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, March 24, 2014

CONVERSION MESSAGE AT A12 BIW RALLY


During the past year a group of artists in Maine have been making banners for various protest movements.  Artists' Rapid Response Team (ARRT!) is a fluid group of dedicated Maine artists who are members of the Union of Maine Visual Artists.

Yesterday ARRT! met in nearby Brunswick for a day of banner making and delivered this one above to our house just before supper time.  They made the banner for us to use on Saturday, April 12 at the planned protest during the 'christening' of the Navy's new stealth destroyer here at Bath Iron Works from 10:00 am to noon.

On April 12 Veterans for Peace, and the other co-sponsoring groups, will share our conversion message with the thousands of local citizens who line up at BIW to enter the ‘christening’ ceremony.  The peace groups are calling on the Maine legislature to pass a law creating a commission to plan for conversion.  Connecticut, very reliant on military spending, recently passed such a law and many other states are now working on similar legislation. Maine workers know that when military spending cuts do come jobs will be lost.  Planning for conversion and diversification is a good strategy.

Other sponsors for the April 12 protest at BIW include:  Smilin’ Trees Disarmament Farm; Maine Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom; Pax Christi Maine; CodePink Maine; Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space; Vital Connections; and Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine.

Later in the evening on April 12 an International Panel on US ‘Pivot’ to Asia-Pacific will be held at the new Unitarian Church in Brunswick.  Speakers from India, Japan, Korea and the US will discuss the implications of moving 60% of US military forces into the Asia-Pacific to “control” China.  Potluck supper begins at 6:00 pm and the panel discussion at 7:00 pm.

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