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

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 10, 2018

Day 27: Democracy drowned by the corporate agenda

Graphic by Suzanna Lasker

We’ve now had 108 letters, Op-Eds, radio and public access TV interviews on 25 Maine media outlets opposing the GD corporate welfare bill. Not bad for a one-man band....

There were 17 of us folks at BIW this morning for the weekly Lenten vigil.  These vigils will continue for the next three Saturdays.  It was cold with cloudy skies and quite windy as it often is along the Kennebec River that runs through Bath.  We had our usual BIW security man following us as we moved from the administration building to the South gate where workers stream out when the noon horn blows.  I had one (thoughtful?) offer of a bag of chips if I wanted to eat.  Also one young guy gave me a kind word. Most workers looked at my sign - some smiling, others grimacing, many showing no emotion at all.


Truth is I am hungry all the time - stomach growls.  But I just shrug it off - did the same when I quit smoking on my son Julian's first day of school.  He came home and told me that he had watched a movie about what smoking does to your lungs.  I knew in that moment I had to get real.  I handed him my cigarettes and said go throw them in the garbage.  Other than a handful of Cuban cigars I bought while in that country back in the 1990's - I've not smoked since then - excepting pot.

Like when I quit smoking, whenever I get real hungry, I just tell myself to move on in my mind.  And before I know it I am thinking about something else much more interesting.  

My energy level still is fairly strong - I've been working long hours - but yesterday I hit the wall and had to rest more than before.  Today feels like it will be the same.

I've got a ride worked out with Regis Tremblay to get to Augusta on Tuesday at 9:30 am where I will stand with my sign on the capital's 3rd floor hallway between the House and Senate chambers.  

Regis is working on a new video about the crumbling human and physical infrastructure of Maine at the same time that GD is demanding $60 million from our financially desperate state. GD has already taken more than $200 million from Maine since 1997.  They've also recently taken about $20 million from Rhode Island and are currently pushing hard to take $150 million from broken Connecticut.  

GD has operations all over the world and is exploiting workers and communities everywhere they go.  This is the corporate ethic of our age - wage war to control resources for production, produce a lousy product, extract as much as possible from labor, destroy the environment, demand tax breaks from the local communities that the 'corporate entity' graces with its mere presence.

Democracy has been drowned by the corporate agenda.  Our survival is at stake.  We might not win the struggle on this particular, or another, issue but I feel I must fight as long as I can draw breathe.   My son's future is at stake, all life on the planet in some way is at risk.  What could be more important in this moment than to give one's energy towards ensuring the survival of the people.  

Nothing brings me more joy.


Photos by Peter Woodruff  


Blogger Lisa Savage said...

A moving blog post about the intersection of personal and political. Stay strong, Bruce!

3/11/18, 8:31 AM  
Blogger joni said...

You're a true inspiration Bruce, Love, Light, Strength

3/11/18, 11:10 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Take the day off tomorrow ( 3/13 ). The Legislature will not be in session due to the weather forecast.

3/12/18, 3:49 PM  

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