem Brunswick, Maine
  • Natasha Mayers Whitefield, Maine
  • Jane Newton Georgetown, Maine
  • Rosie Paul Brunswick, Maine
  • Doug Rawlings Chesterville, Maine
  • Jason Rawn Hope, Maine
  • Mark Roman Solon, Maine
  • Lisa Savage Solon, Maine
  • Dixie Searway Vermont
  • Robert Shetterly Brooksville, Maine
  • Mary Beth Sullivan Brunswick, Maine
  • Russell Wray Hancock, Maine

Above is the current list of those seriously considering joining the next civil resistance action at Bath Iron Works in Maine during the Aegis destroyer ‘christening’ that is scheduled to happen on Saturday, June 22.

Just weeks ago 25 people from Maine and beyond were arrested at BIW during the ceremony to bless the third Zumwalt ‘stealth’ destroyer at BIW – named the LBJ.  The recently elected District Attorney for the Midcoast, Natasha Irving, decided that prosecuting the LBJ 25 would be a waste of time.  The LBJ action drew extraordinary amounts of media coverage which repeatedly reported that the protest was all about converting BIW to deal with our real problem today – climate catastrophe.

In May 16 BDN article entitled Government report criticizes Bath Iron Works and Navy for ‘serious deficiencies’ in Zumwalt program (see it here) an amazing revelation was disclosed.  The Navy has decided to use the LBJ (costing $7 billion) for parts to keep the first two Zumwalt ships running.

So in the midst of growing climate disruption, with our government doing little to nothing to protect the future generations, the Navy has created a $7 billion ‘parts store’ for their boondoggle Zumwalt program.

Converting facilities like BIW would create more jobs, because producing sustainable technologies is a better driver of employment than building warships -- see Brown University's definitive study from 2017, “Job Opportunity Cost of War”

The destroyers at BIW cost billion$ each, are provocative as they are deployed to encircle China and Russia with first-strike cruise missiles, and contribute significantly to the massive US military carbon boot print.

Instead of building these warships we could be building commuter rail systems, tidal power systems, offshore wind turbines and disaster-relief ships to help us deal with climate change.

Please stay tuned and join us in Bath (on Washington Street across from the Post Office) on June 22 at 8:00 am for our next protest. 

Help us call for a conversion of our hearts and the military industrial complex.

For more information contact globalnet@mindspring.com

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