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

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

On the way to jail on Saturday



Some of us taken from the courthouse in Bath to the jail on Saturday are in this video above.

When we arrived at the jail everyone (inmates and staff) knew we were coming.  The word spread quickly throughout the jail.  Then on Sunday the Portland Press Herald ran an article about the protest and arrests and the inmates were passing the newspaper around.  We got major league support from the men inside our jail 'pod'.  When we were released yesterday we heard lots of 'thank you' and 'keep doing it' from the inmates.

Five of us in jail were men and four women. The women reported the same story from their 'pod'.  Big time support.

While MB and I were waiting at the county courthouse in Bath on Saturday to be taken to the jail we were talking to one cop about why we protest - climate change - cost of warships, etc.  The officer asked me what our number was for the cost of the Zumwalt 'stealth' destroyer.  I told him $7 billion.  He said, "I know alot of people around here and they tell me the cost really is $13 billion."  He also told us that he recently had discovered what 'plutocracy' (a society that is ruled or controlled by people of great wealth or income) meant.  He looked up the meaning and told us, "That is what we have today!"

It is more than clear to me that when we do these protests, get arrested and go to jail, we widen and deepen the consciousness and support among the public.  That cannot be underestimated.

After we were released from the Two Bridges jail yesterday one of the guards came out and thanked me for my service in the military.  (I had on my VFP sweatshirt.)  I told him that we vets are not so proud of our time in the military but are actually more proud of our current work for peace and environmental sustainability.  We had a long talk and as he was going back into the jail he shook my hand and thanked me again.

I've always believed the best way to change people's thinking and hearts is through personal experience.  Whether it is going on a trip to a foreign land and seeing for ourselves what is really happening, or taking the issue to people at a place like a jail and courtroom, this personal witness does more to help make changes than most anything else.


This morning we found these two photos posted on Fazebook from our dear friends on Jeju Island, South Korea.  For more than 10 years they have been protesting a Navy base forced upon their 500 year old fishing and farming village by the US.  Warships built in Bath, Maine are sent there to help encircle Russia and China with so-called 'missile defense' interceptor missiles.  Their village has now become a target.

Three of us arrested in Bath on Saturday were also arrested in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island in 2012 when the leaders of the village invited the Global Network to hold our annual conference there.  Mary Beth Sullivan, Natasha Mayers and myself from Maine were arrested (along with other GN members) when we crawled under the razor wire along their sacred rocky coastline where they worshiped their relatives who had passed away over the past 500 years.  This rocky coastline was blasted and covered in cement for the piers of the Navy base.


We've been connected to these good folks on Jeju Island ever since and have returned there when possible to stand with them.  People from Jeju have also come here to join our protests in Bath several times as well.  That is what solidarity looks like. (Gangjeong village is famous for their excellent citrus.)

It's been an amazing last couple of days.  It feels like our message of conversion of the military industrial complex to deal with climate catastrophe is cracking into the mainstream consciousness.

Let's keep working and staying strong.  Support one another and keep connecting these dots. Persistence pays off. Thanks to all who helped us take this message to Bath Iron Works this past weekend.

To see the latest coverage in our local paper click here

Bruce

3 Comments:

Anonymous Will Thomas said...

Thanks, Bruce, for your persistence and leadership. The struggle continues and advances, as Bruce says, more and more folks are being informed and - energized to act. So, keep on, keeping on!

6/25/19, 10:52 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great work Bruce and floks.... winning hearts and minds.

6/25/19, 5:41 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hey Bruce, It was a great event with your leadership the arc of justice is moving in our favor. Thanks, Brown

6/25/19, 6:41 PM  

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