Report from September 10 Demo Planning Committee
"Real Angels Don't Drop Bombs"
The planning committee for the Veterans for Peace statewide demonstration on September 10 protesting the Navy's "Blue Angels" air show at Naval Air Station Brunswick (NASB) met on June 25. Present were John Wurtz, Tom Sturtevant, Bob Lezer, Dud Hendrick, Peter Stewart, Mary Beth Sullivan, and Bruce Gagnon.
Due to the fact that the Navy will open the gates at NASB at 10:00 am on September 10, it was decided that we would begin our march just before 9:00 am that morning from the downtown mall in Brunswick. We will urge people to begin gathering just after 8:00 am. Bob Lezer clocked the march route to the base and it is 2.3 miles. Bike lanes are on both sides of Bath Road the entire way to the base. We estimate the peace march will take one hour. (We must secure a van to trail the march to pick up people who have trouble. We will also need a medical crew.) We will request that Veterans for Peace members wear their black shirts and serve as peacekeeper/road guards along the march route.
On the way to NASB we expect traffic to be at a virtual standstill. The Navy estimates 100,000 people attending the air show that weekend. Two leaflets have been drafted (Peter Stewart & John Wurtz) and were reviewed. They will be used for distribution to people in cars as the march heads toward the base. A leaflet advertising the demonstration will be put together by Bruce ASAP. (Please let Bruce know if you'd like a copy of the leaflet and he will send you the downloadable file or a white printout of the leaflet so you can distribute copies.) email@example.com
Once at the main gate of NASB the group will vigil and continue handing out leaflets. Depending on the traffic flow, a rally featuring speakers and music will begin after 11:00 am. Kathy Kelly (Voices in the Wilderness) and Cindy Sheehan (Gold Star Families for Peace) have agreed to be with us. Peter is checking with Emma's Revolution about singing at the demonstration.
Mary Beth Sullivan has agreed to lead a candlelight vigil at the main gate of the base beginning just after 6:00 pm on Friday, September 9. Several people have already volunteered to join her for the all-night vigil. (They will remain at the gate while the march heads toward NASB from the Brunswick mall.) Anyone who is interested in joining the candlelight vigil can contact MB at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are urging people to write letters to editor of their local papers, beginning one month prior to the action, expressing opposition to the Blue Angels air show at NASB. Our four key talking points are: (1) The air show is an idolatry of weapons that promote endless war (2) The cost of the air show and the war in Iraq reveals our misplaced social priorities (3) The air show is a recruiting gimmick (4) We need to convert the military industrial complex to sustainable technology development.
Bruce will talk with the Brunswick Police Dept. about the planned activities. We will arrange to have legal observers on hand.
We are inviting peace groups in the state to be listed as co-sponsors on our leaflet for this Veterans for Peace action. So far the following groups have signed on: Pax Christi Maine, PeaceWorks, WILPF, Peace Action Maine, Smilin'Trees Disarmament Farm, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Maine Coalition for Peace & Justice, Island Peace & Justice, Winthrop Area People for Peace and Waldo County Peace & Justice. Please let Bruce know if you'd like your organization to be listed.
The next planning meeting of the September 10 planning committee will be held at the Cabin Pizza joint following the July 23 Aegis "christening" demonstration in Bath. Contact Jack Bussell for details on the exact time/place of the Aegis event. email@example.com
Bruce K. Gagnon