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.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

WINNING AND LOSING

This picture above was painted by an Iraqi kid. It was one in a series of pieces of art I saw the other day about how kids are feeling in Iraq about the U.S. occupation. The sadness and feeling of despair rips at my heart. The piercing eye speaks directly to me about what is real and what is a lie about our heartless occupation. I have to use the word "our" because it is American tax dollars paying for the madness. What are we doing to end it? Talking about the "showdown" between a Congressional bill that funds the war with imaginary withdrawal time lines and Bush's threat to veto it? It's all a public relations spectacle. The image above is real.

Many people are buzzing about the recent Democratic Party debate in South Carolina. I missed the debate but last night Mary Beth and I watched a compilation of Sen. Mike Gravel's performance in the debate. (If you click on the link above you can watch it.)

Gravel was a two-term senator from Alaska who helped lead the fight to end the funding for the Vietnam war. He also was a key figure in helping Daniel Ellsberg leak The Pentagon Papers to the media back in the early 1970's.

Gravel was quite passionate in the debate and after it was over I read a Washington Post columnist, in a piece called Winners and Losers, say that Hillary and Obama had won the debate and that Gravel should not be allowed in any other debates after his striking performance in South Carolina. Since then Gravel was told he'd not be invited to speak in a coming New Hampshire debate but the fierce response from new Gravel supporters across the country seems to have blocked the attempt to censor him.

People are looking for honesty and passion and it looks like Gravel might have just upped the ante in the Democratic contest. It's good to see.

I will be leaving early in the morning on the train for New York City where I will be speaking on Thursday at an event being organized by WILPF and the Norwegian Forum for Environment & Development. It will be held just across the street from the U.N. at 777 UN Plaza from 1-3 pm. The event will be called "Weapons in Space or Life on Earth, The Choice is Ours." Other speakers will be Carol Urner from WILPF and Frida Berrigan from the World Policy Institute.

Following that event I've been invited to speak at an anti-war meeting hosted by Codepink New York City. Then Friday morning I jump on the train and head home again.

This weekend we will be working in the yard at our house to begin getting ready to plant our vegetable garden. The weather is finally turning to spring here so we need to get things going since our growing season is so short.

Hope you all have a good weekend.

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