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.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Activists at a peace festival this past weekend in Denmark were read a statement from the Global Network

  • I was recently contacted by Andre Emile Brochu who lives in Malmo, Sweden. I met Andre when I went to Sweden as part of a speaking tour to Scandinavia in September 2008. Andre was born in Farmington, Maine and spent summers in Livermore Falls but escaped to Sweden during the Vietnam War as a draft resister and he decided to stay there. He led a group of us through a long peace march and rally in Malmo that was a part of the European Social Forum and then made sure to find a great restaurant for our hungry Global Network team that he was escorting around.
A week or so ago Andre contacted me and asked for a statement from the Global Network that could be read at an upcoming peace festival in Denmark that he was going to be attending. So I wrote it and sent it to him and today got back a link to an article that included my statement. You can see it here

Andre wrote to me, "So you have been published in Danish just like Kirkegaard and Hans Christian Andersen."

  • I had a wonderful day yesterday in Biddeford and Saco as I rejoined the Walk for Fukushima. I met the walkers at a park in Biddeford where Richard Rhames and I taped an interview with Mia and Steve Athearn about why they are walking for both our public access TV shows. Then we went to city hall for a meeting with Mayor Joanne Twomey who took us into her office. There on the wall, right by her desk, was a sketching of Gandhi, MLK, and Dorothy Day. She spent an hour with us asking questions about the purpose of the walk and also talked about how much she appreciates the work of the Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home. About six months ago, when we held our last rally in the state capital in Augusta, I invited Mayor Twomey to speak and her golden words went out across the state over public radio. She said, "I'm tired of firing people because of budget cuts. I challenge every mayor in the state of Maine to say Bring Our War $$ Home!" Perfect.

After we finished with our meeting at city hall we went to the nearby town of Saco where a pot luck supper was to be held at the First Parish Congregational Church. Since we had some time on our hands before the dinner, and the church sits right on U.S. Hwy 1, I got one of the other walkers (Alex) to join me across the street by the war memorial where we held the Bring Our War $$ Home banner for about an hour. As the rush hour traffic wizzed by I held out a leaflet for anyone to grab - I had about 7-8 takers. One woman passed by in her car and then approached us on foot and asked if she could interview me. Come to find out it was the editor of the local Biddeford Courier newspaper so she took some pictures and asked me some questions. Another reporter had earlier spotted us outside city hall when we arrived for the meeting with the mayor and she invited him to come up with us to her office. So that got covered as well.

The supper at the church was great (some really good macaroni and cheese) and then there was an excellent sharing circle afterwards with the church folks who came to feed the walkers. Church member Tom Kircher invited me to say a few words about the connection between the Walk for Fukushima and the Bring Our War $$ Home campaign. I told the story about the years of dangerous NASA plutonium space launches and how the nuclear industry views space as a new market for their deadly product. I suggested that if we could convert the military industrial complex to building solar, wind, mass transit and the like we could decentralize power production, get rid of the nuclear industry, and have some impact on the coming ravages of climate change. But we're going to have to make strong demands on the political system if we hope to make that happen.


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