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.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

DEMOCRACY NEEDS MORE THAN VOTING

The Iowa primary horse race takes place today. We are told by the corporate dominated media that voting every two years in national elections makes us special. In fact you can't have democracy by just voting. Democracy is not a spectator sport.

I turned on C-SPAN yesterday and saw Kathy Kelly (Voices for Creative Nonviolence) being interviewed as a result of an action she took part in two days ago in Iowa. Kathy, and a couple others, were arrested standing in the campaign office of Mike Huckabee (Republican candidate for president) holding a banner that read "Who would Jesus bomb?"

(There were more arrests today in Barack Obama's Iowa campaign in Des Moines when eight folks read the names of Iraq war dead.)

Last night's event in Jacksonville turned out well with about 50 folks attending the Wage Peace meeting. They had a great finger food spread before I spoke and the question and answer period was quite stimulating as folks were really focused on how we engage with those in the public who don't agree with us or who lack access to the same information that alot of us have.

My bottom line is that we need to help create public discussion and we can only do that by being visible in the community. That can mean letters to the editor, public demonstrations, going door-to-door and more. The fact Kathy Kelly got arrested in a campaign office and then the next day was on national TV talking about why, is an indication that public protest activity can pay off.

Tonight I speak in St Augustine. It is quite cold here, very windy, not your typical Florida weather. The sun is shining though and the palm trees are swaying in the heavy breeze.

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