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 02, 2013


I left Bath at 6:30 am this morning with Jeanne from Portsmouth, NH to make the five hour drive to Limestone, Maine.  We've come way up to what Mainers call "the County", Aroostook County, the biggest county in the state.  It's potato farming territory and the place where many politicians in our state want to put a "weaponized drone test area".

As we approached our destination in Limestone just after noon we saw a couple Amish with horse and buggies along US Hwy 1A.

Limestone is where we will start our Maine Drone Peace Walk on October 10.  I've come up here, being driven by volunteer Jeanne, to begin mapping the walk route.  We drove from Limestone to Caribou where we met with a person from a local church to seek a place for walkers to sleep the first night of the walk.

Next we drove from Caribou to Presque Isle - it was the representatives from the airport in Presque Isle who came to the capital in Augusta last spring to speak against the drone bill I was working on with the Maine ACLU.  The airport folks opposed the bill and asked to be allowed to bring a drone test bed to their community.  Maine's Attorney General Janet Mills (Democrat) took their side and tried to kill the drone bill which would have required police to have warrants before they could snoop on us with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.  (The bill eventually passed the state legislature, except an exemption was added to allow weaponized drone testing in the state.  Our right-wing Gov. LePage vetoed the bill because he wanted no restrictions on the police.)

I also took a flyer this afternoon about the drone walk to the local newspaper in Presque Isle so they would have advance notice about the event.

Tonight Jeanne and I are invited to dinner at the home of local folks in Presque Isle.  I hear they vigil on the bridge every Sunday come rain, snow, or shine.

In the morning we head south to continue mapping the rest of the walk.  The walk will wind its way through many towns and end at the state capital in Augusta on October 18 where we will hold a ceremony in the Hall of Flags at 3:00 pm that day.  On October 19 walkers will head to Bath for a 10:00 am protest at BIW when the first Zumwalt class "stealth" destroyer will be "christened".

The walk will be led by Buddhist monks and nuns from the Nipponzan Myohoji order.  Long-time peace activist Kathy Kelly will join the walk for the last few days and others from various states will walk along with many from Maine.  See more details about the walk here.


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