Saturday, October 3, 2015

US Marks 15 Years Of War With Air Strike On Doctors Without Borders Hospital in #Kunduz #Afghanistan

Staff in shock following bombing of Kunduz hospital. PHOTO: Doctors Without Borders/AFP/Getty Images.
When the staged violence of 9/11 occurred, this history major was shaken to the core. "It's the sinking of the Lusitania," I remember telling colleagues in Silicon Valley. They pooh-poohed my analogy and told me to calm down. Self-proclaimed "liberals" with big stock portfolios, they planned to vote for George W. Bush in order, they said, "to protect my wealth."

Fifteen years down the road, the U.S. has just marked the anniversary of the beginning of the endless war on terror by bombing a Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontiers aka MSF) hospital in Afghanistan. Described as a trauma center, the facility was reportedly the only working hospital in Kunduz. 

The Washington Post, faithful stenographer to the Pentagon, is reporting it this way
In a statement, the U.S.-led coalition confirmed it carried out an airstrike about 2 a.m. Saturday in response to “individuals threatening the force.” 
“The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility,” said Col. Brian Tribus, a coalition spokesman. “This incident is under investigation.”
Twitter had several posts from MSF and others to the effect that NATO and the U.S. were well aware of precisely where the hospital was located e.g.

Several tweeters commented that the war had been announced as "over" or "over next year" for a long time, now e.g.
Predictably, there was some dark humor as well. Very dark.
And reference was made to the fact that the Golden Rule never seems to apply when it comes to the U.S. or NATO military. Here's Glenn Greenwald's headline for his report of the incident in The Intercept:
One Day After Warning Russia of Civilian Casualties, the U.S. Bombs a Hospital in Afghanistan
excerpt: This last week has been a particularly gruesome illustration of continuous U.S. conduct under the War on Terror banner, including under the Nobel Peace Prize-winning president who celebrates himself for “ending two wars” (in the same two countries where the U.S. continues to drop bombs). The formula by now is clear: bombing whatever countries it wants, justifying it all by reflexively labeling their targets as “terrorists,” and then dishonestly denying or casually dismissing the civilians they slaughter as “collateral damage.” If one were to construct a list of all the countries in the world based on their credibility to condemn Russia for using this exact rhetorical template in Syria, the U.S. would literally be last on that list.
 Remember the sinking of the Lusitania and what happened afterward? So do I.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Demilitarize Our Oceans To Sustain Life On This Planet -- #Maine Peace Walk Oct 9-24

Banner for the bus that will accompany the Maine Peace Walk this year, by Russell Wray.

October 9-24   Ellsworth, ME to Portsmouth, NH
Pentagon’s Impact on the Oceans

The Pentagon has the largest carbon footprint on our Mother Earth.  Waging endless war consumes massive amounts of fossil fuels and lays waste to significant environmentally sensitive places on the planet – particularly the oceans.

The oceans are inhabited by a multitude of different life forms, from microorganisms to whales, many of whom are able to sense sound and use it to find food, navigate, communicate, and avoid predators. Navy sonar blasts wreak havoc on these creatures, disrupting their lives, leaving animals more susceptible to disease and lowered reproductive success, and sometimes injuring and killing them.

Because Navy sonars are extremely loud, depending on ocean conditions, that noise can travel at harmful levels for tens or even hundreds of miles, impacting huge numbers of animals. By the Navy’s own estimates, sonar noise can still be as high as 140 decibels 300 miles from the source, a level that is a hundred times more intense than the level known to result in behavioral changes in large whales.

Some of these exercises will even take place inside designated critical habitat for the already endangered right whale, frequenter of Maine waters. In fact, the Navy is now constructing a 500 square mile instrumented range off the coast of Georgia where it intends to conduct 470 sonar exercises annually - the Navy chose this site just offshore of the only known calving grounds of the right whale! In March 2015 Navy sonar testing near Guam led to the stranding of three beaked whales.

Shipyard Impacts in Maine

Pier-side testing of sonar occurs at Bath Iron Works (BIW) and at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery which results in significant fish kills. Navy off-shore weapons testing exercises puts toxic chemicals and hazardous materials and waste into Maine’s marine environment.

The Kennebec River that BIW fronts is often dredged in order to allow the deep hulled destroyers built there to get into the ocean.  Dredging takes a heavy toll on aquatic life.

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has caused serious pollution of the local environment. The shipyard is on an island that the Pentagon considers as one of their facilities most vulnerable to climate change, particularly their dry-dock facilities. Rising sea levels could affect shipyard toxic waste sites which are now mostly right on the shoreline and would seriously impact water quality and sea life.

Ocean Acidification

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the early 1800s, fossil fuel-powered machines have driven an unprecedented burst of human industry and society. Ocean acidification is the ongoing decrease in ocean pH caused by human fossil fuel emissions. Oceans currently absorb approximately half of the CO2 produced by burning fossil fuel. An estimated 30–40% of the carbon dioxide released by humans into the atmosphere dissolves into oceans, rivers and lakes.

Arctic Militarization Due to Climate Change

In early 2014 Maine’s Sen. Angus King went on a nuclear submarine ride under the Arctic Sea ice which is now melting due to climate change.  Admiral Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations was on the sub and said, “In our lifetime, what was [in effect] land and prohibitive to navigate or explore, is becoming an ocean… We need to be sure that our sensors, weapons and people are proficient in this part of the world,” so that we can “own the undersea domain and get anywhere there.”

