Maine’s Veterans for Peace invites concerned citizens to join them on the Maine Walk for Peace & A Sustainable Future, from Rangeley to North Berwick, Oct. 11-20.
The goal of the walk is to accelerate a statewide discussion about the need to diversify Maine’s growing dependence on military production. Can Maine follow Connecticut’s lead where the legislature has already created a planning commission to begin the process of reducing its heavy reliance on military production?
Bruce Gagnon, member of the Tom Sturtevant Chapter of Maine Veterans for Peace and lead organizer of the event, speaks of the connection of dependency on the defense industry to the lack of jobs related to mass transit and of solar, wind and tidal power systems and other industries that would develop a sustainable economy in the face of certain climate change.
The route for the walk has been designed to visit and connect Maine communities that already are or may become reliant on military production for jobs. The walk will begin in Rangeley, one of four sites along the east coast being considered by the government for deployment of an expensive “missile defense” interceptor base, and will conclude at North Berwick where Pratt Whitney has a $2 billion contract to build F-35 Joint Strike fighter engines.
“Almost 10 percent of Maine’s gross domestic product derives from military spending,” Gagnon said.
Walkers are invited to join the group for as long as they please — a few miles, half a day, the entire distance. Support vehicles will pick up the weary as requested and each night local activists will organize a potluck and will provide accommodations.
On most nights a brief program will facilitate the discussion of a fundamental question, “How do we make the shift from military spending to developing sustainable economies?”
The walk will be led by Buddhist monks and nuns from the order Nipponzan Myohoji that does peace walks around the world.
Just a year ago, President Obama stated before the U.N. General Assembly, “It is time to reverse Washington’s perpetual war footing.” Now, the U.S. has just begun bombing another country, Syria.
For additional details and how to sign up, visit vfpmaine.org/Peace%20Walk%20Route%20Maps%20for%20Maine2014.pdf
For more information, contact Bruce Gagnon at 207-443-9502 or [email protected]