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.

Friday, June 05, 2009

DEMOCRACY AND CONVERSION - THE REAL ECONOMIC RECOVERY

Another Maine friend writes:

Some SOLUTIONS. Yes I've thought of some of them myself - lots of people have - but maybe someone will LISTEN to Michael Moore - they sure aren't listening to me. Now here is what is bothering me today: The Democrats - once considered the 'party of the people' still TALK LIKE THAT, but when they get into office, they do exactly what the GOP wants them to do - even when in the majority. Of course I know why. Money has poisoned our political system and unless we can take it out of the system, democracy doesn't have a chance. That means no more political paid-for ads, just a requirement that the media present all points of view and cover political campaigns as the vital news they are, without charge or LOSE the damn license that we, the people, grant them! It means rescinding the sick, stupid idea that a corporation is a person with all the attendant rights of a person (except, apparently, Death and Taxes), and that money equals 'speech.' For one thing the corporate 'person' is forbidden to do anything decent socially or environmentally if it will take away in any amount from shareholders' profits!

A corporation is not a person - it is a business partnership involving human beings who must be held responsible for their actions.

Money is not speech - when injected in large amounts into politics, it is bribery.

To perpetrate environmental destruction and ill health without compensation on the people and animals of a foreign country is a human rights violation and if the shareholders don't like paying their share to fix stuff up, they should be fined.

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Now for some suggestions from the filmmaker Michael Moore:

As I sit here in GM's birthplace, Flint, Michigan, I am surrounded by friends and family who are filled with anxiety about what will happen to them and to the town. Forty percent of the homes and businesses in the city have been abandoned.

The President must tell the nation that we are at war and we must immediately convert our auto factories to factories that build mass transit vehicles and alternative energy devices. Within months in Flint in 1942, GM halted all car production and immediately used the assembly lines to build planes, tanks and machine guns. The conversion took no time at all. Everyone pitched in.

We are now in a different kind of war -- a war that we have conducted against the ecosystem and has been conducted by our very own corporate leaders. This current war has two fronts. One is headquartered in Detroit. The products built in the factories of GM, Ford and Chrysler are some of the greatest weapons of mass destruction responsible for global warming and the melting of our polar icecaps. The things we call "cars" may have been fun to drive, but they are like a million daggers into the heart of Mother Nature. To continue to build them would only lead to the ruin of our species and much of the planet.

The other front in this war is being waged by the oil companies against you and me. They are committed to fleecing us whenever they can, and they have been reckless stewards of the finite amount of oil that is located under the surface of the earth. They know they are sucking it bone dry. And like the lumber tycoons of the early 20th century who didn't give a damn about future generations as they tore down every forest they could get their hands on, these oil barons are not telling the public what they know to be true -- that there are only a few more decades of useable oil on this planet. And as the end days of oil approach us, get ready for some very desperate people willing to kill and be killed just to get their hands on a gallon can of gasoline.

President Obama, now that he has taken control of GM, needs to convert the factories to new and needed uses immediately.

Don't put another $30 billion into the coffers of GM to build cars. Instead, use that money to keep the current workforce -- and most of those who have been laid off -- employed so that they can build the new modes of 21st century transportation. Let them start the conversion work now.

Initiate a program to put light rail mass transit lines in all our large and medium-sized cities. Build those trains in the GM factories. And hire local people everywhere to install and run this system.
For people in rural areas not served by the train lines, have the GM plants produce energy efficient clean buses.


Transform some of the empty GM factories to facilities that build windmills, solar panels and other means of alternate forms of energy. We need tens of millions of solar panels right now. And there is an eager and skilled workforce who can build them.
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See this incredible film called Taken for a Ride that tells the story about how GM destroyed the public transit system in America.

So those are very good suggestions by Michael Moore. I might add that we convert the military production system as well toward the same purposes.

Please start to use the "conversion" word in all your conversations. Help people began to understand and dream about the possibilities.

When the government talks about economic "recovery" we must ask them - recovery to what? We don't produce anything but weapons in the USA. We won't recover unless we begin to integrate the coming ecological destruction and militarism into the equation. Anyone who tells you otherwise is living in a day gone by.

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