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, Maine, United States

I'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Monday, May 26, 2008

WALKING IN MEMORIAL DAY PARADE

Day 3 of my solidarity hunger strike.

We went early this morning to join my fellow members of Maine Veterans for Peace (VfP) in the Brunswick Memorial Day parade. The local peace group PeaceWorks walked behind us and then the group Military Families Speak Out was behind them. There were about 65 folks all together dressed in black.

The parade is two-miles long, beginning in Topsham, then goes over the Androscoggin River bridge and into the heart of downtown Brunswick. The crowd watching was quite large when he arrived in Brunswick and we got a good applause all along the way.

The Hair & Nail Salon float and Modern Pest Control cars were right in front of us and several Army National Guard Humvees and trucks were behind us. Our members were passing out leaflets for Maine VfP's upcoming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) conference in Portland on June 7.

It's a real glimpse of America to watch these "patriotic" parades which are really little more than an excuse for the business community to flaunt their names, beauty queens to ride in fancy cars and wave, and high school bands to play military songs.

Our VfP group today had two signs in the front of our group listing the number of U.S. war dead and wounded in Iraq. We were the one dose of reality in the parade.

A couple of times we saw older guys turn their backs on us in disgust but that was not the norm.

By the end of the parade I was ready to sit down by a tree as I was feeling a bit weak. Once home I began working on signs for my one-hour vigil tomarrow in Brunswick. I will do the vigil each weekday as long as the hunger strike continues. Several friends today told me they would join me on Tuesday.

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