Wednesday, January 31, 2018

#Aegis9 Defendant Jason Rawn To Taxation Committee: Mainers Do Not Want Or Need Corporate Rule

From a dear member of my #Aegis9 trial family, Jason Rawn, who took time to be in Augusta yesterday and deliver his remarks to the Joint Standing Committee on Taxation. Jason was also quoted in the Portland Press Herald's "balanced" report on the hearing which gave a lot of air time to a corporate employee that would directly benefit from the legislation.

This is my testimony given in a hearing at the State House today re Corporate Welfare Tax Scam bill LD 1781, a $60 million gift WMD corporation General Dynamics is trying to coerce from Maine taxpayers. Peace.

Good Afternoon. I'm Jason Rawn. I vote in Lincolnville. I'm one of 9 defendants standing trial for First Amendment actions at a "christening" at the GD shipyard in Bath last year.

GD enjoys billions in "taxpayer generosity" every year.

Just last year, GD enjoyed over $12 billion in US "taxpayer generosity."

Additionally, your legislative predecessors (and some of you) have enabled GD to enjoy over $200 million in "taxpayer generosity" from Maine and certain of its communities over the years.

Additionally, CT, RI, and KY legislators have enabled GD to coerce millions more in "taxpayer generosity" from their states over the years.

Additionally, just as in this very room GD advocates are attempting to coerce $60 million MORE in "taxpayer generosity" from Mainers, so are GD and their operatives in the CT legislature attempting to squeeze $150 million MORE in "taxpayer generosity" from that state.

Far from being some benevolent, All-American corporation proud to provide good jobs for patriotic Americans in return for their "taxpayer generosity," GD operates in 46 different countries; one wonders whether the legislators in the 45 other countries bend over backwards for GD as eagerly as Rep DeChant, Sen Vitelli, and the rest of the proponents of this bill expect you and Maine taxpayers to do?

This bill is not good for Maine.

As one of the poorer states in the Union, we don't have $60 million MORE in "taxpayer generosity" to spare.

We need to invest in healthcare, education, infrastructure, cleaning up the Kennebec after decades of industrial pollution by GD, etc.

I ask you to show some integrity;
show some courage;
show some vision beyond the short-sighted, pre-packaged vision provided by US/corporate war makers.

Mainers do not want or need Corporate Rule.

Not by Nestle, not by GD, not by any of them.

Maine cannot afford this Corporate Welfare Tax Scam bill.

Thank you.

As I was looking for the link to new coverage of Jason's testimony, I stumbled upon this relevant headline in the business section of Maine's largest daily newspaper: "Tax-break recipient Carbonite ships some Maine call center jobs to Jamaica."

General Dynamics/BIW has similarly reduced its work force meanwhile receiving major tax breaks from the state.

I'll finish with this great video interview of retired professor Orland Delogu explaining his view of corporate welfare as it applies to General Dynamics doing business in Maine.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Letter: 'No Plausible Reason' For Maine Taxpayers To Contribute Even More To Enhance General Dynamics’ Bottom Line

Here's the latest on General Dyamics' tax giveaway legislation. The first item is a letter to the editor from Mary Beth Sullivan who often speaks and writes about the survival imperative of conversion. She would like to see the Bath Iron Works (BIW) shipyard in her town converted to producing life-sustaining products like trains or sustainable energy systems -- rather than the weapons of mass destruction that are built there now.

No need for Maine taxpayers to subsidize BIW
Rep. Jennifer DeChant, a Democratic state lawmaker from Bath, has submitted L.D. 1781 for consideration in Augusta this legislative session. This bill would provide $60 million, over 20 years, in tax subsidies to Bath Iron Works, owned by General Dynamics.

General Dynamics is a wealthy corporation, sitting within the top 100 of the Fortune 500 companies. In 2016, according to Morningstar, the corporation’s top five executives received more than $42 million in compensation.

Maine is not a wealthy state; the list of unmet needs includes a crumbling physical infrastructure, the costs to expand MaineCare, people living with hunger and without housing in our midst and an opiate crisis, to name a few of the key issues.

