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

Monday, January 30, 2012


Occupy Augusta, with state capital in background, before they were removed from the park last month

  • The statewide Occupy meeting on Saturday was attended by more than 130 activists from up and down the state of Maine. It was not a decision making meeting but instead was a time for folks to share their determination to keep the Occupy movement growing. The group broke into issue workshops and I facilitated the one called war-militarism. I came away impressed that my fellow activists in Maine intend to press on through the winter and keep building toward the spring.
  • On Sunday MB and I drove friends Stan and Loukie Lofchie to Belfast for a memorial service for their beloved friend Richard Stander who recently passed away. I knew Richard as an active peace worker but in his earlier years he was an organic farmer and alternative community builder. It was a moving memorial with lots of music and testimonies from many of his beloved friends.
  • There are two Occupy camps in Washington DC -Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square - and the cops are going to take them down today. The cops went into McPherson Square camp yesterday and tased a guy in his pajamas and took him away. It seemed to be for no apparent reason other than to rile up the campers and get a story in the local media that the camps are in turmoil. It's obvious that the police all over the nation are trying to continually instigate violent responses from the Occupy movement but for the most part folks have been remarkably non-violent. You can see the video here
  • The time is coming soon for us to be going to South Korea for our annual Global Network conference (Feb 24-26) on Jeju Island. We will have folks coming from Scotland, England, Sweden, India, Japan, U.S. and throughout South Korea. Very likely some other countries will be represented because I know that in the Gangjeong village now are activists from France and Taiwan and possibly other countries as well. I'll be stopping (along with GN chair Dave Webb and board member Lynda Williams) in Hawaii for meetings on Oahu and Kauai prior to going to Korea.
  • One of the very tiny victories we've had is that Congress had decided to cut the Pentagon's rate of growth over the next 10 years by $492 billion. That means that the military budget would essentially still grow but at a slower rate and that some planned weapons systems and troop levels would have to be trimmed. But now we learn that Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) has just introduced a bill that will substitute a reduction of the federal government workforce by 10% in place of the first year of mandatory cuts. And this will likely be the first of many attempts to change the law to shield military spending. Republicans and many Democrats are now saying that the sky will fall if we do not exempt the Department of War from mandatory spending cuts - even as they insist that our deficit is such a problem that we must make brutal cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. You can send a letter to Congress demanding cuts here (I'm not happy with this "only cut the growth" in Pentagon spending but it is something that should not be thrown over board.)


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