Dan Ellis and I drove the walk route again yesterday to finalize the maps and to meet with local coordinators in each location where the peace walk will stop. Things are moving along well and the excitement is growing. We've added another stop to the walk that will now go from Farmington-Skowhegan-Waterville-Bangor-Belfast-Rockland-Bath-Freeport-Portland.
We now have to do more to promote the walk across Maine and beyond. In addition our media work must now begin in hopes that we can get some advance stories about the peace walk. We want the public to know about the walk so that when they see it passing through their community they have some idea what it is all about.
Because some of the distances between the towns we will visit on the walk are so great, we will have to sometimes shuttle a bit each day. In the end the actually walk distance will add up to just over 127 miles from Farmington to Portland. We don't expect people to walk every inch of it, though a few likely will. But many will walk an hour, or a day, or a couple of days. They will do what they can and we will have a blister van trailing the peace walk to pick up folks when they get tired.
We will begin things with a kick-off program on the evening of November 2 (election night) at the University of Maine-Farmington. Doug Rawlings is already working on that event. It will be kind of fitting that we begin the walk with an event on election night - essentially saying that no matter how the Congress changes we in Maine are staying focused. We will continue our work to end war, and cut military spending, no matter which party takes control of Congress after the election. Veterans will still need care and the environment will still be harmed by the U.S. military empire's toxic footprint.
We hope that you will find the time to walk with us during this hike through Maine. It will be cool out, the colorful leaves will be falling from the trees, and our strong and determined hearts will beat to the sound of the drum of the Buddhist monks and nuns from Nipponzan Myohoji who will lead us on the walk.
As I always say before these walks (and I have organized many of them over the years) it will be a life changing experience. Something(s) always happen to open the door to people in the community who get inspiration from just seeing the walk in action. It's grassroots organizing in its elemental form.