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, 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.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Day 34: Others are fasting to stop GD welfare bill

Vietnam veteran Tom Ryan from Oquossoc, Maine is fasting in solidarity to defeat the GD corporate welfare bill.  As of today he has not eaten for the past 13 days and vows to continue until the bill is voted on by the entire legislature.  On Thursday while in Augusta standing between the two legislative chambers he said, "I joined the service to make this country better.  Our taxes need to go for human welfare – not for corporate welfare. I will continue to fast until this is over."

Mary Kate Small (Camden) has been keeping a schedule of Mainers and others from away who are fasting in solidarity with our efforts to defeat this bad bill in Augusta (LD 1781). She has recorded that at least 30 others have gone without food for a day or more since February 12 when I started my hunger strike.

On February 12 Boryana Tacconi (Andover, Massachusetts) heard I was beginning the hunger strike and joined me for the first 20 days.  Yesterday we received a message from Jeju Island, South Korea where artist and peace activist Choi Sung-Hee wrote that she would fast next Tuesday (March 20) and Thursday (March 22) when I return to the state capital to again stand against this corporate give-away.  Regina Pyon from Seoul will also fast on March 20.

Mary Kate informs us that she has fasters all over Maine scheduled through the end of March and beyond if needed.

I thank all of those who have gone without food as we all stand in complete solidarity with the 43,000 children across our poor state who live in poverty.  If the elected officials in Augusta won't stand up and fight for the kids against this mega-rich corporation that had $3 billion in profits last year then we surely must.

And we will continue to daily do every thing we can to defeat LD 1781.  Keep these dollars in Maine for the huge needs that are currently going unmet because of lack of funds.

GD don't need our money.  They already get boatloads of it from the federal government in their Navy contracts to build destroyers at BIW.



Anonymous Jon Olsen said...

Build creators, not destroyers. Hospital ships, modern narrow gauge trains, just to start.

3/17/18, 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somehow we need a national movement to bring attention to militarism and hunger and how they are linked. I will fast on March 20 and share this and try to get others to join. Blessings to you all.

3/17/18, 1:28 PM  
Blogger Lisa Savage said...

Fasting in solidarity with you today, Bruce, and thinking of the 20,000 children in deep poverty in Maine. They suffer from cold, inadequate housing and food insecurity while their parents go without medical care -- all so General Dynamics and Bath Iron Works can pay their executives millions of dollars a year. (Workers at BIW were forced to accept a contract freezing wages for the next four years.)

3/18/18, 7:58 AM  

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