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.

Monday, August 31, 2009

DOWN BUT NOT OUT


We had our monthly pot luck supper here at the Addams-Melman House yesterday. About 35 folks came to hear me report on my trip to Japan and South Korea. Lucky for us activist Kathy Kelly is in Maine, visiting some Iraqi families now living in Portland that she met some time ago in Jordan, so she joined us and talked a bit as well.

Despite all those who are trumpeting the death of the peace movement, I can attest to it still being alive, certainly battered and bruised, but still breathing and in many places inside the US and around the world, still kicking up a storm.

Many have not turned their back on the war machine on steroids and gone back to playing tennis and the local bridge club. Believe it or not, there are still many who are active and are pushing forward.

Cindy Sheehan just brought together folks on Martha's Vineyard to stand in the face of Obama while he was on vacation. The importance of her action was to lay claim to the fact that an alive peace movement must be able to criticize the Democrats when they are promoting war just as we criticized George W. Bush when he did the same.

I ended my story telling from Japan and South Korea last night by repeating the words of a 12-ish year old girl I heard speak at the Mayors for Peace conference in Nagasaki. She said, "We might be weak but we are not helpless."

That's right....the peace movement might be down, but we are not out. We might be soiled and battered but our cloth is still holding together and we are flapping our tired but determined wings in the late summer breeze.

The tide comes in and goes out......the peace movement will rise again......soon. Our rise will come when we offer an alternative vision for the future to a public who is casting about looking for answers to the fears of job loss and economic collapse. Endless war is not a viable answer and the people are beginning to understand that.....but what are we offering as vision in place of non-stop war?

We must all do more to connect militarism to economic downturn, we must show that military spending is indeed bad for the global economy. Conversion of the global war machine creates jobs and helps to solve for climate change.

We still have breath in our lungs and some bounce in our step. Let's keep using it to make sure the future generations have a chance on our Mother Earth.

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