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, ME, 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. @BruceKGagnon

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Fighting for freedom & justice in Mississippi


Fannie Lou Hamer was a force to be reckoned with. Enduring intractable racism, police beatings, and even forced sterilization, she never stopped working for equal voting rights for all. 

Born on October 6, 1917, in Montgomery County, Mississippi, Fannie Lou, was the 20th and youngest child of Lou Ella and James Townsend. Both Lou Ella and James worked as sharecroppers their entire lives; when Fannie Lou was just six years old, she joined them, despite having endured a bout of polio just a year earlier. 

Hamer was eight years old in 1925 when she saw Joe Pullam, a local sharecropper, lynched. In an interview with Jack O'Dell in 1965, she said, "I remember that until this day and I won't forget it." 

Poverty forced Hamer to drop out of school at the age of 12, and by the age of 13, she was picking as much as 400 pounds of cotton in a day and receiving $1 for her work. Since Hamer had learned how to read and write during her brief time in school, she also worked as a record keeper on the plantation, and soon discovered just how the owners would cook the books to cheat the poor sharecroppers out of their fair wages. 

To offset this, Hamer began secretly tilting the scales to ensure people weren't cheated. She later recalled, "I didn't know what to do and all I could do is rebel in the only way I could rebel."


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