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, August 29, 2016

Working on the 2016 Peace Walk


MB and I just got back from a four-day trip to Downeast Maine where we spent a couple days being a tourist and walking along the beautiful rocky Atlantic coast.  We stayed our first night in Eastport and then our second night with friends in Hancock.  Our artist friend Russell Wray is the one who made this dolphin and banner (above) for our walk through Maine last year.

Russell is now working on the banner design for our Maine peace walk this October 11-26 that will travel from the Penobscot Nation on Indian Island (Old Town) inland to Dexter, Pittsfield, Unity, Waterville, Augusta, Norway, and Lewiston.  Then the walk will come back to the coast and head south from Brunswick, Freeport, Portland, Saco, Kennebunk, York Beach, and then end in Kittery at the Naval submarine shipyard.

The theme this year is Stop the War$ on Mother Earth as we attempt to connect the dots on our major challenges ahead.  There is no way we can flourish on this planet unless we deal with climate change and we can't stop climate change unless we deal with the certain fact that the Pentagon has the largest carbon bootprint on the Earth.


We think we are going to have a bigger walk this year than ever before for numerous reasons.  I hope most of them are obvious to you.  We've also got the best organizing committee yet for this walk, the 5th such one I've helped to organize through Maine.

On the last two days of our trip MB and I redrove the first half of the walk route because we needed to add two new night stop venues into our planning.  This was the third time to drive this route and each time you see new things - beautiful landscapes, the way of life of local folks, possible break stops along the road and more.

Peace walks are always magic and this one will have its own special qualities.  We will be honored to be led again by Buddhist monks and nuns from the Nipponzan Myohoji order.  This Buddhist order is known for leading peace walks and building peace pagodas around the planet.

This will be the 10th walk I have helped to organize - five in Florida when I worked there and five here since moving to Maine in 2003.

It gets into your blood these peace walks do - you see so many opportunities to reach 'beyond the choir' - alot of people clamor that we need to do more than preach to the choir so this process of walking the state, carrying a sign with my message, works well for me.

Bruce

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