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.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Getting Ready for the Peace Walk

Maine artist Russell Wray made this banner for our upcoming peace walk down the coast of our state.  He will hang it on the side of the bus we will use as the 'blister vehicle' as we head south on US Hwy 1 from Ellsworth to Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  Russell really captured the theme of our walk perfectly in this incredible work of art.

He's also made a fiberglass dolphin that will sit on top of the bus.  Actually he made it years ago for a walk across America and he pulled the dolphin, that he calls Maka, on a cart the whole way.  He's redesigned Maka to sit on top of the bus and even called the state to make sure it would fit under all bridges along the coast.

Russell has carried on the often lonely struggle here in Maine for years as the chief advocate for sea mammals that are impacted by Navy sonar.  So it was an easy decision for him to take on the art work for the walk.  We've been repeatedly moved by his gentle nature and deep affection for our relations under the seas.

I had a call early this morning from Starr Gilmartin who has been in charge of organizing the first couple of days of the walk in the Ellsworth area.  She's coordinated food, housing, media, public outreach and more.  When she called she asked if she woke me up and I said yes.  'Well this is training for the walk', she told me, 'you've got to start practicing getting up earlier'.  I told her I hoped to begin that training next week......

I've got a long list of Odds & Ends that need to get done before we start walking in Ellsworth on October 9.  I'm still waiting for the call from the local health food store about our order of 10 pounds of chunky peanut butter.  I've got to make a batch of hummus and cut carrots from the garden for our lunches the first few days.  I've got ice in used milk jugs in the freezer to keep our coolers cold.  I've yet to get signs made on sturdy poster board for the walkers to carry. We got a Subaru wagon donated to carry our gear but I discovered the front brakes were shot so yesterday spent two hours in the repair shop getting them fixed.  Gotta have brakes on US 1!

You can follow our walk updates on the Facebook page set up by Lisa Savage.  Find it here

I just learned yesterday that the next 'christening' of a Navy Aegis destroyer at Bath Iron Works here in Maine will happen on Saturday, October 31.   So we will be asking folks to come to Bath for a protest that day (from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm) as we walk.  Timing could not have been better.


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