No To Nuclear War With China And Russia Say Mainers

Westbrook, Maine March 18, 2023 Photo credit: Mary Beth Sullivan

Report back from yesterday’s March 18 peace action in Westbrook, Maine:

We had 50 folks come from all over Maine today to our protest in conjunction with the national event at the White House in Washington.

We met at a very busy intersection in Westbrook (near Portland). It was attended by people from six political parties in the state. (Maine Green Independent Party, Communist Party of Maine, Libertarian Party, Portland Republican Party, People’s Party of Maine, and Party for Socialism & Liberation of Maine.)

Cynthia Howard with the banner she created with the help of the Artists’ Rapid Response Team (ARRT!) of the Maine Union of Visual Artists. Photo credit: Mark Roman

We had a steady and huge amount of honks, waves and peace signs from the cars passing by. Everyone was really pumped by the experience. We all agreed that the ‘worm is turning’ and that the public (all across the political landscape) is not happy about the Biden administration and Congress funneling $113 billion to the proxy war in Ukraine that is aimed at Russia (and soon China as well).

We had a good mix of all ages at the event – something that has been a long time coming in Maine as the peace movement here has been aging.

We had a final closing circle and invited people to share why they had come. It was very moving to hear those present applaud for the speakers from various political parties. I made sure to make the point that there are good people in all the parties and political organizations and we must resist the ‘divide and conquer’ efforts by the corporate oligarchs that run our country.

Today was a great example of what is indeed possible if we try with good faith and a cooperative spirit to work together. We can come together in solidarity. We don’t have to agree with each other on every single issue. But today was a resounding call that we must oppose this suicidal US-NATO permanent war path.

More to come. Stay tuned.

Keep paddling.

Bruce Gagnon

PS Try as we might we did not get every single person into a photo. We are sorry for that.

As far as press coverage, I had an op-ed published by the Maine Beacon a day prior to the protest while Bruce gave an interview to a camera crew from a local news station on site in Westbrook. Sadly, it would appear that an editor at the station must have killed the story — at least there’s nothing on the WMTW website. We’ll keep looking.

And we’ll keep organizing. A protest on tax day, Saturday April 15 in Topsham at 1:30pm is in formation sponsored by the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and the Maine Natural Guard. Co-sponsors are welcome! Email us or leave a comment here.

All Out For March 18! Sharing Our Demands

All out for March 18!

The demonstration will make connections between the human and financial toll of U.S. militarism at home and abroad. Key demands include:

  1. Peace in Ukraine – No weapons, no money for the Ukraine War
  2. Abolish NATO – End U.S. militarism & sanctions!
  3. Fund people’s needs, not the war machine!
  4. No war with China!
  5. End U.S. aid to racist apartheid Israel!
  6. Fight racism & bigotry at home!
  7. U.S. hands off  Haiti!
  8. End AFRICOM! 
  9. End Sanctions on Syria!

From the United National Antiwar Coalition’s flyer for March 18 actions:

The US/NATO proxy war in Ukraine puts the US in an escalating conflict with Russia, a major nuclear power. Now, a coalition of progressive organizations have come together to organize this demonstration. We join with groups around the world that are beginning to build big protests against this war. We join in demanding “no more weapons and no more money for the Ukraine war.” 

We are also seeing increasing US aggression against China, another major nuclear power. As Syria recovers from the devastating earthquake, the US has refused to drop the sanctions against Syria and the right-wing government on Israel is increasing its attacks against the Palestinian people, Iran, Syria and has recently bombed the airport at Aleppo, which is used to bring aid to the Syrian earthquake victims. 

The US is clearly the main cause of war around the world with bases that surround Russia and China and foreign bases that number 20 times those of all other countries in the world combined. The ever-increasing military budget drains money that could be used for human needs instead of war. Therefore, we must build a strong antiwar movement here in the US, the main imperialist power in the world. 

We need a government to support human needs before the war machine. We need those countless $billions for health and education—not death and destruction. After the March 18 protest, we ask you to join with UNAC to build strong local and regional action during the week of April 15 – 22. 

If you can’t make it to Washington DC on March 18, there are a number of actions taking place around the country in solidarity.  You can find them here. 

In Maine or northern New England on March 18? 

Protesters against U.S. involvement in Ukraine will gather near Portland in Westbrook, Maine from 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 at the intersection of Stroudwater Street and William Clark Drive. (For GPS try Westbrook Market – 28 Stroudwater Street.)

The Maine event is co-sponsored by: Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Maine Natural Guard, PeaceWorks of Greater Brunswick, Communist Party of Maine, Maine Green Independent Party, Party for Socialism & Liberation Maine, and Maine Veterans for Peace.

Link to Facebook event:

Link to info on the national event in Wash DC:

For more info call: 844-8187