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. @BruceKGagnon

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Photo of public lynching of African-American displayed at the National Great Blacks Wax Museum in Baltimore, Maryland

I am just home from Baltimore, Maryland where I spent the last two days.  While there I stayed at the home of David Eberhardt who went to prison for nearly two years in 1967 for pouring blood on draft files with Phil Berrigan and two others to protest the Vietnam War.  Yesterday Dave took me to the National Great Blacks Wax Museum where I was moved beyond words by the displays of the slave ship passage from Africa and the lynching era (particularly in the American south).  I was so deeply touched by what I saw that I found myself writing some words which you can see at the end of this post.

Later in the afternoon I joined with other peace activists from the Baltimore area when we went out to the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters for an hour-long vigil as the workers were going home.  We held signs and soon attracted about 4-5 NSA police who asked us each for our name, address, etc.  I refused to give any information.  We only got one car honk during the hour we stood at the NSA which should come as no real surprise to anyone.

Last evening a dozen folks gathered at the home of Max Obuszewski for a pot luck supper and some political discussion.  For the third time during the trip I found us talking about the excellent book by Jim Douglass called JFK & the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters. In a few words, this book tells the story about why and how the military industrial complex had JFK killed. The book is part history, part mystery story, and part moral lesson.  I did a review of it a couple of years ago and you can read it here.

I am grateful to those who hosted me, particularly Bob Smith at the Brandywine Peace Community who initiated the trip and shuttled me for the two days in the Philadelphia area.

Will We Ever?

The savagery of the slave trade
beheaded slaves on-board the death ships
chained souls
brought to the land of the free and home of the brave....
Only to be worked to the bone on the earth
stolen from the Native Americans,
more genocide,
acts of deceit and ruthlessness from 'Our Founding Fathers'....
those great authors of a Constitution that denied
human existence of the Red, Black, Yellow, or Brown 'non-citizens' of
the 'greatest country in world history'
as the architects of American exceptionalism
call this shattered, divided, broken, and corrupt land.

The lynchings that accompanied slavery
and continued through Jim Crow,
and beyond,
revealed the cruel and ugly heart
of the American mythology.

Today this nation of purveyors of violence
fly drones made of steel and hubris
killing innocents
while they sleep
hold weddings
attend funerals.

The word terrorist is used to disguise these
imperial killings.....

Who is the real terrorist?
How can America ever be a free nation
until it purges
its violent dark soul?

America is so far from this place of healing and restorative justice.....
you can see it in the homeless as they stand on corners
of streets with boarded up empty houses.

Lost in this vicious maze of violence....
manufacturing killing machines
has become job 1
'$ecurity export' they call it with pride.

It's in the blood now
a lineage of killing....
heard one guy from Alabama on Rush
say he was 5th generation "warrior".
For whom I asked the radio?
Corporate globalization?
Sold yourself for what?

From the native 'savages'
(we call them this to absolve our own wrong doings)
to the slave ship
to the hanging tree
to the unmanned drones
the killing now so high tech that we have unfeeling machines do it for us....
"we did not know" they said at Auschwitz.....
we have become machines ourselves.
Cold dead steel.
Watch us as we look away
We are good at it.

The satellites on their orbital leashes
help pull the triggers these days.

We are so smart
we can kill from space.
But we still kill
without conscience
with reckless psychopathic abandon.
We are killers
and we don't seem to care.
We hardly ever did.
Will we ever?


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