Bath Iron Works contracts to make expensive naval destroyers, at costs of $4 billion to $7 billion each. Each ship is fully paid for with federal tax dollars, and a healthy profit margin is built in for General Dynamics. In Washington, D.C., Republicans just passed a hefty tax reduction for corporations, which will surely contribute to General Dynamics’ profit margins. There is no plausible reason for Maine taxpayers to contribute even more from our state coffers to enhance General Dynamics’ bottom line.

Please express your opposition to L.D. 1781 to your local legislators. Come to the Taxation Committee hearing in Augusta at 1 p.m. Jan. 30 to show your opposition. Enough is enough!
Mary Beth Sullivan

And here is a link to an investigative piece by local reporter Nathan Strout in the Times Record, about the spotty history of tax giveawaysand their results: Impact of previous tax breaks at BIW unclear. Strout has the day of the hearing wrong -- Wednesday is actually a Taxation Committee work session on LD1781, which the public may witness but not participate in. The public hearing where taxpayers can weigh in is on Tuesday, i.e. tomorrow.

Finally (because I have to get ready for work) here is a link to a report by Alex Nunes about General Dynamics, owner of Bath Iron Works, gloating over their recent tax bonanza from the federal government. General Dynamics' CEO Calls Republican Tax Law A 'Happy Event' gives a flavor of just how much this corporation is swimming in cash and does not need corporate welfare from Maine, where 40% of children live in poverty.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Voices Crying In The Wilderness Of U.S. Collapse: Aegis 9 Go On Trial This Week

Anthony Freda
What have my co-defendants in the Aegis 9 been up to in the weeks since we selected our jury and awaited our trial for criminal trespass, being prosecuted on behalf of mega corporation General Dynamics by the taxpayers of Maine?

Russell Wray
To name a few, Jason Rawn has been flyering to oppose the $60 million Maine payroll tax giveaway that General Dynamics has written for itself and gotten before the Taxation Committee. Mark Roman has been testifying to the Environmental and Natural Resources Committee of the Maine legislature, trying to stop the appointment of a Nestle executive to the Board of Environmental Protection. Bruce Gagnon has been dealing with a hacking attack on his email account and two of his home computers crashing. Natasha Mayers has been fundraising for a documentary about her art activism. Jessica Stewart has been organizing to oppose offshore oil drilling slated for the coast of Maine. 

I don't know what Russell Wray, Mike Tork and Bob Dale have been up to, but I'm confident they have their eyes on the prize of a better life for everybody in the rapidly crumbling USA.

Me, I'm always reading in between teaching school. Oh, and crying out in the wilderness of kleptocracy against the submission of my government to corporate interests.

Here's a partial digest of my Sunday morning reading list (illustrations added by me):

Why We're Underestimating American Collapse: The Strange New Pathologies of the World's First Rich Failed State by Umair Haque. Discusses the latest school shooting (the 11th so far in 2018, which is not quite one month old) in the context of poverty, opioid addiction, and how the richest nation in the world found itself on this desolate path. 
Losing Sight: a 4 year old girl was the sole survivor of a US drone strike in Afghanistan and then she disappeared by May Jeong. Uses recently opened archives to examine civilian deaths and their coverups by examining one example of a 2013 (i.e. Obomber administration) drone strike that maimed a young child and removed her from her surviving family.

Homeless man almost crushed after San Diego city workers scooped him up and tossed him in a garbage truck by Jeff McDonald. Examines the policies of a wealthy California city in dealing with the 9,000 homeless people who live there.

Anthony Freda

US, UK Knew of Nazi War Crimes in 1942, Did Nothing: Archive published on teleSUR English. Reveals new evidence of what historians already knew but the passive consumers of WWII war porn in the US still do not, that "individuals within the state department were focusing on the economic relations between the U.S. and West Germany."

Anthony Freda

16 year old Virginia girl's body found 2 weeks after she went missing. Her parents say police treated her like a runaway by Angela Helm. A missing black teenage girl is low priority for many tax-funded public "safety" entities like police departments. #BlackLivesMatter

America's reluctant septuagenarian workforce by Peter Whorisky. Title is self-explanatory: people work into their 70's because they can't afford to live on what remains of the pension system in the U.S.

Anthony Freda

Refrigerator upgrade for Air Force One to Cost $24 million: report by Avery Anapol.