When Sen. King returned from the trip he told his constituents that there has been "a 40% reduction in ice as a result of global warming."  He reported that "previously inaccessible" gas and oil reserves were now going to create "new opportunities".  King concluded, "I am convinced we need to increase our capacity in the region, something I intend to press upon my colleagues on the Armed Services Committee as we work on our military priorities for the coming years."

Rather than drill for more fossil fuels in the Arctic, and create a new arms race in that environmentally sensitive region, the US should be working to convert our military industries to build offshore wind turbines, rail, solar and tidal power.  According to studies done by theUMASS-Amherst Economics Department shipyards in Bath and Portsmouth could nearly double their number of jobs by building rail or wind turbines.  The Gulf of Maine has more wind power generating potential than any other place in the US.

Help Save Our Seas

If the seas die so do humans on Earth and much of the wildlife.  Now is the time to speak out for ending the massive military impacts on the world’s oceans and for conversion of our fossil fuel dependent military industrial complex to sustainable technologies. We will walk to bring attention to these crucial issues.  Please help us carry this message to the public by joining with us.

Maine Walk for Peace is sponsored by:  Maine Veterans for Peace; PeaceWorks; CODEPINK Maine; Citizens Opposing Active Sonar Threats (COAST); Peace Action Maine; Veterans for Peace Smedley Butler Brigade (Greater Boston); Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space; (List in formation)*


We would like for you to let us know if you plan to be with us for any part of this peace walk so we can more effectively make our logistical plans. Contact us at and let us know the date(s) you plan to join us, your name, and contact information for each person. For more info please call (207) 443-9502 before the walk begins or (904) 501-4494 during the walk.

What to Bring?

If you plan to walk we recommend you bring: good walking shoes; water bottle; rain gear (including rain pants); sleeping bag & pad (some nights we will be provided with home hospitality); sun screen, moleskin for blisters; and hat.

We will have a covered vehicle to haul all walker gear so you will not have to carry anything.We will also have a minibus to give people rides when they get tired during the walk.

If you have specific location questions you can call the name listed for the local coordinator in
each town below or call the VFP walk organizers at numbers listed above. Thanks and see you
along the road. This will be a community building experience for all of us.
Banner for the Peace Walk created by the Artists Rapid Response Team (ARRT!) of the Union of Maine Visual Artists

Pot Luck Supper Schedule

Day 1 (Ellsworth) Friday, October 9 -   Ellsworth Unitarian Church (121 Bucksport Rd) Evening potluck and kick-off program at 6:00 pm. Homestays needed.    Host: Starr Gilmartin 667-2421

Day 2 (Orland) Saturday, October 10 - Potluck supper 6:00 pm and program at H.O.M.E (90 School House Rd.) Homestays and sleep at H.O.M.E.  Host: Starr Gilmartin 667-2421 or Lawrence 415-565-9867

Day 3 (Belfast) Sunday, October 11 - First Church UCC (104 Church St) Pot luck supper (unadvertised) 6:00 pm, public program 7:00 pm.    Home stays needed & sleep at church: Cathy Mink 323-5160 & Bev Roxby 669-2903.      Host: Joel 338-2282 or 323-0940 at the UCC Church

Day 4 (Camden) Monday, October 12 - Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic Church (7 Union St) Pot luck supper and program at 6:00 pm. Home stays needed. Host: Maureen Kehoe-Ostensen 763-4062

Day 5 (Rockland) Tuesday, October 13 - Potluck supper and program at Unitarian church (345 Broadway) at 6:00 pm. Homestays needed.  Host: Midcoast Citizens for P & J (Steve Burke 691-0322)

Day 6 (Damariscotta) Wednesday, October 14 - Friends Meeting House (77 Belvedere Rd) Potluck Supper and program at 6:00 pm. Sleep at Meeting House.  Host: Friends Meeting (Sue Rockwood 570-854-4458)

Day 7 (Bath) Thursday, October 15 - UCC Neighborhood Church (corner of Washington & Centre) Potluck supper and program at 6:00 pm. Homestays needed.  Host: Bruce Gagnon 904-501-4494 & Karen Wainberg 371-8190

Day 8 (Day off) in Bath Friday, October 16 - Stay at same homestays again this night. Potluck supper at Addams-Melman House (212 Centre St) at 6:00 pm. Host: Bruce Gagnon 904-501-4494 & Karen Wainberg 371-8190
Day 9 (Brunswick) Saturday, October 17 - Pot luck supper at Sternlieb home (21 McKeen St) at 6:00 pm. Walker music program. Home stays needed in Brunswick. Host: Selma Sternlieb 725-7675

Day 10 (Freeport) Sunday, October 18 - Pot luck supper at First Parish Congregation Church (on US 1) at 6:00 pm and program. Sleep at church. Host: Paula O’Brien 865-6022 & Sukie Rice 318-8531 & Cheryl Avery 865-0916

Day 11 ( Portland) Monday, October 19 - State Street Church-UCC (159 State St.) Pot luck supper & program at 6:00 pm.  Homestays needed. Host: Grace Braley 774-1995

Day 12 (Saco) Tuesday, October 20 - First Parish Congregation Church on corner of Beech & Maine. Pot luck supper and program at 6:00 pm. Home stays needed.  Host: Tom Kircher 282-7530

Day 13 (Kennebunk) Wednesday, Oct 21 - New School (38 York Street). Pot luck supper and program at 6:00 pm. Sleep at school.  Host: Olive Hight 207-590-9505

Day 14  (York Beach) Thursday, October 22 - York Beach (52 Freeman St) Supper, music program & sleeping spot at 6:00 pm. Host: Pat Scanlon 978-474-9195 & Smedley Butler Brigade of Boston-area VFP

