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: Brunswick, 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.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

More BIW protest photos

We blocked buses and cars going into the June 22 'christening' of a destroyer at Bath Iron Works from three locations.  This particular one is near the North Gate.  Buses from 'Park & Ride' spots shuttled people wanting to attend the event into the shipyard. These photos are not in much of any order but you will get the drift.  (Photos taken by Mary Donnelly, Regis Tremblay and Roger Leisner.  Click on them for a better view.)

Sam and Akemi are supportive partners of two of our folks who were arrested.  They come from farther north in Maine.

People lined up across from BIW near the North gate

In the closing circle after those arrested had been taken away by police.

A new banner made by a local artist collective

Those joining the closing circle - something that is done at each BIW protest.

The iconic crane at BIW that is no longer used for anything except to hold a tree at Christmas time.

Some of our most dedicated long-time local peaceniks.

Standing near the North Gate. Dan (left) and Dixie were both arrested.

A local mother and her son who is now a veteran of these protests.  He helps reduce our average age quite a bit. We are doing these protests so that the future generations (human, plant and animal) may have life on Mother Earth.

Folks near the North Gate blocking a bus that came off the bridge.  Instead of driving to BIW's gates on their normal routes they went way out of the way in order to escape our protest.  But we had people at all the gates and were successful in blocking several buses, vans and cars.

One of our key organizers Lisa Savage from Solon, Maine.  She is a school teacher and often speaks about how schools in our state are being defunded while the Pentagon budget grows like a cancer.  Lisa organized our news conference last Friday in Portland as well. She coordinates the group called Maine Natural Guard.

A committee of our friends (mostly from the Blue Hill peninsula) recently created a brochure that carries this graphic for statewide distribution.  We ran out of our first order and made a 2nd printing request.  Hancock artist Russell Wray designed the banner.

This is an entrance to the North Gate where several of us were arrested for blocking cars wanting to enter the parking lot.  We had just been arrested when this picture was taken.

I began the day telling about a June 20 protest at the Hancock drone base near Syracuse, New York where eight activists were arrested for blocking the air base main gate.  The base is where Air Force personnel remotely pilot missile-firing robotic Reaper drones over Afghanistan (and probably elsewhere). These classified operations result in the terrorizing, maiming and killing of uncountable numbers of unarmed and undefended innocent families.  There have regularly been many protests at this base with a huge number of arrests.  They are a real inspiration to us in Maine.

More of those in the closing circle after those arrested had been taken to the county courthouse for processing.

Artists Rob Shetterly and Natasha Mayers helping to block the back of the bus near the North Gate.

A group near the North Gate.

Local environmental activist who has long been working on climate change.

Mark Roman (left) getting cuffed near the North Gate.

Jason Rawn & Rosie Paul singing near the North Gate.  Rosie keep folks talking and singing throughout the action.

Sadie from California sharing some words of solidarity.

George & Maureen Kehoe Ostenson (Smilin' Trees Disarmament Farm in Hope, Maine) have been organizing protests at BIW longer than anyone else I know.  All during Lent and Advent and at other times of year they gather us to bear witness to the U.S.'s misplaced priorities.

Russell with the banner in front of a bus early on at the South Gate


Ken (from North Carolina) and Mary Beth having helped block a bus at the South Gate.

Russell and Connie at the South Gate before a bus arrived.  They both were arrested for helping to stop a bus.

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