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, ME, 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. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


I am in South Florida on a short speaking tour and witnessing the aftermath of a harsh hurricane. I spoke today in Delray Beach at the county civic center and it was not certain until just a couple days ago that the building would be open and available to the public. The air conditioner was not working so the place was cooled by huge, and very loud, industrial fans. I spoke to the Citizens for Social Responsibility, the one group in the entire world that I have spoken to more times than anyone else. During my 15 years working with the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice they had me speak to them nearly every year and since I left there in 1998 they still have me back quite often. Today I learned that my dear friend Nap Kaplan, one of the founders of the group, had recently died, not long after his beloved wife Grace had passed on.

I flew down last night from Pease, N.H. into Sanford, Florida on a $135 round-trip flight on Alliant airlines. I can see why it was so cheap as the toilet would not flush on the plane, the seats were jammed together closer than most airlines, and they even were charging $2 for a bottle of water - which I skipped. I then rented a car and drove as far south as I could before I got too tired to keep going. I made it to Vero Beach and got to bed at 1:00 am.

From the Delray Beach talk I speak on Wednesday in West Palm Beach and then head up to visit my mom in Titusville before speaking at Daytona Beach Community College on Friday and in Deland on Saturday.

At each stop I will be sure to mention NASA's planned launch of plutonium from the space center next January. The New Horizons mission to Pluto will once again be using the controversial and dangerous nuclear generators on-board.

On Sunday, just before flying back to Maine I will have the great pleasure of meeting Will Park for BBQ in the Orlando area. Will is the artist who illustrated my book and has done political art for my work for the past 20 years or more. Can't remember when we started working together but it seems like we've been collaborating forever. Before leaving Maine yesterday I dropped the Global Network's latest Space Alert! newsletter off at the mailing house and the front page cartoon is one done by Will. Our tradition, when I used to live in Orlando, was to meet for a BBQ lunch fairly often where we'd discuss the state of political affairs in the U.S. Will told me today he'd discovered a new BBQ joint with a buffet that he wants me to check out - fried okra, collard greens, the works he said. Can't wait.

People here say that folks are still stunned from the never ending cycle of hurricanes that have hit Florida hard the past couple of years. Those who recognize the impact of global warming are preparing for more of them in the years to come. Trees are down all over the place and piles of trash are set up by the road in front of many homes. Furniture, stoves, and other such things are included in the trash piles so it is clear that there was severe interior damage to many places.

It is now estimated that more than 27,000 housing units are uninhabitable in South Florda. Particularly hard hit are migrant farmworkers who have lost as much as $50 million in wages due to hurricane Wilma. The storm has affected up to 100,000 farmworkers. Hundreds of farmworkers homes, destroyed in last year's four-storm season, were never rebuilt. They are surviving by cramming 20 people into one trailer.


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