Day 15 (Portsmouth) Friday, October 23 - Supper and program at St. John’s Episcopal Church (100 Chapel St) at 6:00 pm.  Home stays needed, Host: Doug Bogen 603-617-6243 (Meet at Prospect Park at 5:00 pm for rally)

Day 16 (Finale in Portsmouth) Saturday, October 24 - Meet at Market Square 10:00 am. Walk thru downtown and back over bridge to Kittery. Vigil & speakers at shipyard gate (deliver letter). Walk back to Market Square for final closing circle around noon. Host: Doug Bogen 603-617-6243

Walk Route

Day 1 (Bath to Ellsworth) Friday, October 9, 2015
- Meet in Bath (212 Centre St) 9:00 am and drive north to Ellsworth Unitarian
Church (121 Bucksport Rd)
- Lunch at church
- Walk thru Ellsworth downtown area – turn right on Hwy 3 and walk until McDonald’s
and turn around and walk back to church – total 4 miles
- Meet at church for walk orientation (3:30 pm-ish)
- Evening potluck and kick-off program at 6:00 pm
- Homestays
- Host: Starr Gilmartin 667-2421

Day 2 (Ellsworth to Orland) Saturday, October 10
- Begin walking from Unitarian church on US 1 South at 9:00 am
- 2.9 AMHC on left (Break)
- 6.0 Vacant gas station on left (Lunch)
- 8.7 Flea market on left (Break)
- 11.6 WERU radio station
- Shuttle ahead to H.O.M.E (3.4 miles on the left)
- Potluck supper 6:00 pm
- Sleep at H.O.M.E (90 School House Rd.)
- Host: Starr Gilmartin 667-2421 or Lawrence 415-565-9867

Day 3 (Orland to Belfast) Sunday, October 11
- Start walk at H.O.M.E. at 8:30 am
- 2.8 Irving station on left (Break)
- 2.8 Left onto bridge
- 3.9 River park at end of bridge
- 4.3 Left on Hwy 1
- 5.8 Cemetery on left
- 6.8 Sand Point Beach Park on left (Lunch spot)
- 9.6 Sunoco station on left (Break)
- 9.9 Great Maine Food on left
- 11.7 Searsport town line
- 12.4 Rug Hook store on right
- Shuttle to Belfast
- 14.6 Citgo on left
- 17.5 Belfast town line
- 19.8 Bridge over river into Belfast
- 20.2 Right to town on Hwy 7/137/1/3
- 20.7 Waterfall Arts building on right
- Unload and walk thru town
- 21.0 Right at road split becomes Church St
- 21.2 First Church UCC (104 Church St)
- Pot luck supper (unadvertised) 6:00 pm, public program 7pm
- Home stays & sleep at church: Cathy Mink 323-5160 & Bev Roxby 669-2903
- Host: Joel 338-2282 or 323-0940 at the UCC Church

Day 4 (Belfast to Camden) Monday, October 12
- Start at UCC church – take immediate left on Miller St at 9:00 am
- 0.1 Right on High St
- 1.4 Left onto Hwy 1 South
- 3.1 Los Amigos on left (Break)
- 6.2 VFW hall on left
- 6.9 Gas station on right (Break)
- 9.3 Swan Island Shop on right
- 10.1 Point Lookout on right
- 10.5 Lincolnville town line
- 11.4 Bayshore Baptist Church on right
- 12.0 Lincolnville Beach & Park (Break)
- Shuttle to north side of Camden
- 14.4 Camden town line
- 14.9 Birchwood Motel on right
- 16.1 State Park
- Resume walking thru Camden
- 17.2 Whitehall Inn on right
- Thru downtown
- 18.0 Left on Union St
- 18.1 Veer right to church on right
- Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic Church (7 Union St)
- Pot luck supper at 6:00 pm
- Home stays
- Host: Maureen Kehoe-Ostensen 763-4062

Day 5 (Camden to Rockland) Tuesday, October 13
- Start walking from Good Hope Catholic Church on US 1 at 9:00 am
- 3.1 Fresh Off the Farm Stand on right (Break)
- 4.7 Shell station on right (Break)
- 5.5 Glen Cove rest area on left by water (Lunch stop)
- 6.1 Rockland town line
- 6.9 Continue straight at McDonald’s
- 7.4 Road splits walkers bear left on Main St (vehicles follow US Hwy 1 South)
- 8.0 Right on Park Dr
- 8.4 Right on Broadway (at light)
- 9.1 Unitarian church on right (345 Broadway)
- Potluck supper and program at 6:00 pm
- Homestays
- Host: Midcoast Citizens for P & J (Steve Burke 273-3247)

Day 6 (Rockland to Damariscotta) Wednesday, October 14
- Start walking from Unitarian Church on Broadway at 9:00 am
- .7 Right onto Hwy 1 South (Park St)
- 1.5 Thomaston town line
- 2.1 McDonald’s on right (Break)
- 2.6 Cement factory on left
- 4.3 Coffee shop on right/Episcopal church on left (Break)
- 6.0 Wood lot on left (Warren town line)
- 8.2 Steve Burke’s home on left – barn has sign ‘Liberty Hall’
- Lunch spot
- Shuttle
- 14.0 Waldoboro town line
- 15.8 Old Mill Mall on right
- Resume walking
- 18.8 Nobleboro town line
- 19.5 Wayside Tea Room House on right (Break)
- 22.7 Damariscotta town line
- 23.5 Jct 1 Business route
- 24.0 Right on Belvedere Rd (blinking light)
- 24.2 Friends Meeting House (77 Belvedere Rd) on right
- Potluck Supper at 6:00 pm
- Sleep at Meeting House
- Host: Friends Meeting (Sue Rockwood 570-854-4458)

