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'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Brought to you by.....


U.S. high-tech spy base in Australia



Pine Gap is one of Australia's most secret sites, and the Australian government doesn't even know about all of the operations on the base.

Pine Gap is mainly operated and controlled by various US military and intelligence agencies: CIA, NSA, DIA, Air Force, Army, Navy, etc. 

There is even a secret room in which Australian's aren't allowed to enter. 


Learn more from the Global Network's latest video by board member Will Griffin.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Message from German Left party leader


Sahra Wagenknecht is a German left-wing politician, economist, author and publicist. Along with Dietmar Bartsch, she was the parliamentary chairperson of Die Linke from 2010 to 2019. Since 2009, she has been a member of the Bundestag (Parliament).

She speaks about US proposals to pull troops out of Germany, US pressure on NATO members to pay more toward the alliance, and the real purpose of the so-called NATO 'alliance'.

She underscores the role US military forces in Germany play in its wars in the Middle East and Africa.

Wagenknecht also discusses Washington's efforts to sabotage the Russia to Germany natural gas pipeline.  Instead of watching this cooperation between those two nations, the US wants Germany (and the rest of Europe) to purchase more expensive 'fracked gas' from American shores that would be transported on ships to Europe.

In the end she calls for an independent and sovereign German foreign policy rather than one chained to the imperial insanity of the USA.

Bruce

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Why does the U.S. keep demonizing Russia?



David Swanson, Alice Slater, and Bruce Gagnon discuss obstacles to nuclear abolition and the U.S.-Russia relationship.

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is executive director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org.

Alice Slater is board member of WorldBeyondWar and the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Dems deep dive into Wall Street's arms.....


It's platform crunching time for the national 'Democratic Party'.  Early indications are that you should not expect too much from them.

One big disappointment, reported by Truthout is:

The DNC Platform Committee rejected the Medicare for All amendment introduced by longtime single-payer advocate Michael Lighty by a vote of 36-125 during a virtual meeting Monday. The committee also voted down separate attempts to include support for expanding Medicare to children, dropping the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 55, and legalizing marijuana.

The Huffpost reported on the marijuana vote:

  • Democratic National Committee delegates voted 105-60 against including marijuana legalization in the party platform on Monday. The draft version of the platform supports decriminalizing marijuana use and legalizing medical marijuana, adding that it should be left up to the states “to make their own decisions about recreational use.” 

In the case of Medicare4All it is obvious that the insurance industry said an emphatic NO to that one.  When it came to medical marijuana and legalization it was Big Pharma and the alcohol industries that likely blocked that proposal.

I expect that when it comes to foreign policy we'll see platform planks that further demonize the Chinese and the Russians, demand more sanctions, oppose any military base closings or troop withdrawals from Afghanistan or Germany and calls for more expensive high-tech weapons.  We know that the military industrial complex funds and controls both Republicans and Democrats.

In Maine's US Senate race the corporate $$$ is flowing into our state.  The leader in the funding game is Democrat Sara Gideon (former Speaker of the House in the state legislature) who has raised more than $24 million.  Incumbent Republican Sen. Susan Collins has raised about $17 million.  Much of their money comes from corporate sources (PACs or executives).

While claiming that she would not take corporate PAC (Political Action Committee) money, Gideon has a long track record of receiving corporate money for her leadership PAC while Maine House Speaker.

Required reporting to the state for the 'GIDEON LEADERSHIP PAC' reveals she took donations from many corporations, including Merck, Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Eli Lilly, AT&T and American Express, among others. Energy companies, such as natural gas suppliers (fracking), pharmaceutical corporations and telecom companies also gave to Gideon's PAC. Gideon’s leadership PAC took in nearly $300,000.

Like most political leadership in the current two-party system, Gideon used her corporate PAC to reward Maine House Democrats under her control who voted as she instructed.  That means she frequently enforced the will of the corporations that donated to her PAC.

During our 2018 statewide grassroots campaign to oppose the tax break for General Dynamics/Bath Iron Works I did a 34-day hunger strike.  I went to the BIW shipyard most days to speak with workers and also spent lots of time in the hallway between the Maine House and Senate chambers holding signs and handing out flyers along with others in our campaign.

We repeatedly asked for a meeting with Speaker Gideon but she refused to talk with us.  One of our supporters is also from Freeport, where Gideon lives, and knows her but was unable to get her to agree to meet.

