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.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

MR. 109



The poor and working class, marginalized people of a profit driven culture, filled the room at the Dewitt Court just outside of Syracuse, New York.  There were 109 cases to be heard and the “night court” began at 6:00 pm. 

When one man appeared before the judge I heard the court say he was accused of grand larceny.  My mind immediately flashed back to Richard Connor, the former CEO of the Portland Press Herald (Maine) who took over the paper a few years ago and immediately reduced the news staff, sold off assets, changed the paper’s political orientation to a right-wing rag, and ran it into the ground.

Then after what seemed like a short period of time, Mr. Connor was gone and there was no public explanation.  It wasn’t until just last week that stories appeared in the paper that Connor had embezzled $530,000 from the newspaper.  He reportedly gave himself a couple of unauthorized pay raises, bought his son a new expensive car, treated himself to high-priced vacations in Maine resort towns, and more.

After all of that high-level thievery one would expect that Connor would be sitting behind bars in the slammer for a long time to come.  But it appears not likely to happen.  The current administration of the newspaper (recently bought by a Democratic Party hedge fund operator married to our Congresswoman Chellie Pingree) has been quoted in the paper saying that we just want to “move on” – focus on the future and not the past.  (Yes, the same kind of lingo that Obama used when asked if George W. Bush and company should be prosecuted for war crimes.)

Clearly, there are two standards of justice in this country.  The rich and well connected commit big expensive crimes (remember Wall Street) but don’t go to jail.

The poor and working class commit petty crimes in comparison and languish in jail – often for years. 

The fat cats take care of one another even if they are from different political parties or have different ideological orientations.  There is something that always bonds them – greed and their loyalty to the capitalist system and the global imperial project.

I wrote all of this while sitting in the Dewitt courtroom - waiting to be called before the judge for my pre-trial hearing – and watching the “fair and balanced scales of justice” in action.  Finally after five and one-half hours I got my chance to convince the judge that I was capable of representing myself during my trial for civil resistance at Hancock Air Field drone base.  The judge gave me an August 1 date to reappear in his court to hear any motions that I submit before my trial.  It took about 15 minutes in all. 

As it turns out I was the last of the 109 cases to be heard last night.

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