Onward, kleptocracy.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

History Of Racism Coming Out Of The Woodwork -- For White People

Banner by "hot feminists" a group apparently named in response to one of Thomas Kawczynski's
post to the effect that feminists tend to be unattractive.
White people are shocked, shocked at the nasty racism now bold enough to advertise itself up here in our neck of the woods. A town manager trying to lead a white supremacist project from Jackman, Maine was exposed in the press for Islamophobic, racist and misogynist internet posts, lots of them. He was hired last summer, and the posts began in November. (Hmmm, what happened in November?)

This story is prompting those who have been paying attention all along to share anecdotes from Maine's history with racism. For instance, in Jackman lumberjacks with axes met the train and drove off KKK who came from away to burn the Catholic church in town. This was in the 1920's.

And a cross was burned (wtf?!) in Anson, Maine in the 1950's. Presumably aimed at Black people? Or maybe French/Catholic? A colleague told me her ancestors were mill workers in the same town, brought in from Canada as strikebreakers. (My grandfather in a nearby town was forbidden to marry his school sweetheart because she was Catholic.)

Banner by "hot feminists"

Also, right in our faces, is the persistant racism that has fueled attempted genocide of the Wabanaki. It has been here all along.

To see it you can go to the comments section of any article on Native whatever in Maine and read for yourself. Or check out the work of the Wabanaki Truth & Reconciliation Commission about, specifically, child removal through the 1970's.

Now white supremacy has become something to brag about, and that's the main thing that is different.

In my bi-coastal family, our California side seemed more overtly racist. My grandmother was always muttering about Mexicans in "our" park even though she was supposed to be a good Christian woman. But then my Maine grandmother was just as bad about my Jewish roommates my first year at college. 

It's way past time for white people to be shocked when white supremacy and hateful language rear their ugly heads.

Use your white privilege to loudly object.

It's time to act in the certainty that every time we push back on expressions of bigotry, we're making the possibility of safety a little stronger for everybody. We're all safe if we have the space to be who we are without fear. Look at the Bangor Daily News poll one hour after publishing an article on Jackman firing thir town manager:

The fear driving these pasty would-be messiahs of the white future -- a mirage if there ever was one -- is palpable. They are afraid too. So a little humor in your messaging would not go astray.

Banner by "hot feminists"

Big props to the "hot feminists" who put up these banners around Jackman. Smokin' hot!!

Maine To Set Fox In Charge Of Henhouse? Nestlé Exec Proposed For Board of Enviro Protection

Appointment or Disappointment?
Guest post by Nickie Sekera, Community Water Justice

Maine Governor Paul LePage is in the process of appointing a full-time employee of Nestlé (Poland Spring) and is the world’s largest food and beverage corporation, to Maine's Board of Environmental Protection. The appointment of someone which such a flagrant conflict of interest in unethical and constitutes a dangerous and short-sighted precedent.

The Environmental and Natural Resources Committee will be holding a hearing this Wednesday and will be open to the public.

Committee Chairman Senator Thomas Saviello has acknowledged his longstanding personal relationship with Nestlé executive Mark Dubois, the governor’s pick for the sensitive post, and has endorsed his appointment. Sen. Saviello represents Maine's 17th district, in which Nestle is expanding its Poland Spring bottling plant and which contains several extraction and test well sites feeding into it, adds a further conflict of interest to the confirmation process.

For the past twelve years, Dubois has served as Natural Resource Manager for Nestlé, a position in which he oversees the selection of new spring sites for water mining in environmentally-sensitive areas to export out of state. In his position, he is obliged to increase profits for the shareholders to his company and therefore cannot be trusted give priority to defend the best interests of Mainers by serving on the board which would oversee an important component of Nestlé’s operations.

There is already a disturbing level of interplay between Nestlé and a number of state agencies, regulatory boards and municipalities. For example, Tom Brennan, another natural resource manager for Nestlé, sits on Maine’s Drinking Water Commission. The Maine Public Utilities Commission, which oversees water rates for consumers, is also rife with conflicts of interest with Nestlé.

Too much time and resources are already being spent by citizens having to serve as watchdogs to keep these public entities from compromising the public good for private interests, a process made all the more difficult when so much of Nestlé’s decisions that impact the state are proprietary and not available to the public.

