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

Monday, September 24, 2012

COMMON GROUND FAIR

I was at the Common Ground Country Fair from early Friday morning til Sunday afternoon.  I was working at the combined tables of Veterans for Peace and our Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home.  About 60,000 people passed through the fair throughout the weekend.  Not all of them stopped by the big political action tents but many of them did.  We sold more than $300 worth of our T-shirts and bumperstickers.  Got to talk to alot of people.  We priced the T-shirts to sell at $5 each, just trying to recoup our costs and wanting to get the message out far and wide.

In this photo I was joined by Mark Roman who is a fellow leader of the Bring Our War $$ Home team.

I slept (if you can call it that) in my leaky tent on Friday night through the rain.  On Saturday night I put the back seat down in our tiny car and slept in the fetal position.  My back paid for it but at least I was dry and actually slept pretty well considering the circumstances.

The food at the fair is all organic Maine grown (and very good) but increasingly expensive as the many vendors act as good capitalists and charge what the market will bear.  But paying $9 or $10 for a sandwich rubs me the wrong way.  We need some price controls at the Common Ground Fair!

Otherwise it is a great event.  I spent some break time yesterday watching the cows and oxen dragging logs around and then my favorite sheep herding dogs moving sheep, goats, and ducks into pens.  Always fun to watch them.

Our booth was near the Obama for president table so we had some interchanges with a few liberal Democrats during the weekend.  One of them talked about the need to have bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end WW II.  I've become increasingly frustrated trying to reason with these loyal Dems who close their minds and hearts to the war machine when their party takes the White House.  I saw it when Clinton was president and we see the same phenomena with Obama in office.  But if a Republican gets back into the White House many of these Dems mysteriously again transform into peaceniks.  Have to start calling them shape shifters I guess.

On Saturday at the fair was a dedication of a tree in memory of much loved VFP founding member Tom Sturtevant who passed away last winter.  His children donated Tom's 70 year old bass drum to our chapter and you see in this video his son-in-law pounding it during the playing of Tom's favorite song - When the Saints Come Marching In.  A nice group turned up for the tree dedication.

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