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.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

THE NEW AMERICAN REVOLUTION

We had about 25 people from around Maine (along with two organizers from the Boston area) meet at the Addams-Melman House yesterday to discuss our campaign to bring our war $$ home. (After the meeting we held a birthday party for Mary Beth Sullivan.)

We started with a review and evaluation of the campaign that began on Martin Luther King holiday last January and officially ran up until Tax day in mid-April. In truth though, the campaign has been humming right along since then.

One of the comments that stayed with me the most was from a woman from Belfast, Maine who said their local group really appreciated having an on-going campaign that they could tap into and that connected them with the peace movement across the state. I think this was a very significant statement as it reflects the desire of most local groups that they want to be a part of something larger and with a focus rather than just plodding along from one activity to another without connection or clear purpose.

A whole calendar of new events related to the war $$ issue are emerging in Maine during the coming months including several more town hall meetings in various communities where our resolution will be presented.

Our friends from Boston talked about how the war $$ home message will be spreading nationally via workshops at the coming U.S. Social Forum in late June in Detroit and the planned national anti-war conference on July 23-25 in Albany, New York. Nationally librarians are picking up on the war $$ home theme as well.

Much was said about the war $$ home message and how it seems to really stick with folks. Our banner has been in such demand that we decided to make two more - one of them will be paid for by CodePink Maine and the other by a person who was at yesterday's meeting. This would give us the ability to move three banners around different regions of the state with much greater ease.

The expected votes in coming days on the $33 billion war supplemental for 2010 and the 2011 Pentagon appropriation of $159 billion for more war were extensively discussed and it was agreed that we must urge everyone to contact our congressional delegations ASAP to express our outrage over these continual war funding bills.

Beyond that though it was also eloquently expressed that we must recognize that in the end the politicians are not going to end the wars - that it must come from the public so our greatest work must be to diversify and expand our movement. One meeting participant asked the question: Are we expanding our leadership base on this campaign? Another responded that we must go to where other people are rather than to wait for them to come to us.

In the end we also recognized that we are facing the reality of corporate domination of politics in the U.S. today. Our members of Congress ultimately do not represent the people - in fact they represent the corporate interests. In this case they represent the interests of the military industrial complex. In order to break their hold on American politics we must do more to help the public connect all the dots to the real sources of power. Once we do that, and begin to take those sources of power on, we will have begun a real new American revolution.

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