The people of Maine need assurance that our best interests are being represented. The imbalance of power with a corporation which boasts a market capitalization of $247 billion—more than 30 times the entire annual state budget—is not something to take lightly. United Nations consultants have referred to Nestle and their subsidiaries as “global water predators” due to their troublesome environmental record. Maine has water and Nestle employees like Dubois are tasked to secure it.

It's no wonder the Center for Public Integrity gave Maine an "F" rating in a recent 2015 report, due to the state’s lax laws upholding ethics and accountability. Conflicts of interest such as the Dubois appointment are a huge obstacle to maintaining the integrity of our government in serving the people of Maine. In theory, state civil servants must recuse themselves from actions in which they may have a conflict of interest, yet we often have little legal recourse in challenging such betrayals of public trust.

We must ask our state senators and representatives: Which side are you on? Protecting the public good or serving private corporate interests?

This is not an appointment but a disappointment.

If our elected state officials are unwilling to do the right thing on their own volition, the people of Maine need to take action to challenge such conflicts of interests and restore faith in our state government.

Please encourage your state senators and representatives to oppose the Dubois nomination and consider attending the public hearing of the ENR committee that will be taking place at the state capitol in Augusta at 10:00am on Wednesday, January 24, in Room 216 of the Cross building.

Write to the members of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee that this appointment is unacceptable:

Also, reach out / copy the email to your State Senator and Representative. We need to let all our leaders know that this is unacceptable. You can find them by town at this link:

Thank you.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

No Substitute For Respect - White Supremacists Infesting Maine, As Usual #mepolitics

 Elizabeth Ann Mitchell, Penobscot, On Why She Interrupted Janet Mills With Some Truth
Central Mainers often claim, We're not racist because there are no people of color around to be racist to. It's not true and never has been, but it's a pitch perfect example of why racism is not about the hatefulness of any individual. Racism is a systemic problem that affects and harms every single person living under it, no matter whether they are deemed by their appearance to be one of the "superior" group or one of the targeted groups.

Native people have maintained their culture, including language, while being sytematically robbed of their territory and persecuted for their beliefs in Maine. 

The Penobscot and Passamoquoddy are sovereign nations, and if anyone should leave so that a homogenous group of people can live in paradise, it certainly isn't Natives who should go. Skowhegan Area High School in central Maine continues to cling to its racist mascot the "Indian" despite the sobering testimony of Natives explaining how damaging this is to their children

Now lots of immigrants from around the globe have settled in Maine and are subject to racist harrassment and microaggressions daily. Check out this substitute teacher addressing a high school student with Lebanese ancestry. Brody Elahmar recorded her threatening him with deportation (though it's doubtful she knows such a big word) and ordering him to "speak her language." 

His comeback is priceless: "How many languages do you speak? I speak three."

Posted to YouTube by Brody Elahmar with the comment: "My teacher was harassing me because of my color !"

On the heels of this abuse of power by a public employee came news that the town manager of far north town Jackman is an avid white segragationist who invented a flag for an all-white New England devoted to Anglo culture that he imagines. With the ironic name Kawczynski, he is now trying to raise funds on a site called Hatreon (I can't make this shit up) that lacks guidelines banning hate speech like other crowdfunding sites have.

The town's selectmen may not have known about his desire to build an all-white "Albion" when they hired him, but he's been really active on social media since last November. Currently, they are conferring with their lawyer and I suspect he, like the substitute teacher, will be fired. 

The Chamber of Commerce in Jackman has already come out publicly in favor of firing him. 

(Too bad the Skowhegan Chamber of Commerce has not done the same; instead, it concocts racist promotions to "help" local businesses.) Jackman relies heavily on tourism for revenue, and a boycott would hit them where it hurts.

Here is the letter I sent to them via the contact listed on the town's website, Administrative Secretary

Dear Jackman selectmen,
Your recently hired town manager, Tom Kawczynski, is making quite a splash as the public face of racism and religious bigotry in northern Maine. I am going to assume that you knew nothing of this when you hired him. Of course he is entitled to his views and to express them under the 1st amendment. But, in his capacity as town manager, encouraging those who share his hate to move to Jackman is problematic.

