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.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Shift BIW’s reliance on military

At our last Saturday Advent vigil at Bath Iron Works we were joined by a one-year old who insisted on holding a sign.  He helped hold his aunt's sign which read:  We love Workers...We want a different product.

We had 26 folks which is good for this time of year in Maine at a vigil.  Next Saturday will be our final vigil for the Advent season.

Dan Marks (the father of the young sign holder) also had a great Letter to Editor in the Portland Press Herald the morning of the vigil. It reads:

Shift BIW’s reliance on military

We need to transition toward jobs that build a sustainable infrastructure here at home. 

Last Sunday, General Dynamics-owned Bath Iron Works launched the last of three death machine “destroyers.” Two weeks ago, Rep. Chellie Pingree signed on to the “Green New Deal.” The two actions may seem unrelated, but they are not.

The Green New Deal would create “green” jobs by shifting the nation’s energy use to fossil fuel alternatives. The military is the single greatest contributor of fossil fuel emissions. Rep. Pingree correctly notes in her news release that the effects of climate change are already being felt here, from lobster and shellfish to rates of asthma and tick-borne illnesses.

And don’t forget the immense suffering exacted around the world through the direct action and support of our military – be it in Yemen, Gaza or among the Central American refugees on our southern border. Resources are consistently pulled away from humanitarian aid, health care and education while the military-industrial complex grows. General Dynamics is one of the greatest examples of corporate welfare in the country. This year, we added to their handout with state tax incentives. “Jobs” is always the argument for the handouts.

Ensuring that the hardworking people at BIW have viable employment is paramount. Transitioning jobs away from dependency on military spending toward building a sustainable infrastructure here at home is a way to do that. Let’s drop the false narrative that BIW in its current form is the only way for people to work. Let’s envision a new BIW, one that builds the future’s needs.

A dedicated group is working to gain the support of BIW workers in this transition. Come join us and we can build that future together! We are meeting on Saturday and on Dec. 22 at 11:30 a.m. on Washington Street, in front of the BIW administrative offices in Bath. Don’t lose hope, or your power!

Dan Marks
North Yarmouth 


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