Gideon was not interested in talking with us because she was essentially under the control of General Dynamics and other corporate forces in Maine and nationally.  She knew she planned to run for the Senate in 2020 and clearly wanted to show that she would be a faithful water carrier for their interests.  Her $24 million raised so far, for November's Ranked Choice Voting US Senate election in Maine, indicates that her sponsors are pleased.

In the end our campaign was successful in cutting $15 million off the original $60 million that GD/BIW requested.


So while much of Gideon's current campaign is about accusing Sen. Susan Collins of taking corporate PAC money - it is a disingenuous claim.  In this race both of the two major party candidates have long ago dirtied their hands by taking corporate dollars - either directly or indirectly.

This is how it works in America.  We see the evidence once again as the Democrats vote overwhelmingly to reject common sense platform proposals like Medicare4All.

In fact, Sara Gideon does not support Medicare4All, instead she supports 'access to affordable and quality health care' which translates to: 'Everyone should be allowed to have health coverage from insurance companies, no matter their age, medical condition, or pre-existing conditions.'  The corporate line.

But it is especially sickening when any politician, like Sara Gideon, claims the moral high ground but has a long history of playing in the mud.

Bruce

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

On my b-day - love and nature


Yesterday was my birthday - #68.

It was a good day - spent time with Maine VFP's Peter Morgan and Senate candidate Lisa Savage at BIW for two hours standing with the Local S6 Machinists Union as they strike against General Dynamics.  The greedy corporation is bringing in subcontractors from Alabama, Mississippi, and other states in order to kill the union. 

A private corporation that has done 'security work' for Obama and Trump was hired by BIW even before the strike began - putting retired military personnel and former cops into local hotels for two weeks before timing it all just right to have them on hand once the strike began.

While I was gone MB and housemate Leann pulled weeds in the garden as a birthday present for me.  It was deeply appreciated - especially in the heat we are having.  At the strike picket line today we kidded about planting peaches, pineapples and bananas.

While supporting the union workers at the shipyard, I still told one striker that I also would like to see the 'product' converted from destroyers to something that would help deal with climate crisis - like commuter rail, tidal power systems or offshore wind turbines.  He brought a chair and was sitting under a beautiful shade tree so I figured he was understanding my point about the record breaking heat and drought we are experiencing here in Maine.

MB and Leann made me a Boston Creme pie at my request and a cold pasta salad was put together by MB for supper.  Peppers and basil from the garden were included.  Since I got a late start (July 1) on planting my garden, things are just now beginning to show us some love.  Tomatoes are now popping out babies and pole beans continue to climb their trellis and have reached the top.

The garden is my church - the place I can go to slow down and just be quiet and feel the beautiful colorful life around us.  Most of the neighbors have some sort of gardens and the birds in this neighborhood are varied and plenty.  Some of them are always talking - starting around 5:00 am.

So it was a good day.  I thank all those who gave me birthday wishes on Fazebook.  (Including two of my former sports mates from my last year of high school in Wheatland, California.)  Means alot to me.

Love and peace to all,

Bruce

Monday, July 27, 2020

Bring Our War $$$ Home



In 'The Cost of War', U.S. Senate candidate Lisa Savage; Pulitzer-winning author, journalist, and minister Chris Hedges; and Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons &  Nuclear Power in Space, examine U.S. policies that inflict pain and suffering around the world under the guise of protecting U.S. interests. 

This July 16 event was hosted by USM grad student, and Lisa campaign intern, Tamara Hunt. 

Lisa Savage is convening a series of policy-focused webinars this summer, “The Way Forward,” that will bring together policy and subject-matter experts from Maine and around the country to have substantive discussions about solving some of our country’s most difficult policy issues, with opportunity for questions and discussion. 

https://www.youtube.com/c/LisaforMaine/videos

Sunday, July 26, 2020

My friend Mike Hastie

Mike Hastie, fierce and honest to the bone, in Portland, Oregon.

Mike was a medic in Vietnam during that war against the people of that nation. He experienced much horror by US troops perpetrated upon the Vietnamese people.

Mike was on the first Veterans For Peace delegation years ago that tried to go to Jeju island, South Korea but got sent back to the US after they landed there.  They wanted to stand with the people of Gangjeong village in opposition to the construction of the Navy base that now serves as a port-of-call for US warships.

Watch how he takes a big hit of tear gas right in his face - and eyes.

Bless you Mike!

Bruce

Sunday song