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. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Thursday, May 11, 2023

My one-way ticket to space



Over the years while coordinating the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice I organized many protests at the space center (now called the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station).

In October of 1990 we were holding an event at the nearby Kennedy Space Center complex prior to the launch of the NASA Ulysses plutonium probe. We went into federal court in Washington in our unsuccessful attempt to halt the launch. But the court case brought us much national and international media coverage about our concerns over hoisting deadly plutonium-238 into the heavens. That was in the days when the corporate media would actually cover our efforts.

On that particular occasion a man whom I did not know came up to me prior to our rally holding a bag. He reached inside and pulled out a NASA flight suit and said, 'You might want to use this'. I asked him where he got the NASA gear but he refused to say.

So I thanked him and pulled the jump suit on over my clothes and climbed onto the flatbed truck that was serving as our rally stage. I grabbed the microphone and made a big announcement.

I told the audience of hundreds that we all sadly remembered the Challenger space shuttle disaster in 1986 quite well. I said that particularly sad for us was that the mission was doing a big public relations stunt for NASA with their plan to send school teacher Christa McAuliffe into space. The Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven aboard.

I announced that NASA was creating a new program - the 'first activist in space' and that I had applied to take the trip. Then I said that I had been selected to go on a future space shuttle mission.

Many in the crowd moaned and called out for me not to go.

'But there is just one problem. It's only a one-way ticket', I replied to the assembled.

Still even some believed that I would soon be lost in space. 

Many though did get the joke.



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