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

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush & Obama's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Monday, February 25, 2013


  • Today I am preparing for two events.  One is the drone hearing at Maine's state house tomorrow at 1:30 pm where a bill to ban drones in our state will be heard.  I will try to make a statement if possible.  The second is a seminar I've been invited to in San Francisco this weekend called Techno-Utopianism--- Killing the World.  The meeting will "explore the negative role of recent generations of technological 'advancement.' The idea is to challenge the fundamental world-views of our society that celebrate and embrace the inevitable virtues of technological innovation----and the prevailing attitudes about 'progress' and human authority over nature." Others attending this meeting will be Langdon Winner, Vandana Shiva, Richard Heinberg, Pat Mooney, Paul Kingsnorth, Charlene Spretnak, Stephanie Mills, Kirkpatrick Sale, Chet Bowers, Lisi Krall, Godfrey Reggio, Lorna Salzman, as well as Rob Dietz, Severine von Tsarchner Fleming, Andy Kimbrell, and Jerry Mander. It's a real honor to be invited to speak to these folks.  I am excited about how much I will learn there and how it will better enable me to connect the dots in my writing and speaking.
  •  I just spent a good long time talking with Mary Beth this morning about these two events and what the critical message is and how best to say it.  We help each other often in these moments.  She is now writing a letter to the editor in her head about drone policy and this discussion helped her clarify things.  She increasingly is getting invitations to speak to church congregations - one of the few activists I know who gets such invites anymore.  She has the great ability to bridge those two worlds.
  • David Swanson sent around a brilliant piece called Witness at a Drone Hearing where he suggests Leo Tolstoy should be invited to testify at the upcoming House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington on drones.  David extensively quotes Tolstoy on killing.  Here a few gems:
-  Every man of the present day, if we go deep enough into the contradiction between his conscience and his life, is in a state of despair.
 - This contradiction, which is a quintessence of all the other contradictions, is so terrible that to live and to take part in it is only possible if one does not think of it—if one is able to forget it.
- If there were no external means of dulling their sensibilities, half of mankind would shoot themselves without delay, for to live in opposition to one's reason is the most intolerable condition. And that is the condition of all men of the present day.
- All men of the modern world exist in a state of continual and flagrant antagonism between their conscience and their way of life.
- Everyone knows that if murder is a sin, it is always a sin, whoever are the victims murdered.....


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