As a resident of central Maine along Route 201 I am concerned that a nearby town's manager is an active white supremacist. I hope the hateful crowds who descended on Charlottesville, Virginia last year do not feel welcome to congregate near my little town on the Kennebec.

As a teacher I will continue providing opportunities for children to learn what we all have in common: our humanity, our compassion, and our critical thinking abilities. As a history major I have a keen appreciation of what happens to societies who descend into hateful beliefs and practices. It is not a happy outcome for any group, however much they consider themselves "superior" to other people.

Lisa Savage

I think such groups and individuals are afraid of competition. Who wants to be outdone by a teenager that speaks more languages than you do? 

Would it surprise you to learn that the KKK was active in Maine in the 1920's marching against Francophone immigrants who were taking "our" jobs?

The KKK in Maine is having a resurgence in these troubled times.

It is time for those quietly watching the rise of white supremacists in office to stand up and be counted.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Why Do We Put Up With Endless War? #MLKDay

Every once in a while I stumble across another lamentation about how the people don’t want war but it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along...wait, I am quoting Nazi propagandist Hermann Goering.

How the people get dragged along is the subject of this terrific comic The Good War examining 1990's Hollywood propaganda about WWII. You know, when the U.S. virtuously beat the Nazis after hanging back long enough to let the Holocaust happen. A genocide effected with IBM technology for monitoring and slaughtering Jews. And no Nuremberg trials for the rocket scientists who were whisked away to join the U.S. military-industrial complex.

Source: The Good War by Mike Dawson and Chris Hayes on
Maybe dragged is not such a good word here because of the feel-good quality of all those Hollywood movies glorifying WWII as the U.S. lolled in the boom economic cycle of the 1990's.

Dragged is what leaders need to do when the populace looks more like this fellow sleeping under newspapers on a park bench.

Or like this unfortunate woman, obviously traumatized, who was dumped on the street in freezing weather by security[sic] guards for a Baltimore hospital last week. 

Ok, so now we're getting dragged.

An international Conference on U.S. Foreign Military Bases (also in Baltimore) this weekend examined the 800 or so military bases the U.S. has established in 80 other countries. I say "or so" because they multiply so quickly, and there are so many of them popping up all over Africa and Eurasia at the moment, that it's nearly impossible to keep an accurate count.

The Nib comic explains why people put up with (and pay up for) this. In a nutshell: Terror! Goering again: "All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

Conveniently, the people of Hawaii were terrorized this week by a false report of incoming ballistic missiles (presumably from Russia? maybe from China?) sent via text to all their cell phones. Thirty-eight minutes later the governor of Hawaii announced that it was a human error, that somebody had pushed "the wrong button." This is in the same month that the demagogue with bad hair tweeted from the White House that his nuclear attack button is bigger than the leader of North Korea's nuclear attack button. What a coincidence!

Much of the manufactured consent of U.S. taxpayers for endless war is accomplished, like most everything else these days, by robots. Whittling down the number of "boots on the ground" and turning away from conscription in favor of the poverty draft model ensures that there aren't many families concerned about their loved ones in harms way. And the families that do worry about their son or daughter are for the most part low income and disenfranchised, with few ways to make their voices heard amid the din of glorified militarism.

Mothers who have suffered the loss of a child are a potent force for change.

Mothers who continue to pay taxes supporting the neo-Nazis of Ukraine while being kept ignorant of this fact by corporate media hyping the Russian threat are not a potent force.

I think the corporate state is waiting patiently for us baby boomers to die. We're the last generation to rise up against a war, mostly because we were pursued by the draft and died in droves in the jungles of Vietnam. 

As most warfare today is conducted via the weaponized flying robots most people call drones, it's wicked expensive but seldom results in death for our soldiers. Instead, they quietly suffer the PTSD they get from sitting in front of screens killing people thousands of miles away.

The psyops that is really powerful is the designation of impoverished nations hollowed out by colonialism as "shit hole countries."

The first step in any genocide or war is dehumanizing the targeted people. This is why leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are so galvanizing: he was a brilliant, articulate member of the most dehumanized group in the U.S., the descendants of enslaved Africans. Can't dehumanize that? Assassination is the obvious next step.

