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

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

DEMS LOSING GROUND


All across America there are reports that key local activists are losing faith in the Democratic party. (As I travel and speak this topic is one of the top issues that always comes up during the question and answer period.) Folks are joining the Green party or they, like me, become an independent. People have lost faith that the Democrats will stand up against the war in Iraq, against the destruction of social progress, or will fight to keep the right-wing from controlling the Supreme Court. (Among many other issues.)

At the statewide level here in Maine the debate about the future of the Democratic party is intense. On November 28 State Rep. Joanne Twomey of Biddeford resigned from the Democratic party and became an independent. The Democratic majority in the state house is now down to one slim vote. Rep. Twomey has been described as the "heart" of Maine's Democratic party.....so when she pulls out it is a big deal. In her public statement Rep. Twomey said, "I don't know what being a Democrat means anymore. I call myself a Democrat in exile. I have to stand up and tell the people that our party has lost its roots."

Rep. Twomey is known as one person who always stands with the poor and working people in Maine. At a time when corporations have gained greater influence within the Democratic party across the country, Rep. Twomey has been one who has resisted going along to get along.

The Democrats in Maine have not appreciated Rep. Twomey's efforts to keep the party close to its origins. Nor have the Democrats in Maine appreciated those who work as grassroots activists and organize people in the state to keep the party from drifting to the right. As a result the "party of the people" is abandoning the public. As this happens key activists, and now even leaders within the party, are leaving.

What comes next? How can truly progressive people find their way in this political wilderness? The answer I think is that we have to gather ourselves. Those who are Greens, independents, and Dems of good heart must come together and find ways to work together and to promote our core issues. Now is the time for principled people to stand together. The storm is coming that will shake the very roots of democracy in America. We need to stand with people of good will - - back to back.

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