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

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

THE STREETS OF AMERICA

This photo (thanks Vanessa) was taken yesterday morning as we prepared to leave the Smithfield Friends Meeting (Quaker) House in Rhode Island. I was stretching my legs. A wet snow had begun to fall. It was a 15-mile walk day. I did about 12 miles and took my turn driving the support vehicle. I got lost trying to find my way back to the walk after checking the mileage to our final destination last night.

We had an interesting lunch stop yesterday. There were not many possible lunch stops available to us in the area so one of our walkers, Betty, just knocked on the door of a place that looked interesting. The house was inside an old mill grain shed and a man answered the door and Betty asked if we could have lunch there. He said yes, he'd be happy to have company.

It turns out the man is about my age, an out-of-work carpenter, and is renovating the inside of the place. It is an open design with no walls and overlooks a water fall and a river begin his house. He had a hot fire going inside his wood stove and we sat at the bar in his kitchen area and talked politics. It was one of those magical moments that often happen during walks.

The night before we slept on the floor at the Quaker Meeting House after a nice supper and one of our better discussions with our hosts. There were several Hispanic people who attended so one of our walkers, who speaks some Spanish, did the description of the Walk for a New Spring in Spanish.

Other than the fact that I could use some more sleep I am holding up better than I had expected. My legs and feet, while stiff and a bit sore, are still moving me forward. In the past, at this point in one of these walks, my legs would be swollen by now. Knock on wood.

I am barely keeping up with the news, my time on the Internet is rare. But I imagine there is still a war going on and the new-feudalists are still doing their best to send social progress packing.

Last night in the program following our supper at the Attleboro Unitarian Church I took note that people avoided talking about war with one exception. It's surprising but then again it is not. Even though our walk banner reads "End War" most people we meet are not really into discussing the subject in any great detail. They might make generalized statements that they are against war, and are for peace, but mostly they want to talk about other things.

I attribute this to the fact that we no longer have a Republican president in office. Most of these folks I would venture to say voted for Obama and they don't want to admit that their vote was a tragic mistake. While we were eating one woman told me we couldn't really leave Afghanistan because one could just imagine what the Taliban would do to the women and children. There are Republican wars (which are bad) and then there are Democrat wars (which are largely to be ignored). The logic escapes me - especially when I am walking behind a banner that reads End War.

On I go through the streets of America. I'll keep you posted.

Yes, I am a bit grumpy this morning.......for good reason.

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