Day 7 (Damarascotta to Bath) Thursday, October 15
- Begin walking at Friends Meeting House at 8:30 am
- .2 Right onto Hwy 1 South
- 3.2 Citgo station on right (Break)
- 5.3 Park on left (Break)
- 8.5 Over bridge
- 9.1 Red’s East on right in Wiscasset (Lunch spot)
- Shuttle
- 9.5 Town hall on right
- 12.4 Shaws on left
- 16.8 Woolwich town hall on left
- Resume walking into Bath
- 18.7 Bridge over river
- 19.5 BIW on left (Washington St)
- Vigil as work gets out at 3:30 pm
- Deliver letter to BIW and Local 6 union
- UCC Neighborhood Church (corner of Washington & Centre)
- Potluck supper and program at 6:00 pm
- Homestays
- Host: Bruce Gagnon 904-501-4494 & Mary Beth Sullivan 443-9502

Day 8 (Day off) in Bath on Friday, October 16
- Stay at homestays again this night
- Potluck supper at Addams-Melman House (212 Centre St) at 6:00 pm
Day 9 (Bath to Brunswick) Saturday, October 17
- Meet at UCC church (Washington & Centre) at 9:00 am
- Walk toward BIW on Washington St
- .3 Turn right on South St
- .5 Left on High St
- Immediate right onto Richardson
- .9 Left onto State Road
- 3.0 Mobil gas station on right (break stop)
- 5.8 Brunswick Landing on left (Lunch stop)
- 7.8 Veer right into downtown on Maine St (cross street)
- 8.2 Tontine Mall on right
- 8.5 Flashing yellow light/ cross to other side of street and walk to Bowdoin College
- 9.0 Chamberlain statue at Bowdoin on left
- 9.2 Right on McKeen St
- 9.3 Stop at 21 McKeen St on left
- Pot luck supper at Sternlieb home at 6:00 pm
- Home stays in Brunswick
- Host: Selma Sternlieb 725-7675

Day 10 (Brunswick to Freeport) Sunday, October 18
- Meet at Chamberlain Statue at Bowdoin College 9:00 am – walk thru college
- .1 Right on McKeen St
- 1.4 Left onto Church Rd
- 1.5 Right on Greenwood Rd (right after Hammond Lumber)
- 2.4 Turn right at rise in road
- 2.5 Left onto Durham Road – US Hwy 1
- 2.9 Hot dog stand on left (Break)
- 4.1 Ray Labbe & Sons on left
- 4.6 Country Inn on left (Lunch spot)
- 6.1 Maine Idyll Motor Court on right (Break)
- 8.8 First Parish Congregation Church on left
- Pot luck supper at 6:00 pm & program
- Sleep at church
- Host: Paula O’Brien 865-6022 & Sukie Rice 318-8531 & Cheryl Avery 865-0916

Day 11 (Freeport to Portland) Monday, October 19
- Begin at First Parish Church on US 1 South at 8:30 am
- 1.1 Left on US 1South at light
- 3.1 Mandy Custard on right with shelter (Break)
- 4.3 Rest stop with toilets across from Delorme
- 6.1 Mobil gas on left in Yarmouth
- 7.4 Cumberland town line
- 9.4 Hawks Ridge on left
- 9.6 Friends School on left (Lunch spot)
- 11.7 McDonald’s on left (Break)
- 13.6 Bridge into Portland
- 14.1 Cross to right side & go straight on Veranda St
- 14.8 Cross Washington Ave go straight
- 14.9 Right on Baxter around Back Cove
- 15.5 Brick benches half way around Back Cove (break spot)
- 16.8 Stay on Baxter (cross Preble)
- 17.0 Left on Forest
- 17.3 Cross Marginal Way & then Portland St
- 17.8 Right on Congress St
- 17.9 Break at park on left
- 18.0 Left on State St
- 18.1 Church on left
- State Street Church (UCC) 159 State St
- Pot luck supper & program at 6:00 pm
- Homestays
- Host: Grace Braley 774-1995

Day 12 (Portland to Saco) Tuesday, October 20
- Meet at Monument Square on Congress Street at 8:30 am
- 0.3 Pass Congress & High Streets
- 0.5 Congress St to State St (Hwy 77 South) and turn left
- 0.7 Mercy Hospital on right
- 1.0 Over bridge into South Portland (walk on left side)
- 2.1 Right on Broadway
- 2.4 Laundromat on left
- 3.3 Amato’s on left (Break)
- 4.0 Left onto Hwy 1 by Uhaul (on left)
- 4.1 Dairy Queen on right
- 6.3 Elevation Center/Medical Clinic on right (road splits for short while)
- 7.4 Lois’ Natural Market on left (Lunch spot)
- 8.6 Scarborough Downs on right
- 9.2 Irving station on right (Break)
- 9.6 Cross salt marsh
- 11.1 Cemetery on right (Break)
- 12.0 York County/Saco line
- 14.3 Irving station on left (Break)
- 14.5 Funtown Splashtown on right
- 15.1 Silver Spring Camping on left
- 15.7 Green highway overpass
- 16.6 At road split, church on left corner at lights
- First Parish Congregation Church on corner of Beech & Maine
- Pot luck supper and program
- Home stays
- Host: Tom Kircher 282-7530

