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: Brunswick, ME, 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. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Sunday, January 10, 2010


I had a letter to the editor published in the Sunday edition of the Portland newspaper. It got the top headline in the letters section, a picture with it, and a box featuring a key quote from the letter. Can't ask for more than that.....especially when we are preparing for our news conference in Augusta next Thursday. Helps to focus the public and the media just a bit on the concern.

Yesterday MB and I traveled to the Boston area for lunch with friends and then a surprise 70th birthday party for one of her many aunts in their huge Irish-Catholic family.

While at our lunch visit with friends the man of the house said he wanted to start with some politics. We laughed and said "No...we didn't come here to talk politics...don't blame us if this heats up into an argument." It's a tradition of sorts that when we visit these dear friends that we always get into a bit of a tussle....he being more of a traditional liberal and us being a bit more "radical". He voted for Obama in the last election.

But much to our surprise he began by saying that he was fed up with the two-party system, that big business controls our government, and that no real change could happen in the country until our culture of greed and corporate domination ended. After picking ourselves up off the floor we congratulated him for his courageous statement. I suggested that it was clear analysis like his, coming from a small businessman and traditional Democrat, that could lead to serious break-through in American politics. If mainstream citizens began to give voice to these kinds of feelings (we know that privately many people share his thoughts) then all kinds of political possibilities can be imagined. It's basic physics I told him.

I urged him to write a letter to his local paper and share this feelings with the public. Many people are living in isolated despair thinking that their feelings are not common in our society and thus must be kept under wraps. His articulation can help break open the doors that are now locked in so many hearts.

Each of us must do our bit to stick our necks out just a bit more than we are presently doing. In the hallway of our house we have a poster that has a quote from historian Howard Zinn. It reads:

People are practical. They want change but feel powerless, alone, do not want to be the blade of grass that sticks up above the others and is cut down. They wait for a sign from someone else who will make the first move, or the second. And at certain times in history, there are intrepid people who take the risk that if they make that first move others will follow quickly enough to prevent their being cut down. And if we understand this, we might make that first move.

We owe it to the future generations to speak up now while we still can. It is the least we can do.


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