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.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Final Prep for Maine Peace Walk

Artist Russell Wray has been working non-stop this week to get his dolphin (Maka) ready for our Maine Peace Walk which starts tomorrow in Ellsworth.

We heard on Monday that the mini-school bus we were going to use as our walk shuttle recently broke down so we were in scramble mode.  Russell found a rental 15-seat van in Bangor for our 16-day walk at the rate of $1,200.  He took it home and had to quickly redesign Maka's mounting device to fit the new dimensions of the van - as well as having to weld a borrowed roof rack for it to sit on.  He still has yet to figure out how to hang the banner he made to fit the mini-bus onto the van. (And now as you can see above he has completed his mission.)

Years ago Russell dragged Maka across the entire continent on a walk he participated in - so he has a special relationship with this beautiful dolphin.  He's been the leader of a group here in Maine called Citizens Opposing Active Sonar Threats (COAST) for many years.  For Russell this walk is personal and he has given his heart and soul to making sure we have captivating visuals to grab public attention as people zoom by along Highway 1 while we walk south toward Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

I spent the day yesterday going through my 'To Do' list packing up peanut butter, kitchen supplies, flyers, signs, banners, sweatshirts (with the dolphin logo made by Russell), and alot more.  Today I have to make hummus and cut carrots from the garden for our lunches. I called the Borealis bread company this morning asking for a donation of several loaves and will pick them up at their bakery as we drive north in the morning. 

Two walkers come to our house tonight and then we leave early in the morning picking up three others as we head to Ellsworth.  (One of those arriving here tonight is a post-911 Iraq war veteran from western Massachusetts who plans on walking the whole way with us.)

We've got at least 11 folks walking the entire route (about 175 miles) with many more joining in as we pass through their local communities.  We heard from a young man today who is part of a group called Maine Students for Climate Justice.  He is urging his fellow students across the state to participate in the walk.

The Pentagon has the largest carbon bootprint on our Mother Earth.  The US spends more than one trillion dollars each year on the military and very little when it comes to dealing with the reality of climate change.   Our oceans, the life source of the planet, are in grave danger from climate change and out-of-control global militarism.  Our walk is aimed at trying to get folks to see these important deadly connections.

Hope to see you along this journey.


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