Day 13 (Saco to Kennebunk) Wednesday, Oct 21
- Meet at First Parish church corner Beech & Main at 9:00 am
- Resume walking on Rt 9 south to Biddeford
- .6 miles over bridge to Biddeford
- Thru downtown (stop following Rt 9) stay on Main St
- 1.1 Left at light (Junction Hwy 1) on Elm St
- 2.2 Burger King on left (Break spot)
- 3.1 Another cemetery on left
- 4.0 Shell station on left (Break)
- 5.7 All Safe storage on left
- 6.6 Arundel Slacktide Café on left (Lunch spot)
- 8.0 Citgo on right
- 8.3 Kennebunk town sign on right
- 9.0 McDonald’s on left (Break spot)
- 9.6 Downtown Kennebunk
- 10.1 New School (38 York Street)
- Pot luck supper & sleep at school
- Host: Olive Hight 207-590-9505

Day 14 (Kennebunk to York Beach) Thursday, October 22
- Continue from New School on US 1 South at 8:30 am
- 1.7 Johnson Hall Museum on left
- 3.0 Big Daddy’s Ice Cream on left (Break)
- 4.5 Cumberland Farms on left
- 5.8 McDonald’s on right (Break)
- 7.3 Sunoco & Dunkin Doughnuts on left
- 9.0 Lobster Pound Restaurant on left (Lunch spot)
- 11.8 Elks Lodge on right
- 13.9 Left on Rt 1A, Cape Neddick Rd
- 14.8 Bear right on Main St
- 15.0 Left on Atlantic Ave
- 15.2 Left on Freeman St (Green house 2nd on the left)
- York Beach (52 Freeman St)
- Supper & sleeping spot
- Host: Pat Scanlon 978-474-9195 & Smedley Butler Brigade of Boston-area VFP

Day 15 (York to Portsmouth) Friday, October 23
- Resume walk from house taking right on Freeman St at 9:00 am
- .2 Left on Hwy 1A
- Bear right into town and then left
- .6 Right at stop sign south on Hwy 1A
- 2.2 Sunrise Motel on right
- 3.5 Trinity Episcopal Church on right (break)
- 4.7 Thru York village
- 5.6 Left onto Hwy 1 South
- 5.9 Irving station on right (break)
- 7.1 Goodrich Park on right (Lunch spot)
- 9.2 Sunoco station on right
- 9.9 Burger King on left (break)
- 10.2 Kittery Trading Post on right
- Cross Rt 1 at traffic Light/Wilson Rd (Rt 101) intersection
- 10.6 At the traffic circle, continue straight onto State Rd (still Rt 1)
- (Drivers take By-pass to Portsmouth)
- Walkers take left on Bridge St just before bridge
- At fork, stay right on Government St
- Go thru village & pass thru light on Wentworth St
- Right on Wipple Rd (Hwy 103)
- Right at first major stop sign (Shapleigh Rd)
- Shipyard gate #2 on right
- 12.7 Cross Memorial Bridge to NH
- 13.0 Sharp right on Marcy St after getting off the Memorial Bridge
- 13.2 Prospect Park
- Supper and program at St. John’s Episcopal Church (100 Chapel St) at 6:00 pm
- Homestays needed
- Host: Doug Bogen 603-617-6243

Day 16 (Finale in Portsmouth) Saturday, October 24
- United Nations Day
- Meet at Market Square 10:00 am
- Walk thru downtown with Leftist Marching Band and back over bridge to Kittery
- Rally & speakers at shipyard gate (deliver letter)
- Walk back to Market Square for final closing circle around noon
- Host: Doug Bogen 603-617-6243

School Visits along the walk route
- Friends School Rt 1 in Cumberland (Sukie Rice contact) (Oct 19)
- New School in Kennebunk (Oct 21)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

#MigrantCrisis Caused By U.S. Wars Say #Drone Protesters Arrested Sep. 29

More photos of the action here.
9 Anti-Drone Demonstrators Arrested at Beale AFB
Early Tuesday Morning After Protesting Killer Drones;
Peace Activists Also Tied Migrant Crisis to U.S. Global Wars

Nine people were arrested on Sep. 29 at the gates to Beale Air Force Base where they had come to protest the drone operations center there. Beale AFB is located in Marysville, California.

Those arrested were from Redding, Sacramento, Stockton, the SF Bay Area and Nevada City and were released with pending federal court appearances.  They were arrested while demonstrating the urgency for a reverse in U.S. policy, calling for diplomacy, humanitarian aid, and funding for human needs as the path to solving conflicts.
There have been more than 100 arrests over the past two years at Beale AFB, home to the Global Hawk, a reconnaissance drone for armed Predator drones. Twenty-two peace activists have been given a common court date of Oct. 13 at U.S. Federal Court in Sacramento for 27 different arrests dating from 2014.
The protest was also a solidarity action for global refugees.  A giant cardboard boat was used to show solidarity with refugees fleeing war, and also signs with images of people drowning, gasping for air, calling out:  "I CAN’T BREATHE!!!” Activists publicly read tragic stories of refugees fleeing war in Syria, Yemen, Libya.
This week's protest at Beale coincided with a week of coordinated actions across the country calling for peaceful solutions to conflict.  These actions are part of a long-term movement called  “Campaign Nonviolence.”

