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

Saturday, July 14, 2012


  • U.S. weapons makers sold $60 billion worth of arms on the international market this past year, compared to just $12 billion in 2005.  So global instability pays off for the corporate mafia.  The Obama administration has made no secret of its plan to more actively promote sales of U.S. weapons internationally.  Weapons exports are encouraged both as a national security tool "to help build alliances" and as employment generators.  Obama in 2009 announced the start of a comprehensive review of the U.S. export control system, which American corporations contend is "too cumbersome and out of touch with today's globalized market."
  • Greenpeace is planning to send boats into Arctic waters off the coast of Alaska this month in order to dramatize Shell Oil's plan to drill exploratory offshore wells.  Due to global warming the Arctic ice is melting at a faster rate than expected thus making it possible for oil and natural gas extraction.  The Coast Guard has warned Greenpeace to stay away from Shell's drilling and has announced a "500-meter safety zone" around the planned operations.  Kumi Naidoo from Greenpeace has responded to threats by the Coast Guard by saying, "We have been warned there will be severe penalties but I now serve notice on Shell that we are at the point where, if needs be, we will break the injunctions and pay the price of that...We have to intensify civil disobedience."
  • While recently in Philadelphia for the national Occupy gathering I picked up a leaflet called "Reclaim the Money Power with Publicly Owned Banks."  During my April speaking tour along the west coast, in Oregon, a woman came to a couple of my talks and during the question period spoke quite eloquently about the need to take power away from Wall Street by creating state owned banks.  The Occupy Banks flyer quotes Prof. Carroll Quigley, Georgetown University, and author of Hope and Tragedy: "The powers of financial capitalism had another far reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole."  
  • As the states’ credit crisis deepens, four states have initiated bills for state-owned banks, and candidates in seven states have now included that solution in their platforms. The Bank of North Dakota, currently the nation’s only state-owned bank, is the model (with variations) for all the other proposals on the table. The Bank of North Dakota acts as a “bankers’ bank,” including doing “participation loans” with other banks, allowing them to compete with larger banks. In a participation loan, the community bank originates the loan and takes responsibility for it, while the participating bank contributes funds and shares in the risk and profits. The Bank of North Dakota also makes low-interest loans to students, farmers and businesses; underwrites municipal bonds; and serves as the state’s “Mini Fed,” providing liquidity and clearing checks for more than 100 banks around the state.


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