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

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Protesting Trump's Navy Secretary Visit to BIW



Four of us were at Bath Iron Works this morning for 90 minutes while Trump's Navy Secretary Richard Spencer visited the shipyard along with Maine's Congressional delegation.

Jason Rawn, Don Kimball, Peter Morgan and I held banners and signs. About 11:30 am a police escort (flashing lights and sirens) sped past us with the Navy Secretary and the Maine politicians so we were certainly seen by them.

We counted the positives (waves, honks, peace signs) and negatives (fingers) from cars going by while there and it came out to 22 on the plus side and only two on the negative.  So this un-scientific poll indicates that we are wearing them down in Bath!

The Navy Secretary at the podium with all four of Maine's Congressional delegation in attendance this morning at BIW.  From the left to right are Rep. Chellie Pingree, Rep. Bruce Poliquin, Sen. Susan Collins, and Sen. Angus King. Photo by KevinMillerPPH


Our Maine Congressional delegation (made up of Republicans, Democrats and an Independent) always dutifully come to every major event at BIW such as today and the 'Christenings' that happen a couple of times per year.  They work overtime to get more $$$$ to build more offensive warships at the shipyard.

Over the years we've tried to talk with the delegation about conversion of the shipyard to sustainable production that would help deal with the growing harsh reality of climate change but they have shown not a bit of interest.  Rep. Pingree and Sen. King talk a great game about climate change but when it comes to transforming the American institution (the Pentagon) with the largest carbon boot print on the  planet they turn away.

It would be good if they all watched the C-SPAN archive coverage of the 1994 Labor Day rally at BIW that was attended by the Maine Congressional delegation at that time who called for the conversion of the shipyard to civilian production.  In those days the 'conversion' word easily poured out of the mouths of politicians, labor leaders and even BIW executives.

My, how things do change......

Bruce

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