As reported by Chris Nelson at the Pace e Bene website:

Occupy Beale will return to Beale Air Force Base on October 19th and 20th honoring Indigenous Rights and the Day of the Dead, in loving honor of all those killed as a result of US wars. All are encouraged to find us on facebook (Occupy Beale Air Force Base) or online at and to Join Us.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Why "Comfort Women" Raped By Japan's Imperial Army Should Not Just Get Over It

Lee Yong-soo, former "comfort woman" turned activist (in traditional Korean hanbok), listens as San Francisco's Board of Supervisors approves a memorial in honor of women forced into sex slavery by Japan's Imperial Army during WWII.
On the heels of reports that the rebirth of fascist government is well underway in Japan comes related news. The so-called "comfort women" i.e. sex slaves of the Japanese Imperial Army were recognized by the city of San Francisco in a unanimous declaration vehemently opposed by some Japanese American citizens. As reported by John H. Cha in the Korean Herald:
In voting for the resolution, Supervisor David Campos thanked Lee for bringing her “gift of truth” to San Francisco. 
At bottom, what moved the people of San Francisco was summed up by a number of leaders from women’s groups, who chorused, “If we let this go without calling it out, we are complicit to the crimes that happened 70 years ago,” noting that violence against women and girls still persists.  
“This memorial helps break the cycle,” they said. 

When hundreds of thousands in Japan protest the return to a militarized society, they are thinking about not only the nuclear annihilation of their cities but also the crimes against humanity committed by their own fascist government in the last century. The "comfort women" are witnesses to a particularly shameful chapter of Japanese history. Many were young Korean women who reported being kidnapped, held captive, and raped 20-30 times a day.

It took Ms. Lee 50 years to break her silence about her traumatic experiences as a "comfort woman."

Some of those opposed to this belated acknowledgement of truth used bullying tactics in San Francisco, a city with sizable Korean and Japanese communities.
They argued that she and all the “comfort women” were prostitutes who were conducting business with the soldiers, not conscripted and kidnapped. Their arguments were pathetic and crass... [Lee] remained poised throughout until, at one point, she shouted back at one of the deniers, “You were not there!” 
Ironically, since WWII both Korea and Japan have suffered the effects of colonial occupation by the U.S. military.

For a map key and details on each South Korean base, see
Also, rape of girls and women in areas surrounding U.S. bases has been and continues to be a source of suffering and outrage. Okinawa has been particularly affected, and the issue was used as a campaign platform by anti-base candidate Takeshi Onaga in his election as governor of Okinawa last year.
Meanwhile, repercussions continue following recent passage of security laws aimed at remilitarizing Japan by neutering Article 9 of their constitution. The U.S. applauded the laws that citizens of Japan poured into the streets to protest. As reported by major English-language news outlet Japan Times:

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fascism On The Rise, #Japan Chapter #NoWarNoAbe

In Hiroshima this week, 7,000 people gathered
 to send an antiwar message to Prime Minister Abe
 of the warmongering Liberal Democratic Party
I've written before about the unique suffering of the Japanese people under the last reign of fascists. Others have written about President Obama's "pivot to Asia" and what that was likely to mean for the nation most colonized by U.S. military and corporate presence since WWII. Think General Electric and all those nuclear reactors. Think Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership, more commonly known as the TPP. Think Fukushima and Hiroshima in the same sentence.

Now that the pivot's warhawks are coming home to roost, the nation with the constitutional ban on military aggression encoded in Article 9 is experiencing what some have called a coup d'etat.

This staged act of violence at the podium of Japan's parliament involved, not opposition parties as was reported in the corporate press, but underlings of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its allies. Its purpose was to ram through a law rescinding Article 9 without debate or a roll call vote. Mission accomplished!

Commentary by Japanese American Rachel Clark:
TV Japan’s report: ”members of the ruling and the opposition parties are running to the chairman’s desk.” “They are trying to stop the decision by physical force.” The TV Japan’s “Wake Up Plus” report is wrong and problematic; the reality was totally opposite of what they have reported. 
The Chairman Konoike sat down, followed by Fukuyama board member, Sato (State Minister of Defense), and Mr. A.board member coming toward him in order to have a briefing of the question. That moment, about ten members of the ruling parties rushed to the chairman. This video captured that particular moment. As a result, Sato remained by the chairman’s desk, other two board members were pushed away from the center, and the chairman was completely surrounded by the members of ruling parties only.  
Hence the reality was “the chairman’s desk was violently occupied by the ruling parties and the meeting was continued without their voice heard by any other representatives in the hall.” In other words, it was the first bill in Japan’s political history, which was steamrolled through by force [emphasis mine].
Protesters opposed to the legislation in the hundreds of thousands have turned out in the streets of Tokyo and other cities around the nation. 

"Thousands get behind Article 9 in last-ditch rally at prime minister's office" Japan Times 
Sarah Lazare reported on the public's response to the legislation in Common Dreams:
The package is widely unpopular in Japan. According to polling information released Monday by Japanese publication The Asahi Shimbun, 68 percent of voters in the country hold that the security legislation in the current parliamentary session is unnecessary and 54 percent oppose to the bills.
Since Japan already passed a hugely unpopular state secrets act last December effectively muzzling whistleblowers and the press, the road to fascism is well-paved and ready for the tanks to roll.

As indicated by the photo at the head of this post, Japanese citizens are unlikely to lay down and let the tank of re-militarization roll over them. And, they are not alone. International activists convened in Kyoto this summer and issued this comprehensive statement:

Final Declaration from the Kyoto International Conference

 on Space and Peace (August 2, 2015)

The United Nations was established in 1946 after the Second World War to “Save the

succeeding generations from the scourge of wars, which twice in our life time has

brought untold sorrow to humankind”. The UN visualized establishing a New

International Order. But the US and the erstwhile European colonial countries have

joined together and instead of a New International Order, they have brought a “New

International Disorder”.

The entire 20th Century witnessed wars, aggressions, and assassinations in Asia, Africa

and Latin America. The imperialist countries formed the NATO military alliance which is

being used to indulge in attacks on sovereign nations and committing war crimes which

go unpunished. Even the UN is being side tracked as NATO expands its mission as the

primary resource extraction service for corporate globalization.

