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, October 09, 2007


Yesterday my hosts in Omaha took a couple of us visitors to the Strategic Air Command (SAC)museum just outside the city.

There were loads of elementary school kids running around the place being prepared for a future of war in space. A local boy, turned NASA astronaut, has prominence in the place and you even get to see his flight boots inside a glass case.

Inside the museum, when you walk in, is an SR-71 "blackbird" suspended from the ceiling. It is a now retired surveillance and reconnaissance plane. My step-dad worked on the plane's spy cameras when he was stationed at Beale AFB in California in 1969-1972. I remember once he took me inside of the high-security work place where they repaired and loaded the cameras. He was not thrilled when I became a peacenik.

The museum has displays of the bomb dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki and a huge number of planes are inside the museum - B-52, B-1 bomber, and others dating back to WW II. I told my friends that a large photo, with some of the older planes, had been on my bedroom wall when I was a kid. My dad, who worked in the early years in a SAC photolab, had mounted the picture for me and I carried it with us as we moved from one base to another around the world.

I, like most kids, never thought about what these planes did and who they did it for. I lived behind the shelter of the barbed wire fences on SAC bases and regularly saw the sign outside the gate that read "Peace is our Profession." Maybe that message, drummed into my head over and over again as a youngster, led me to work in the peace movement. I suppose I can thank SAC for my career.

Today I go talk to a high school class and then in the afternoon we will hold a vigil outside the Strategic Space Arms Bazaar that begins in Omaha. We will hold protests there each day for the next three days.


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