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, July 10, 2017

Next Peace Walk in Maine

Maine Peace Walk in Brunswick last October


Maine Peace Walk for Conversion, Community and Climate
October 13-21
Bath, Maine


Attending: John Morris, Russell Wray, Martha Spiess, Tom Kircher, Jason Rawn, Bruce Gagnon.

Walk Vision:  The idea of this year’s peace walk will be to stay in Bath the majority of the time and hold vigils twice a day at BIW (morning and afternoon). The middle part of the day we will go door-to-door to drop flyers at every house and business in the city about the conversion of the shipyard to sustainable technologies to help deal with global warming.  One day we will walk to Brunswick and hold a pot luck and program there.

Name of Walk:  Martha came up with a snappy title for the walk – 3 C’s Walk – Maine Peace Walk for Conversion, Community and Climate.  The promotion materials for the walk will emphasize the spiritual nature of the walk, our hearts, climate change, cut backs in social spending, education and environmental care as we blow the kitty on endless war.

Walk Dates:  The walk will run from Oct 13-21. There will be one day off (Oct 18) and we will take the group to Five Islands for a site see and Reed State Park for a cook out.

Jeju Speaker:  We’d like to invite an English speaker from Jeju Island, South Korea to be with us for the whole walk and we’d offer to pay for travel.  Bruce will contact the folks in Gangjeong village.

Daily Vigils:  Jason suggested we also hold vigils at the two BIW locations on Old Bath Road.  All agreed.

Request Co-Sponsoring Groups:  We invite groups to join as a co-sponsor and donate toward walk costs.  So far we have Global Network (that will supply Bruce’s staff time); PeaceWorks $100; Peace Action Maine $50; COAST (provide artwork).  Maine VFP and Boston-area Smedley Butler VFP chapter will also be signing on and providing some level of support.  Checks can be made out to GN and sent to PO Box 652, Brunswick 04011.

Logo, Banner & Sweat Shirts: Russell will design a logo and make a banner.  We’ll also order sweatshirts and put the walk logo on the back with VFP logo on front – we will sell them at cost.

Van:  We will rent a 15-passenger van as in the past.  Russell will make reservation and mount Maka the dolphin on top with banner on side.

Flyer:  We will make a pizza-style door hanger flyer.  Bruce will draft the copy and send to committee. Will emphasize the goal to convert BIW to environmentally sound renewable energy systems.

Brunswick Program:  Jason suggested we hold a panel discussion after the Brunswick pot luck supper.  He envisions people talking about Jeju (Where do these warships go when they leave BIW?); How the river is contaminated by BIW operations; Conversion of the shipyard; Invite BIW and union reps to speak, etc.

Key Dates:  We’ve already sketched out some of the key dates for events during the walk.  They include:

* Oct 13 - Orientation, sharing tasks, dinner together, one vigil at BIW
* Oct 14 – Begin door-to-door work across Bath
* Oct 17 – Walk to Brunswick for potluck supper and program
* Oct 18 -  Day off and visit to Five Islands & cookout at Reed State Park
* Oct 20 -  Jeju film showing in Bath
* Oct 21 -  Grand Finale event in Bath
** Each day will also include morning and afternoon vigils at various BIW entry points

Tasks & Committees:  We outlined some jobs and committees that will be necessary.  Please keep them in mind and feel welcome to pick something to help out with.

* Fundraising – Al Johnson, Bruce (Funds needed for van rental & gas, Jeju airfare, flyer printing, food, art supplies)
* Door-to-door coordination – Bruce
* Van driver
* Food plan & prep
* Outreach – Tom Kircher, Leslie Manning
* Flyer draft – Bruce & committee
* Panel – Jason
* Media/Video
* Finale planning

Nipponzan Myohoji:  We will be inviting Buddhist monks/nuns from the Nipponzan Myohoji order to join us for the peace walk again this year.

Next meeting:  We will hold our next planning meeting in conjunction with the Brunswick Blue Angels airshow protest on Saturday, August 26.  (Airshow protest at former Naval air station will be from 9am to noon).  After airshow we will come to Bath and have lunch at the Galley restaurant on Centre Street across from the Addams-Melman House.  Then we will meet at the AMH until 3:00 pm-ish.  All are invited to either or both events.

Thanks to a great committee and a fun meeting.

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