Instead of allowing an alternative social order to capitalism to be developed the US

engaged the USSR in a nuclear arms race. US has established approximately 1,000

military bases throughout the world. It was largely responsible for boosting global

military expenditures to more than 1.75 Trillion US Dollars. Along with allies like Saudi

Arabia and other Arab monarchies the US has over the years fostered the growth of

Taliban, Al-Qaida and terrorism throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and parts of


Missile defense systems, key elements in Pentagon first-strike attack planning, have

been deployed around Russia and China which has helped deal a death blow to hopes

for global nuclear disarmament as both those nations have repeatedly warned that they

cannot afford to reduce their nuclear retaliatory capability at the same time the US

deploys the ‘shield’ on their doorstep.

At the beginning of the 21st Century the United Nations made another attempt to herald

a “New International Order” by adopting the “Millennium Declaration” and the Millennium

Development Goals. All UN members have accepted to eschew violence and follow

peaceful co-existence ushering disarmament and development. But again the US and

many European partners have created a “New International Disorder”.

Lies have been spoken in the governments of US & Britain and also in the UN Security

Council about the non-existent nuclear weapons in Iraq. War in Afghanistan, invasion of

Iraq, attacks on Libya, and drones attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and other nations have

led to the killing of many innocent people.

Having directed a coup d’état in Ukraine the US has helped create a deadly civil war on

Russia’s border that appears designed to destabilize the government in Moscow.

NATO has been extended up to the borders of Russia violating post-Cold War promises

to the former Soviet Union that the western military alliance would not move ‘one inch’

eastward. The US-NATO are today sending troops and heavy military hardware to

NATO members Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Georgia all along or near the

Russian border.  These provocative developments could be the trigger for WW III.

US refusal to negotiate a ban on weapons in space at the UN has left the door open for

continued development of offensive and destabilizing space technologies like the

military space plane and Prompt Global Strike systems.  US military satellites offer

global surveillance to the Pentagon and allow for targeting of virtually any place on


The recently announced Obama ‘pivot’ of US forces into the Asia-Pacific is intended to

give the Pentagon the capability to contain and control China.  More airfields, barracks,

and ports-of-call are needed for US military operations in the region thus we see

expansion of existing bases, or construction of new bases, in places like South Korea,

Okinawa, Guam, Philippines, Australia and more.  We stand in solidarity with those local

and national movements that resist these US base expansions.

Particularly as we meet in Kyoto, Japan we declare our strong opposition to the US

deployment of a “missile defense” X-Band radar system in the local prefecture that is

provocatively aimed at China.

This Kyoto Conference declares our opposition to the dangerous spread of global

militarization which cannot be allowed to continue as we see the coming ravages of

climate change and growing global poverty.  We must all work to realize the UN ideal to

“save the succeeding generations from the scourge of wars”. This can only happen with

a powerful and unified global movement for peace, justice and environmental sanity.

We call for the conversion of the global war machine so that all life on our spaceship

Earth may live and flourish in the years to come.  We recognize the need for bold and

determined action now to ensure that another world may in fact be possible.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

15 Arrested At White House Were There To Say: Heed #PopeFrancis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 23, 2015

Contacts: Joy First 608 239-4327 or joyfirst5 at, Malachy Kilbride 301-283-7627or malachykilbride at,  or Max Obuszewski 727-543-3227 or mobuszewski at

WHO:  Members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) have been speaking out against the illegal actions of the United States government since 2003.  They have organized numerous actions across the country involving nonviolent civil resistance as they call attention to the crimes of our government. For example, on April 22, 2015 [Earth Day] they gathered first at the EPA headquarters, and second at the Pentagon.  At the Pentagon, eight of them were arrested when they requested a meeting to discuss the military’s role in climate chaos.

WHAT:  More recently, members of NCNR wrote letters to Rep. Paul Ryan and President Obama [these letters are available upon request] seeking meetings to urge them to heed the call of Pope Francis to make drastic policy changes to bring about real change in ending war, poverty, the climate crisis, and systemic violence.  However, there was no response to either letter, so twenty citizen activists first went to the Longworth Building to go to Ryan’s office and later close to one hundred activists gathered at the White House.  This was part of the week of actions called for by Campaign Nonviolence with over 325 actions around the country between September 20 and 27.

Just prior to the historic visit of Pope Francis, who was to arrive that day at 4 PM, after the visit to Congress there was a rally first in Edward R. Murrow Park and another on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.  Amidst heavy security, speakers challenged the issue of Islamophobia, nuclear weaponry, fossil fuels, global inequality, corporate control of governments, climate chaos and the attack on polar bears, killer drone strikes and other issues in which our government is complicit.  During the White House rally some twenty-five of the citizen activists went to the visitor’s entrance to the White House to seek a meeting.  After their request for a meeting was rebuffed, many of them sat down in solidarity with the world’s suffering.  While sitting there, they noticed many people including members of the media, a climate delegation from France and other officials did get through to the White House.  Members of the French delegation were very supportive of the sit-downers, and took copies of the letter sent to Obama.  Since people were entering through this gate, some of the activists got in line.  Again they were rebuffed, and eventually fifteen of them were arrested by an inefficient force of Secret Service officers.  Besides being incompetent—Max Obuszewski was frisked three times and had his socks removed on Pennsylvania Avenue—the officer mistreated some of the activists.

