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

Friday, November 03, 2006


Mexican activists in Oaxaca have been under fierce attack by death squads organized by their state's corrupt governor and now federal police. In recent months Mexico has seen much political activity as claims of cheating during federal elections stirred progressive forces to take to the streets throughout the country in order to defend democracy.

In the U.S. we are getting ready to vote next week and fears are growing about how "clean" our elections will be. A dozen states have now passed new laws requiring a photo ID before a person can vote. Many poor people, who don't own cars, don't have a photo ID which means thousands will be turned away from the voting booths in key states where elections will be decided by just a few votes. The Republican machine to steal elections, by any and all means, will be in full motion in coming days. Electronic voting machines, now all over the country, are known to be rigged. Why can't we just all be given a paper ballot that can be marked and put into a ballot box?

It is sad that in the country that claims to be the bastion of freedom, our citizens have to fight for the right to vote. But those in power today fear the people and will do just about anything to ensure they hold onto that power.

In 2004, when it was clear that John Kerry lost Ohio because of massive denial of primarily black progressive voters, why didn't the Democrats fight hard for the people? Why didn't Kerry use some of that big corporate money he had left over after the election to sue Ohio on behalf of thousands of people who were denied their sacred right to vote?

I asked Ohio journalist Bob Fitrakis this question last year. Bob was a leading researcher and writer about the many Republican tricks pulled in 2004 to deny people their chance to choose our nation's leaders. Bob told me that the Democrats did not fight for the people because they too had years of cheating history in Ohio and did not feel they could afford to have that exposed.

At first I was a bit skeptical about that answer. But then I started to think about what happened here in Maine and across the country as the Democrats, just before the 2004 national election, tried to keep third party candidate Ralph Nader off the ballot in my state. The Democrats went into state court and tried to pull some dirty tricks to keep Nader from being listed on the final ballot for fear that he would take votes away from Kerry. They challenged signatures that Nader's campaign had gathered across the state. They tried to smear the Nader campaign as being dirty and corrupt. The court threw out the Democrats attempt to "limit" democracy and Nader made it onto the ballot in Maine. Kerry still won Maine in the national election.

These days you read stories about how the Democrats all over the U.S. are pulling all kinds of tricks to keep the Greens off the ballot for fear they will take votes away from them. Somehow the Dems think they "own" the progressive voters and they want to limit anyone else from having access to them.

The fact is that the Repubs and the Dems are willing to play with the system to ensure their control over the people's government. This is not a good thing and I fear that unless we can have an honest election in the U.S. we too will move closer to the day when the people will have to take to the streets like in Mexico to fight for our right to vote for who we want.

We are living in a time when corporate globalization is determining that "democracy" is an obstacle to their control of the world. Their New World Order calls for "limiting democracy" and limiting the "damage" the people can do to their attempts to maximize profits and control resources. They are leaving the public few options in return.


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