Wednesday, October 27, 2010

BOW$H training videos

Great way to get informed & focused:

Part 2 (~5 min.)
Explains the use of National Priorities Project data to connect federal spending to local budgets; gives links to other tools; talks about using resolutions to start community conversations about the local costs of wars.
Part 1 (~9 min.)
Ann Wright discussing the FY10 federal budget.

Lisa Savage
CODEPINK Maine Local Coordinator

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thank You Abby!

Waterville Morning Sentinel, October 7, 2010
‘Bring war dollars home’ instead of closing schools

There is so much political chatter these days about reducing the size of government, about cutting back on spending in order not to have to raise taxes. That seems to be the main agenda of both mainstream and “tea party” Republicans. It is a message that has many Democrats running scared.

In the name of this thrift, we close down schools. We cut essential programs in the surviving schools. We thus risk raising a generation of citizens who are ill-prepared to meet the challenges of the future. We allow our infrastructure to crumble. We put off spending to develop alternative energy. We ignore the risks of global warming. We say that we can’t afford a public option in our health-care legislation.

But no mention is made in these discussions about the elephant in the room, which is the war in Afghanistan and the continued occupation of Iraq. Aside from the moral questions about whether these wars are morally correct, there is another one. Can we afford it?

I have a couple of friends who are going around the state with a banner that says, “Bring Our War Dollars Home.” They have been taking pictures of themselves with that banner, in front of closed schools and shuttered businesses. I think that their message needs to be heard.

A while ago, Time magazine had a picture on the cover of a beautiful young woman whose nose and ears had been cut off by her stepfather. The message was that this is what would happen if we left Afghanistan. But her real choices were sad. She could be stoned or mutilated by the fundamentalists, or she could be bombed, arrested or driven from her home by the NATO forces. It’s time to end these wars.

Abby Shahn
Solon, Maine

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bangor Teach-In

CODEPINK Maine is a proud co-sponsor of this event. See you there!

Active Community teach-in Sat, Oct 9 1-4pm Unitarian Universalist Church, 120 Park Street, Bangor

KEYNOTE: Jo Comerford, executive director of the National Priorities Project.

Followed by talking circles where we can share how we can work for changed priorities and then a Walk for Peace to Cascade Park to commemorate the 9th anniversary of the bombing of Iraq

Potluck Harvest Supper honoring Dud Hendrick, President of Veterans for Peace with the Hands of Peace Award and Will Whitham with a youth Hands of Peace award.

Concluding with a program on organic sustainable gardening with music by Masanobu Ikemiya.

Maine Partners for Cool Communities will be giving away 50 re-usable shopping bags with weatherization information and gifts.

Those who may not want to do the Walk for Peace will be able to watch a showing of "Rethink Afghanistan" at the Center from 4:15 - 5:30.

This day is part of a national week of commemorations around the country.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Went to the Mall

Hello Maine organizers,
Your ears must have been burning last weekend as Codepink launched their national version of the BOW$H campaign, holding up Maine as a shining example to follow and learn from.

Below is a compilation of resources sent by Janet Weil, my co-organizer in Pink. She is based in the SF Bay area but works nationally. I am at this moment working on uploading a video of Ann Wright's talk about the federal budget from a well-attended training workshop for BOW$H action that Janet, Mark & I conducted last Sunday.

For a report on the Oct 2 One Nation march, see my blog post "Went 2 the mall"here. More to come soon.

BOW$H photos from One Nation

This book is a must-read, or at least a must-look-through, for BOW$H work:
The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict
by Nobel Economics prizewinner Joseph Stieglitz and Linda Bilmes
(Ann talked about their testimony at the event last Thursday on Capitol Hill).

What to do back in your home communities?
Check out this report back from Lisa in Maine:
and from Janet in San Francisco:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Mainers in Washington!

FYI, Maine's BOW$H banners will be in Wash DC Sat Oct 2 as several of us join the Peace Table contingent of the One Nation march for jobs.

On Sunday Mark will attend a BOW$H training workshop that Janet Weil of Codepink has organized to help activists learn how to bring resolutions at the local level. Our website is a prominent link on the Pink campaign page, and the slideshow on closed schools and businesses in Maine is embedded there as well.

I will attend a meeting of reps from groups around the nation working on campaigns similar to our i.e. defund military, fund human needs. In addition to the expected p&j orgs this meeting includes reps from labor, communities of color, and economic justice groups. Mike Prokosch of the Mass. 25% campaign invited me represent BOW$H at this meeting. Some of you may remember he and Susan Lees came up to one of our organizing meetings in Bath earlier this year. Our campaign is mentioned in a great article by Mike in War Times which gives an overview of national efforts. You can read it here.
Lisa Savage