REVISED 1/15 at 1:25pm: Number of U.S. military bases and number of countries they are found in updated on the basis of info shared at the recent Conference on U.S. Foreign Military Bases.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Maine Rep. Jennifer DeChant Wants To Hear From General Dynamics But Not From Mainers

Here in Maine we're still waiting for an LD number for the bill that Rep. Jennifer DeChant and Sen. Eloise Vitelli are sponsoring for General Dynamics.

The fifth largest weapons manufacturer on the planet needs Maine taxpayers to pony up $60 million in tax breaks next year or else (insert repeated threats of job loss at the Bath Iron Works shipyard owned by GD).

Ironically, Rep. Jennifer DeChant has blocked me on twitter after I sent her this photo of my Sunday bridge vigil:

That's the Kennebec River in the background, the same river that General Dynamics regularly pollutes and dredges in order to make enormous profits, buy back its own stock, and pay its CEO $21 million a year.

Here's the informative article by investigative reporter Alex Nunes that I wanted to share with Rep. DeChant: Extending Bath Iron Works Tax Break Would Ignore State Consultant’s Review. The article details how a study in Maine determined that continuing to put all our eggs in the weaponized ship building basket was a bad gamble for the future of our state economy.

Also ironically, the Maine bill's co-sponsor, State Senator Eloise Vitelli, had this to say on twitter about the GOP's recent corporate tax giveaway:

Both DeChant and Vitelli are Democrats, carrying water for General Dynamics. They barred a videographer from a meeting with concerned constituents in December, and now one of them has barred me from tweeting information that her followers might see.

You can check out my twitter account in case you think I might have gotten blocked because I had sunk to name-calling, threats or vulgar language. But that's not my style.

The ugly, naked truth is powerful enough.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Trial Family, I Love You #Aegis9

Aegis 9 trial family, I love you. (Ok, one of you is my husband, tireless peaceworker Mark Roman. More on him in a minute.)

After spending the day with you all in a small room at the West Bath District Court, I can honestly say I love you even more. We were there doing jury selection for our trial for alleged criminal trespass at General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works shipyard. How fun is that? A lot more fun than you might think if you're in a room with the right people.

We laughed, we snacked, we worked and, most of all, we cooperated. This is my idea of a blessed community.

Here are the Aegis 9 trial family members as seen through my eyes.

Bob Dale is at the center of the photo above, wearing a blue jacket and holding two walking sticks. Bob wrote this powerful piece "Hudner Protest - A Veteran's Perspective" for the local Times Record about flying a nuclear-capable plane carrying bombs targeting China when he was a Navy pilot in 1953. Now a member of Veterans for Peace, he had this to say about why he was standing in a snowstorm with the rest of us:
We certainly hope to see BIW employees remain gainfully employed. They have the skills to create a more peaceful world, one in which we all can thrive.

This is my love, Mark Roman, reading to our grandson Elliot. Mark did not go in the military but avoided the draft during the Vietnam War by gaining a 4F (physically unfit) designation which card he still proudly displays in his woodworking shop. Mark was active in nuclear power resistance long before I met him on a freezing bridge in February, 2003 protesting the war on Iraq. We have been together ever since. Last summer he was featured in the Morning Sentinel/Kennebec Journal protesting white supremacy after the attacks on people of color in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

You can see some of Mark's delightful design work here: Mark Roman Design.

This is the artist Natasha Mayers. She may be smiling because she is about to get out of the cold and into a warm police van. She is no longer wearing her great BIW carbon footprint sign with its message of the need for conversion to building sustainable energy solutions rather than weapons of mass destruction. Natasha has had an amazing career applying her considerable talents to communicate, often humorously, with the general public. She is a leading force behind the Union of Maine Visual Artists' Rapid Response Team (ARRT!) which has produced many great banners used at BIW over the years.

She is the subject of an upcoming documentary film, Natasha Mayers: An Un-still Life, which you can see a trailer for and support here.

An-gas, aka Jason Rawn, is a tireless communicator who never stops thinking of new ways to alert the public to environmental crisis brought on by corporate government. At our arrest he was channeling one Maine senator, Angus King, while I was channeling Susan Collins. 