At 10 AM, the delegation at Ryan’s office discovered the door was locked.  On the door was a sign “Entry restricted to those with an appointment.”  Since a letter was sent requesting a meeting, we knocked and Rebecca peeked out.  She said we cannot enter.  After some discussion, the activists left bags of seeds of hope and articles about Ryan’s disastrous Republican budget, and then taped messages on and around the office door.  Great displeasure was expressed that citizens were denied the basic courtesy of entering the office of a member of Congress.  Before going to Murrow Park, some of the group went to Rep. Mark Pocan’s office and received a warm reception, which included food and drink.  NCNR selected Ryan’s office, as he is representative of all that is wrong with Congress, with their disregard for doing what is in the best interest of the people of the United States and of the world.

At the noon RALLY in Murrow Park, 1800 block of Pennsylvania Ave. NW, some of the speakers were Marie Dennis of Pax Christi and Sister Megan Rice of the recently-released Transform Now Plowshares. Then the gathering marched on Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, while Art Laffin, of D.C.’s Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, sang SINGLY NONE.
Around 1 PM there was a bevy of speakers including the Rev. John Dear, Campaign Nonviolence, Kathy Kelly from Chicago’s Voices for Creative Nonviolence, the writer David Swanson, Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin, Ellen Barfield, one of the fasters outside the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and others.  Each one had an unique perspective on the ills of our government.

During the rally a group implored the Secret Service to facilitate a meeting as requested in the NCNR letter.  Instead the officers informed the delegation, there was a need for an appointment.  Again we were confronted by Catch 22.  We request an appointment, receive no response, and then we are told we need an appointment.  It was almost inevitable that the citizen activists who believe strongly in their right to petition the government would be arrested.  Those taken into custody were as follows: Joe Byrne, Baltimore’s Jonah House, Don Cunning, Carol Gay, Mary Ellen Marino and Manijeh Saba, all from New Jersey, Joy First and Phil Runkel, from Wisconsin, Kathy Kelly, Art Laffin, Malachy Kilbride, a Maryland Quaker, Joan Nicholson, a Pennsylvania Quaker, Max Obuszewski, Baltimore, D.C.’s Ellen Taylor, Brian Terrell, Iowa, and the venerable Eve Tetaz in a walker, Washington, D.C. They were charged with disorderly conduct and are scheduled to be arraigned on October 15 in D.C. Superior Court.  Many of them will go to trial to challenge a government which refuses to meet with them, and instead has them arrested.  They were arrested around 2:15 PM, and were not released until about 9 PM.  As the pope was greeted, the defendants were stuck in a D.C. jail.  It is presumed that the pope will not be informed that U.S. dissidents were also jailed, like those in Cuba.

They came to Washington to call on our government to heed the words of Pope Francis and to stop the warmongering, protect Mother Earth and end income inequality.  If our elected officials fail to heed the pope’s warnings, our planet will continue to suffer irreversible and deadly consequences.  Kelly recently returned from meeting children in Afghanistan.

WHY:  Under the banner of Campaign Nonviolence, thousands of U.S. citizens across the country are taking a public stand against all violence in a movement for a culture of peace and nonviolence free from war, poverty and the climate crisis.  Swanson, from World Beyond War, spoke about the need to take immediate action, stating, "As the climate crisis moves beyond reversibility and the war-made crisis of the Middle-East continues to be worsened by governments seeking to fix it with more war, we cannot afford to take a year and a half off for election-distraction. The world needs radical change in Washington right now."

Kelly said this,  "The Obama administration bears responsibility to educate the U.S. public about the greatest terrors we face, - the terrors of what we are doing to our own environment. Not one dime of U.S. resources should ever again go to war profiteers, war planners, and Pentagon exploits.  Instead, those resources should be used to alleviate the impact of climate change and to meet human needs within the U.S. and beyond."

Campaign Nonviolence is a grassroots movement to mainstream active nonviolence using the vision of Martin Luther King, Jr. that calls us to become people of nonviolence and to resolve personal and global conflicts nonviolently. For information on Campaign Nonviolence contact Ryan Hall or 510-268-8765 or .

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What The World Knows About The Pentagon Is A Blind Spot For U.S.

"Bug Splat" by Anthony Freda. Drone operators often call their victims by this dehumanizing name.
How the world see the U.S.: purveyors of death from above, unaccountable, and aiming at their children as often as not.

How the U.S. sees itself: lush with cute camo and cheaply earned patriotism.

Ok, it's not that cheap. Taxpayers allow the Pentagon to give NFL teams $5.4 million of their hard-earned money each year to keep halftime shows cranking out the slick images that blind us to how others see us.

For starters, can we stop calling ourselves Americans? As if the U.S.A. was the only nation state on this vast continental spread.

How the world sees us: a cancerous growth on the planet, currently spread to around 800 military bases of various sizes and toxicities.

From a baseball game in Tempe, Ariz., November 2004.
 (Donald Miralle / Getty Images)
How the U.S. sees itself: exceptional, and surrounded by enemies. 

Liberals are posting a lot about their incredulity that a racist, climate change denying demagogue with ridiculous hair -- however wealthy -- could be seriously considered a candidate for chief executive officer / commander in chief of the armed forces.

Intellectuals around the globe are sounding not so surprised.

The U.S. blind spot about our bootprint on the planet's neck will not shield us from its consequences. Ok, maybe you have to be a history major to think so. 

An old school history major, that is. Did you know that the latest iteration of federal education law finally funds social studies -- but only the study of U.S. history and civics? Here's a quote:
"The Secretary (of Education) is authorized to carry out an American history and civics education program to improve education by educating students about the history and principles of the Constitution of the United States, including the bill of rights, and elevating the quality of teaching of American history, civics and government." 
There are probably several other alarming truths you and I don't know about. Keep sharing information -- while we still can.