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, December 11, 2011


Two nights ago police raided Occupy Boston and closed down their camp largely due to claims they were killing the grass.....46 were arrested. Last night more than 200 of the Occupy folks gathered on the Boston Common to decide on next steps.

(The Boston Common was used as a camp by the British before the American Revolutionary War, from which they left for the Battle of Lexington and Concord. It was used for public hangings up until 1817, most of which were from a large oak which was replaced with gallows in 1769. In 1660 Mary Dyer was hanged there by the Puritans for preaching Quakerism. On May 19, 1713, two hundred citizens rioted on the Common in reaction to a food shortage in the city. They later attacked the ships and warehouses of wealthy merchant Andrew Belcher, who was exporting grain to the Caribbean for higher profits. The lieutenant governor was shot during the riot. A hundred people gathered on the Common in early 1965 to protest the Vietnam War. A larger protest happened on October 15, 1969, this time with 100,000 people attending.)

While recently in Boston I learned that the popular phrase "Read them the Riot Act" came from that city's rich Revolutionary War history. At the time of British rule in America they in fact had a "Riot Act" that would be read to the "unruly mobs" that were common in Boston. The British would warn the protesting Americans that they had to disperse in one hour's time or they would be shot. The Boston Massacre happened on March 5, 1770, when British soldiers fired into one such "mob" on King Street outside the British custom house, resulting in the deaths of five civilians and dramatically escalating tensions.

It's more than ironic to see things haven't changed much in all these years. The British crown has been replaced by the corporate oligarchy but the Riot Act still essentially remains in place.

There have now been over 5,000 arrests in 82 cities across the country since the Occupy movement began in New York on September 17, 2011.

Long live the mobs.


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