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.

Monday, April 09, 2012

ASSORTED RAMBLINGS


  • Father Moon pictured in the hospital on Jeju Island after the accident several days ago where he was pushed/fell from a tetrapod. He is lucky to be alive. I imagine him working full time on his cell phone and Twittering to his legion of followers all over South Korea. We all send him our love and best wishes for quick recovery.
  • I am on the train again heading north from Ventura to San Luis Obisbo (the conductor just told me they call it SLO town). I do a talk there tonight. The train runs right along the coastline so I am getting wonderful views of the Pacific Ocean.
  • I had the day off in Ventura yesterday and slept until about 11:00 am. I did an hour video interview with Cindy Piester who works with Veterans For Peace and does a public access TV program that she also puts on the Internet. My hosts Frank and Lucy live in a beautiful house built on one of the hills overlooking Ventura. Frank built the house with his own hands - largely from recycled materials. It is an enormous and wondrous house. The ocean view in the distance was magical. Frank is a Korean War veteran and Lucy took me for a long walk on the beach yesterday afternoon. Lucy is still trying to hang in there with Obama so we had a good hearted debate over whether Obama is for real or not. We have a $10 bet about whether he will actually do some good after his likely reelection this November. I tried to make the bet for $100 but Lucy was not that confident.
  • On Saturday I spoke to a good crowd at 3:00 pm inside the Ventura library. For the first half of my talk I noticed that my mind was slow in making my transitions from one point to another. I was obviously feeling tired. But a second wind kicked in about half way through the speech and I was able to find the energy I needed. I met some really great folks and got an excellent response.
  • All along the journey so far I am finding that activists are in deep despair about the course our nation is presently on. Many people feel betrayed by Obama and even more are wondering what we can actually do as our democracy has been drowned by the corporate oligarchy. I tell people that the progressive community has to keep reaching out to each other - the days of organizations going it alone are over. Some of this is happening now but many of the new local/national coalitions being created by labor, environmental groups, and social justice organizations tend to exclude the peace movement and our message of opposition to endless war. When you look at the membership of many of these new coalitions they are primarily made up of the standard Democratic Party constituencies and they don't really want to talk about the "controversial" war in Afghanistan (costing us $10 billion per month) or the expanding militarism of the Obama administration. It seems that these coalitions are primarily "election season" oriented - intended to mobilize the growing rage against the system on behalf of the Democrats who are not building much energy on their own.
  • In the end I don't see any progress toward economic recovery unless and until we deal with the nearly $1 trillion a year military budget. Where will $$ come from to invest in rail, solar, wind and other sustainable job creating programs? The corporations are moving jobs offshore so they can maximize profits from cheap labor. Without the tax dollars that are presently flushed down the black hole of growing militarism I think hopes for significant job creation in the U.S. are a fantasy.

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