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

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Peace Walk in Pittsfield





  • My Internet connection is touch and go - none last night in Dexter but now that we are in Pittsfield we have it.  The walk is going well - so far we've had about 20 of the same folks with us and another 10 have been coming and going.  We are eating well - sleeping on floors and our first shower today in Pittsfield.
  • In the morning we hold an 8:30 am vigil at Cianbro HQ here in Pittsfield.  Cianbro is the mega-development corporation pushing the unpopular East-West Corridor that would tear up alot of middle Maine's forests, farms and waterways.  Last night three of the Grandmothers Against the E-W Highway came to our potluck supper in Dexter and spoke to us about their campaign.  They were excited that we can join their monthly protest in the morning at the corporate HQ here in town.
  • The economy in this rural part of Maine is devastated.  One kind policeman told us last night that this part of the state is Appalachia. He said there are no jobs and people sell drugs in order to pay their rent and to dull the pain of their hard life. He was very understanding and not judgemental of the people.
  • The yard signs so far on this journey have revealed Donald Trump is popular up here in rural Maine.  I've not seen one Hillary Clinton sign.  My guess is that people know the existing oligarchic order in Washington will not do anything for the people here so they are more than ready to roll-the-dice with Trump who they hope will be anti-establishment and work for them.  Of course Trump is totally an establishment character and won't do anything for the poor and working class but he won't be elected anyway.  Trump's role in this campaign is to make Hillary look better to voters - thus his kamikaze mission.
  • We walk to Unity tomorrow and will stay at the MOFGA facility there where the annual Common Ground Fair is held.
  • We are getting great media coverage so far.  In today's Bangor Daily News they had a three photo spread on the front page of the State section.  We've had three TV spots during the last two days as well.  See the links to all this coverage here
  • Our youngest walker is Bailey who came with his mom and other Nipponzan Myohoji temple community members from the Seattle area.  Bailey, 10 years old, has walked the entire way so far plus being our primary 'runner' to deliver walk flyers to people along the route that stick their heads out of their houses and shops when they hear the drums coming.
  • We've had a ton of honks and waves which surprises me a bit considering all the Trump campaign signs but it just goes to show that you can't easily peg folks into slots and then assume you have them figured out.  One old woman today said "Kittery?! Kittery?!" when she heard we were walking all the way there.  One of our walkers told me, "You know Mainers, they respect hard work."
Bruce

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