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.

Monday, October 08, 2018

One man peace parade in Asheville


I just want to let you know that I began my week-long sandwich board walks around Asheville yesterday. It was a sunny day and the town was full of tourists. At first, I extended flyers as I walked by people but stopped when I realized that people were not only giving the sign no reaction, but were actually looking away in an attempt to avoid me. Then I just walked, making eye contact when I could, saying good morning, handing a flyer to anyone that reacted visibly to the sign. I was walking around from 10:30 until 12:00, right before lunch time. Sidewalks were busy with spenders and fun seekers.

Overall, most people looked away from me, though I did spot quite a number sneaking a look at the poster. Usually with no facial response at all. Then there were a good number of people - maybe 20 or so - who almost immediately laughed at the image of Trump in the Darth Vader helmet. I even had 4-5 people ask to take my picture with them (just like any tourist attraction). I had actual conversations with maybe 10 people about the message of No Space Force and Keep Space for Peace. All agreed with the message, though only a couple realized that Trump was setting up a whole other branch of the military to accelerate militarism in space.

This walk is a study in how most people don’t know, don’t want to know, or don’t want their good times interrupted with the bad news. One piece of feedback - my initial impression is that for those who do react, the Trump image is the thing they react to, not the message of keep space for peace. It could be that the image is a distraction from the issue, just as Trump always serves that function for the rulers. Something to think about for next time.

I’ll keep at it each day this week for at least an hour. I am casting seeds into the sheltered minds of the bourgeoisie, giving the choir a laugh, and sometimes even touching a nerve about the future we are facing, as I move through Amusement World in my one-man parade.

Abrazos,
Ken Jones
Asheville, North Carolina

3 Comments:

Blogger Bruce K. Gagnon said...

South Korean activists hold in 'high honor' the single protester holding a sign. It is often a tactic they use in multiple cities at the same time. The power of the lone voice is underrated in American culture because so much is judged by the 'success mythology' that has become our religion. Good on you Ken.....people should know that Ken was a Little League baseball catcher which meant he will willing to work hard for the team. Much love bro.

10/8/18, 1:51 PM  
Blogger Ken Jones said...

Takes one to know one, dear brother! Love back atcha.

10/9/18, 6:29 AM  
Blogger Lisa Savage said...

I love the lone protester and have been her myself a few times. Also, each time your photo is taken your message spreads far beyond your ability to perceive its limits. You are a beacon of hope for all of us, Ken. I also feel that use of the depiction of the demagogue with bad hair is not a good strategy for those of us who see the corporate duopoly for what it is. I don't like to help the distraction machine do its work, they have plenty of funding.

10/13/18, 8:04 AM  

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