Fighting Empire in Maine

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I’m spending nearly the whole month of October in Maine fighting empire. In the city of Bath lives a parasite corporation called Bath Iron Works, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, who manufactures Navy warships like the Aegis and Zumwalt Destroyers.

A phenomenal group of Mainers have been protesting Bath Iron Works to convert the manufacturing giant into building sustainable technologies to deal with the ravages of climate change. We seriously need some type of WW2 mobilization to fight climate change and we need to do it quick. The world has already passed 410 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Just to understand this number, 450 ppm is theĀ redline and considered climate catastrophe beyond that point. We need worldwide government intervention to get corporations to stop what they’re doing and shift towards building sustainable technologies to deal with a dramatic change in the climate, just like we did in WW2 to get corporations to start building weapons for the war.

Getting an international mobilization like this is certainly possible and we should start with the Pentagon because it is the largest polluter on Earth. Its not just possible but necessary. And we can use nonviolent strategies to begin this shift. That’s one of the main reasons I travel across the country to spend the whole month in Maine.

Artwork by Russell Wray.

The BIW workers are currently building for a Zumwalt to be completed in 2019, costing more than $4 billion. But don’t get it twisted, the BIW workers don’t get paid as much as you think, work long hours, and travel from all over the state to work in Bath. What if we had this dedication towards fighting climate change? Its certainly possible.

We acknowledge that the BIW workers are not at fault here. They are just working class people, having a job that has union wages and healthcare (a rare position these days). We plan to hold signs and hand out flyers to the workers everyday for a week. The flyers have information about our idea to convert BIW and the need to change our ways from weapons of death to technologies of change. Many of them understand, but some of them are still stuck in the past. But that won’t keep us from fighting for conversion, community, & climate.

Here’s a short video of the group of peace activist in action using nonviolent methods in front of BIW: