Dissent, Protests Continue To Grow In Maine

UU Church members in Topsham, April 15, 2023

You meet the nicest people when you engage in peace building work. In fact, that’s how I met my husband twenty years ago, and we’re still at it.

Luke is a new friend while Regis and I have known each other for years. I appreciated this opportunity to talk about how the U.S. public perceives the U.S./NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine based on where they seek information, and how we’re bringing our messages of dissent to the general public on Saturdays in Maine.

Interested in learning more about anti-nuclear war ambassador Samantha Smith and her diplomacy with the U.S.S.R.? Check out her page and the educational project associated with her memory on the website Americans Who Tell The Truth.

Belfast, May 20, 2023

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!