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 & Obama's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Friday, June 24, 2005

IRAQ WAR ACTION IN BANGOR

Yesterday Mary Beth and I joined over 80 others in Bangor at the federal building were we held a five-hour vigil reading the names of the more than 1,700 GI's killed in Iraq and an equal number of innocent Iraqi civilians.

While we read the names on the federal building plaza, we also had six people at a time inside the office of Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) reading the names. Throughout the day we rotated people into the office to take a turn reading names and marking an X on a banner that read "Iraq War Dead." We had one banner inside the building and one outside on the plaza.

It appeared that a good number of media outlets covered the event. WERU radio covered the beginning and end of the vigil by having several of us speak live on the radio explaining why we were protesting.

Throughout the day we handed out our statement to people passing by the federal building and we also were able to gather over 250 signatures on a petition calling for an end to the war.

People from many different peace groups came during the day. Some stayed the whole day and others came for a couple hours. Two young kids came by and joined us and did a great job of gathering petition signatures.

We next plan to organize another of these readings in the Portland area in coming months. We've already shown that our efforts have forced Rep. Tom Allen to agree to hold a public town hall meeting on the war. Now we intend to keep the pressure on our two Republican senators until they both agree to do the same. We must turn these politicians away from their support for the war. To accomplish that task will take many more days of hard work like yesterday. But it was not all hard work in Bangor. What we also did was build community by gathering good sprited people to stand together. No one left this event untouched by the event.

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