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.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


I got to Santa Barbara Thursday night after 12 hours of traveling through three airports. I almost missed my connection in Dallas, made it with only five minutes to spare, but my two pieces of luggage did not arrive with me. Finally this afternoon they caught up with me and all is well.

I spent the night at the home of Mary Becker who lives by the ocean and I had a 45 minute walk today on the beach as the tide began to come in, lapping at my feet. Surfers were riding the waves just off shore and the mountains, nearby in the west, were a beautiful site as I walked.

This evening the Pacific Life Community retreat began with a supper at the Las Casa de Maria Retreat Center. It's a beautiful 26-acre site with orange trees, beautiful vegetation, and a stream running through it. After dinner we had introductions of the Catholic worker communities from places like Los Angeles, Spokane, and Vancouver in Canada. The stars of the evening though were the Mormon Workers from Utah, a group of young people who have started an activist publication and are exploring the opening of a community of hospitality for the poor like the more traditional Catholic worker communities.

In the morning we meet again for more sharing and then just before lunch John Dear and I will speak about the things we have seen and heard as we both travel. In the evening we all board a bus and go to a local church where John and I will do a more formal presentation to the greater community.

Jackie Hudson, one of the Dominican plowshares nuns who recently spent a couple years in jail for a disarmament action, is here from the Ground Zero community that regularly protests at the Bangor submarine base in Washington.

There are some real great folks here, people who have long been resisting war and offering hospitality and care to the poor. I am lucky to have been invited to gather with such souls.


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