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.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Windy day at Bath destroyer shipyard

 







There were 14 of us yesterday at Bath Iron Works shift change for the Lenten Vigil for disarmament and peace.  These vigils will continue every Saturday in April from 11:30 am for an hour.

Except on Saturday, April 27 BIW has announced the 'christening' of the third Zumwalt 'stealth' destroyer.  Folks will gather for our protest at 8:30 am on the north end of Washington St. across from the post office.

People coming for the blasphemous event will come on bus (to the south end) and walkers will enter into the shipyard on the north end. (How could the Prince of Peace bless such a killing machine?)

This destroyer will be named the 'LBJ' after the Vietnam War-era Democrat who escalated the killing and was driven from office by the growing national outrage.  Naming the ship after LBJ is an attempt to rewrite history.

Protesters are coming from around Maine on April 27 to declare opposition to this warship.  The three Zumwalts built at BIW cost a total $21 billion.  The original plan was to build more than 30 Zumwalt's but the Navy objected saying it would eat up too much of their ship building budget.  The standard Aegis destroyers built in Bath cost about $1.5 billion each.

Obama was pushing the Zumwalt's as a reward for General Dynamics Corp. which owns BIW.  The majority stock owners of General Dynamics are the Crown family in Chicago who helped Obama become president.  They helped Obama raise more money from the military industrial complex than his rival Sen. John McCain from Arizona did.

All in all it is a theft from the public.  As Eisenhower said in 1953, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."

These words resonate today - probably even more than in 1953.  These days we must see a complete industrial conversion to sustainable living if we hope to provide our children and grandchildren with a future on Mother Earth.

The non-violent protest at BIW on April 27 will address all of these concerns.

In the end the US must give up its violent addiction to endless militarism if we hope to live on this beautiful spinning planet.  It's really that simple and clear.

Bruce

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