Both of us decided to wear corporate logos to indicate how senators are enriched by General Dynamics and in turn make sure the contracts for building weapons continue to flow.

Jason is a permaculture worker, a singer-songwriter for the movement, and a tireless international traveler for peace. This is one of my favorite recent designs by Jason:

Jessica Stewart is the courageous mom who drove hours down the flooded coast the day after "Bombogenesis" with her kids who had a second storm-related day off school.

Jessica is a Catholic Worker who has been part of many civil disobedience actions, sometimes being arrested and at other times providing paralegal support. She runs half marathons in her spare time (haha). Here's a poem she shared online this week with the comment "Happy Three Kings Day!":

WISE WOMEN ALSO CAME by Jan L. Richardson 
Wise women also came.
The fire burned in their wombs long before they saw the flaming star in the sky.
They walked in shadows, trusting the path would open under the light of the moon.
Wise women also came, seeking no directions, no permission from any king.
They came by their own authority, their own desire, their own longing.
They came in quiet, spreading no rumours, sparking no fears to lead to innocents' slaughter,
to their sister Rachel's inconsolable lamentations.
Wise women also came, and they brought useful gifts:
water for labour's washing, fire for warm illumination, a blanket for swaddling.
Wise women also came, at least three of them,
holding Mary in the labour,
crying out with her in the birth pangs,
breathing ancient blessings into her ear.
Wise women also came, and they went, as wise women always do, home a different way.
from Night Visions: searching for shadows of advent and christmas, 1998: United Church Press

Russell Wray is the creator of many fine works of art that advocate for the living creatures of the ocean who are harmed by military activity. When arrested with the #Zumwalt12 at a previous warship launch in Bath, he was wearing a hat shaped like a dolphin.

He created the banners for the last two Maine Peace Walks, and he created the banner below for a recent trip to Okinawa with the Veterans for Peace solidarity delegation. 

Russell's love for all creation shines through everything he does. You can see more of his art here.

Bruce Gagnon is a dear friend we've organized with and protested with many times. He lives in Bath intentionally and organizes with locals including workers at the shipyard to bring the good news of conversion as a path forward. (You can see me interview him here.

Bruce is a member of Veterans for Peace and also plays a key role in international organizing for peace as coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He will be speaking at the upcoming Conference on U.S. Foreign Military Bases next week in Maryland.

Mike Tork is the Aegis 9 member I know least well, partly because he is from Cape Cod and doesn't get to Maine that often. Mike was absent from our arraignment last summer because he was in Arizona helping with preparation for the Border Encuentro (gathering) organized by School of the Americas Watch. He missed jury selection this week for health reasons. Mike was in the Navy during the Vietnam War and now he is active with Veterans for Peace.

You can see him interviewed here for VFP's action at the Vietnam Memorial wall in Washington DC last May.

Logan E. Perkins, Perkins Law Office,
Last but certainly not least, no account of our trial family would be complete without mentioning our awesome pro bono counsel. Attorney Logan Perkins of Belfast specializes in criminal law and has a particular interest in defending those involved in nonviolent civil disobedience. She is representing me and two other Aegis 9 defendants, and advising the group as a whole (six will go pro se i.e. will represent themselves.)

Logan was lively, knowledgeable, smart and strategic at jury selection, guiding us through what can be a bewildering process and helping us focus on picking the best jurors possible. I feel incredibly lucky to have her on our side.

A shout out also to our jail and now trial supporter Peter Morgan. Peter was there for us in April with bail, and has been there for us in court with a warm smile, logistical support and always carrying forward a positive message:  his VETERANS FOR PEACE" sweatshirt emblazoned with "MAINE PEACE WALK" - "For Conversion, Community, and Climate."

And no peace action in Bath is complete without Bruce's partner Mary Beth Sullivan, who appeared toward the end of our day in court. Her warm smile and intelligent vision are beacons of light and hope in what can be a cold, dark world.

Our supporters are also cherished and important members of our trial family, and we love them! 

We welcome your support when the State of Maine v. Robert L. Dale, et al. trial begins on February 1 in Sagadahoc County Superior Court at 752 High St., Bath, Maine.