Dissent Is Possible!

Some of the dissenters who gathered at Woodford Corner, Portland, Maine on May 6 

Noam Chomsky famously called the U.S. population the most propagandized people in history, and one has only to read the comments on this local report of our Saturday antiwar protest to feel this truth. Of course as my good friend Bruce Gagnon pointed out in his post about our protest, the military employs numerous keyboard warriors tasked with leaving derogatory comments on any news of dissent from the Pentagon’s warmongering. (You can thank President Obama for making it legal for U.S. taxpayers to fund our own propaganda. Government-funded propaganda aimed at audiences in other countries is de rigueur, and I don’t want to pay for that, either.)

We have a graphic artist with us now! TY Elizabeth Olbert for the cool poster.

The reporter interviewed several of us and while I spoke with her at length, I’m thrilled that she chose to quote something I often say about protesting: 

“My target audience is the kid in the back seat who asks his parents what we’re doing,” she said. “The young person has seen dissent is possible.”

Good to see that we remembered the massacre of trade unionists by neo-Nazis in Odessa May 2, 2014

Our gathering of 40 or so people and dogs again covered the gamut of political opinions but we are united in our objection to sending even one more dollar for the war in Ukraine. Many of us also object to NATO belligerence and the ramping up of aggression aimed at China.

Longtime peace activist and defender of marine life Russell Wray was interviewed as having come the farthest to stand at Maine’s busiest intersection in Portland. 

“We’re basically involved in a proxy war with Russia. The risk of getting into actual war with Russia is very high, and that could escalate to nuclear war,” Wray said. “If we get into a war with Russia, that’s it. We have to do what we can to try to prevent this from happening. A war with Russia could end life on this planet.”

But based on our broad demands we saw and heard many dissenting views including that National Press Freedom Day was a farce in the U.S. as the name Julian Assange can pass no government official’s lips. He’s only the most prominent journalist of his generation, certainly the one with the biggest impact on history for revealing the war crimes of the U.S. in Iraq (some, ironically, that targeted journalists). 

Portland residents Bill and Ursula Slavick supported the demand that the U.S. taxpayer stops funding apartheid Israel’s brutal war crimes against the Palestinian people.

Tom Nadolski of Brunswick had NO WAR, NO NATO on one  side of his sign and the other side referred to the now iconic (but heavily suppressed) report by Pulitzer prize winner Seymour Hersh,”How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline.” I also liked Tom’s quote in the paper a lot (and I appreciated that the reporter talked to some of the younger people among us oldsters who’ve been protesting U.S. lies and wars of aggression since Vietnam).

“I don’t want war. I have a couple of nephews I’d like to see become teenagers,” he said. “I think our billions of dollars could be spent in a more productive way than killing people.”

Up next in our protest series in Maine, we’ll bring our messages to some additional locations:

Saturday May 20 at 1pm in Belfast (route 1 near Hannaford)

Saturday June 24 at 1:30pm in Lewiston-Auburn (Bernard Lown Peace Bridge)

exact date in summer TBD in Ellsworth (Union River Bridge)

Our demands:

  • Peace in Ukraine – No weapons, no money for the Ukraine War
  • Abolish NATO – End U.S. militarism & sanctions!
  • Fund people’s needs, not the war machine!
  • No war with China!
  • Protect Earth’s environment from the deadly insult of war!
  • End U.S. aid to racist apartheid Israel!
  • Fight racism & bigotry not war!
  • U.S. hands off Haiti!
  • End AFRICOM!

Mainers Turn Out On Tax Day To Say NO $$ For Ukraine War

About 50 people and 2 dogs turned out April 15, 2023 (not all stayed for our group photo)

A slew of new people, many of them young and many of them first-time protesters, came to our tax day protest yesterday in Topsham, Maine. 

One told me they have family in Germany who see the Ukraine war as a reenactment of WWI with its trench warfare stalemate dragging on indefinitely. 

One told me they drove almost two hours to join us after seeing me the previous evening on the Jimmy Dore Show promoting the event. 

One told me they’d been reading my blog and looking for the next opportunity to get out and protest. 

One told me how excited they were to be joined by fellow members of the UU Church. 

And a group from the Party of Socialism & Liberation brought cool signs, a megaphone, and indicated they plan on returning each time we do this. 


What I learned yesterday: there is a LOT of pent-up desire to resist supporting the U.S. proxy war in Ukraine. And many people don’t know where or how to express it.

In some cases, this is because the groups they belong to don’t object to this war in particular, or imperial wars in general (for example, Peace Action Maine is siding with NATO in the overture to WW3).

In some cases, they’re individuals who engage on social media but for the first time in years came out on the pavement to communicate with the thousands of people who drove through the intersection.

Several people who may not be the expected audience for the Ric Tyler George Hale show listened to my interview there Friday morning, and felt motivated to join us.

It was great to see so many Veterans for Peace out with us yesterday, stalwarts of the resistance to imperial wars for decades now.

One lovely person I’ve been standing with for years observed that passing around the megaphone at our closing circle was a smart idea. They said,

“Some shaky voices spoke up for the first time. Today was a gust of fresh air!”