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.

Monday, January 29, 2007


I've seen numbers ranging from almost 100,000 to 500,000 peace activists demonstrating in Washington last Saturday. The smaller number, of course is coming from the media, the larger from peace groups.

What is not told in the media is that in addition to the large demo in DC last Saturday there were hundreds of local actions all over the country as well. Here in Maine four buses were sent to DC and on Friday night, before they left Portland, 300 gathered for a send-off rally. Then on Saturday 250 folks gathered again in Portland for another protest. There were 150 activists on a bridge in Ellsworth, Maine as well on Saturday. So I am certain that this played out all over the nation.

While I strongly supported the DC demonstration last weekend I feel that the real anti-war work these days must be done locally and statewide. We've got to mount increasing pressure on our own Congressional delegations to stop voting to fund the occupation of Iraq.

Many people will get on a bus and make a long trip to Washington DC but then once the real work starts back home we never see them again. Many are afraid to be seen protesting on the street in their hometown for fear they will get fired from a job or be identified as a "peacenik". I call these kind of people "out-of-town" activists.

If we can get these folks to stay involved locally then our numbers will double and our level of effectiveness working on our own Congress members will rapidly grow.


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