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, March 09, 2017

Next BIW 'Christening' Protest Set for April 1

Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers firing 'missile defense' interceptors that are key elements in Pentagon first-strike attack planning.  Next 'christening' of one of these warships in Bath, Maine will be held on April 1.  A protest will be organized that day at the shipyard.


Yesterday I was in the Sagadahoc District Court for my sentencing after being found guilty last month during our Zumwalt 12 trail.  I had missed the last day in court in order to make my long scheduled trip to Sweden for a conference and speaking tour in that region.  The judge kindly let me leave the trial before it was over.

During the sentencing we learned that the next 'christening' of another destroyer at the Bath Iron Works (BIW) shipyard will be held on Saturday, April 1.  The prosecutor made a point of telling the judge he was concerned that I would do my 30 hours of community service under the direction of Veterans For Peace while organizing the upcoming protest.  That is certainly not a bad idea at all - but it was not what I had in mind as a way to work off my court sentence.  But the prosecutor should get style points for the idea!

We appreciated the tip from the DA's office on the date of the next blessing of the destroyer by a resurrected Jesus Christ who I suppose comes back as a militarist - and a Navy man.  Most of us in the peace movement can't quite swallow the idea of Christ giving his blessing for a $1.5 billion instrument of war but I guess this is what happens when church and state are merged the way they are today in America.

So last night I sent an email around to our list and already the following groups have signed up to be sponsors of the coming April 1 protest at BIW.


  • Smilin' Trees Disarmament Farm
  • Maine Veterans For Peace
  • Citizens Opposing Active Sonar Threats (COAST)
  • Maine Natural Guard
  • Maine War Tax Resistance Resource Center
  • Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
  • PeaceWorks

We will gather at 9:00 am on Saturday, April 1 on Washington Street in Bath near the corner of Spring Street.  The protest will last until noon.

Help will be needed to promote the event and to set up prior to the start so please let us know if you'd like to assist us. 

We will again be calling for the conversion of BIW to build mass transit systems, solar, wind and tidal power to help us deal with our real problem – climate change. Studies show that many times more jobs would be created at BIW if sustainable energy technologies were built there rather than more warships.  You could call that a win-win for everyone.

And by the way, I did note the symbolism of the 'christening' being set for April 1.  It remains an open question though as to who the fools actually are .....

Bruce 

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