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.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Day 3 - Arriving in Belfast

Lunch on the walk

We walked into Belfast today and once again (frankly much to my surprise) the response from the public remained excellent.  They seem to understand our concern about the damage to sea life and at this point don't appear to be much put off by our pointing the finger directly at the Navy for causing so much of the harm.

The weather was perfect again today and we had unexpected visits by two different families with their kids who eagerly brought their boundless energy to us.  One of the moms is a former Catholic Worker activist who has moved back home to Maine to raise her family.  She was driving by when she spotted us and the four of them came back to join us for several miles.

While we had lunch at a beautifully scenic area overlooking the Penobscot River one woman pulled up and donated a bunch of bottled water to us.  Then minutes later another woman pulled up who happens to be a leading activist in the state trying to protect our state's underground water supply from the greedy Nestle water bottling corporation (under the trade name of Poland Springs).  As we neared Belfast another family with their young son joined the walk and the boy chanted "Save the fish" all the way across the bridge leading into the city.

After crossing the bridge we walked through the city streets with the booming Native American drum on wheels pulled by longtime Maine activist Peter Baldwin.  This got the attention of the tourists in the seaside business district and we handed them flyers.

Four women from the Bangor-based choral group called Voices for Peace have been with us the whole way so far.  Tonight at the pot luck supper in Belfast they touched our hearts with several songs.  During the walk they have been singing in response as Mary Beth Sullivan has been drumming and chanting the Nipponzan Myohoji "Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo".  This kept us going up the long hills and down the other side as our legs and feet began to hurt.  We were literally lifted up.

A couple people will leave the walk tomorrow but several more new folks have joined us keeping our numbers in the 20-person range. 


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