BIW TOUR - WATCHING THE DECLINE OF THE WAR GAME SYSTEM UP CLOSE
I took the last trolley tour of Bath Iron Works (BIW) for the season yesterday run by the Maine Maritime Museum. Mostly retired people, either on vacation or former BIW workers, filled the trolley for the one-hour ride through the bowels of the shipyard. A man sitting in front of me said to his wife while parked alongside the Zumwalt "stealth" destroyer that it was " a weapon of destruction." It was a pleasant surprise to hear those words.
The highlight of the tour was to advertise the "top secret" Zumwalt that was supposed to be blessed by Christ and launched last Saturday. That event was cancelled due to the government "shutdown" although the workers at BIW were humming along as regular during that period.
A friend asked me how I felt seeing the inside of the place where I have protested for the past 10 1/2 years. I told him the following:
It's quite amazing to see the incredible work that goes into building a warship; I can see how the workers feel proud of their "product" - just as I feel proud after stacking wood; It's very sad to see the wasted $$$ and human resources that go into building weapon systems that will be used to surround China and launch "preemptive" attack; With the coming severe reality of climate change (and extreme weather) it just a damned shame that they are not building rail systems, wind turbines, solar systems and other such needed things. It breaks my heart to see the collapse of the Mayan civilization right before our eyes.
I will be down to BIW today from 3:00 - 4:30 pm to hold a sign that reads: Zumwalt Expensive Provocative.
I'm not certain how many will join me but it really doesn't matter in a way. My message stands for itself. Some workers inside BIW know they are on a fool’s errand. Few of them have the courage to join with the voices of sanity in the community and around the world. The $$$ is good, some of the best wages in Maine. Capitalism has sold us on the notion that "me" comes first, middle and last. Community and the greater good be damned. Grab what you can while you can. Most people have internalized that oppressive message.
The corporate oligarchy is arming itself to the teeth as they prepare for the final conflicts over rapidly diminishing natural resources on the planet. The old school yard game of "King of the Hill" is playing out right here in Bath.