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.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


  • Today is the NSA action day.  All you have to do is make a call or send an email - and share the action with others.  This is the kind of action day that helps decide whether we have any rights at all or we become a full-blown police state.  Just go here to help the cause.

  • We had a meeting at the house yesterday of a group of Bath residents, and one from Arrowsic, to plan a public forum on the diversification/conversion of the local shipyard at Bath Iron Works (BIW).  They make nothing but warships there now.  We'll hold the event in June and have a potluck supper along with it.  We are going to try to bring in a couple speakers with expertise on this issue so it should be exciting.  Coming out of our committee meeting we had folks volunteer to meet with BIW administration to invite them to be part of this public discussion.  Another one of our folks yesterday agreed to check with his union leadership at BIW and request that they speak at the event as well.

  • Our friend Peter found two great videos by accident the other day - or should we call it providence?  The scene is Labor Day in 1994.  President Bill Clinton comes to BIW and endorses diversification of the shipyard.  Also speaking that day was former Maine Sen. George Mitchell, Rep Tom. Andrews, and the union president of the BIW local as well as the president of the International Association of Machinists.  They were all begging for conversion/diversification – bring back commercial shipbuilding!  Now our challenge is to get the current crop of leaders to just match that mark.  It's sad to see how far things have slipped in these years.  We've got to regain the initiative.

  • I've just been reading a biography of Bertolt Brecht the German playwright who got caught in the middle of the Nazi party taking power prior to WW II.  I wanted to learn about the challenges they faced during that period and was eager to learn more about how Brecht thought and spoke about those times.  He was an inspiring man who, once Hitler's blitzkrieg began, still believed he had to keep creating plays that could inform and inspire the people to popular rebellion.  I see many historical similarities to our present moment in the US. 

  • Brecht wrote:

There are uncritical people who have doubt
And there are scrupulous people who never take action…
With the murderer’s axe raised above their heads
They ask themselves whether he isn’t human too…
You can make mistakes
By acting with too little thought,
But the mistake in time of danger
Is to go on thinking too long.

  • The marriage of corporations and government - especially the government with the biggest military machine on the planet - is fascism.  It's dangerous and deadly.  Put your ear to the railroad tracks and hear the train coming.


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