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

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Day 12 - Enjoying the Reactions to Our Walk

Twenty-one of us walked 13 miles into Saco today.  We ended at the First Parish Congregational Church which has hosted us on three or four previous occasions.  When we started out early this morning it was misting but after a couple of hours the sun came out and it turned out to be a gorgeous day to walk.

Tomorrow we have an easy day only going 10 miles into Kennebunk where students at the alternative New School will host us for the night.

While on our lunch break in the parking lot of Lois's Natural Market I went inside the store to use the restroom and when I came out standing in the middle of the establishment was an old friend from Florida, Michael Canney.  What a surprise!  Michael came to Maine to visit him mother who, though 86 years old, walked for a couple miles with us during the last legs of today's journey.  His mom, Connie, came the last day of the walk last year when we reached Berwick for our protest at Pratt-Whitney where they build the engines for the boondoggle F-35 warplane.

Our van driver Jeff shared a story about passing Rudy's Diner in South Portland early on this morning and going inside to hand them some literature.  While there he heard some of the customers in conversation about the walk and it appeared that there were folks on each side of the war/peace issue.  Jeff also reported that when he handed a street construction worker a flyer the man said, "I want to walk next year".  It's exciting to know that people are being moved to think and talk about our walk.

Last year we handed out 1,000 flyers during the walk so this year we printed 1,500.  Our distribution has been steady and it appears we'll run out of them by the time we finish up in Portsmouth on October 24.

Starting to hear from more and more folks saying they will join us for the finale on Saturday, October 24 - we'll meet at Market Square in downtown Portsmouth at 10:00 am.  The plan is to walk back over the bridge into Maine and hold a protest at the gates of the Naval Shipyard in Kittery and then head back to Portsmouth - a total walk of about four miles.  We should be done that day by 1:00 pm. 


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