Chris Hedges in Blue Hill, August 11

Press Release

for Immediate Release   July 20, 2018
For information contact Rob Shetterly : 326-8459

Pulitzer Prize Author/activist Chris Hedges to Speak In Blue Hill

On the eve of the release of his newest book, America:The Farewell Tour, Chris Hedges will  speak at the Bagaduce Music Lending Library in Blue Hill  at 7pm on Saturday, August 11th.  The Library auditorium is at 49 South St., Blue Hill.

The Americans Who tell the Truth project is bringing Mr. Hedges to Blue Hill. Robert Shetterly, who painted Hedges’ portrait in 2009, will interview him about his new book and his past writing.

(see more below)

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Peninsula Peace & Justice Notes July


Minutes for Organizational Meeting
Wednesday, July 11, 2018, at 12:00 p.m.
Blue Hill Public Library
Bonnie, Steve


We decide to agree to co-sponsor an event that Rob Shetterly has tentatively scheduled for 7 pm on Saturday 8 11 2018 at Bagaduce Lending Library to feature an interview with Chris Hedges in relation to his new book


We agreed to help to publicize an “Americans Who Tell the Truth Speaking Event” at the Crosby Center in Belfast on Thursday, Sept 20th. featuring not only Rob Shetterly but also Baldemar Velasquez, one of his newest ATT portrait subjects. Baldemar is a founder of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee of the AFL-CIO and is widely known for his work to empower farm workers. We can also support a WERU-FM 30th Anniversary event with publicity. Details on these to be announced in due time.


Steve agreed to sign PPJ up to co-sponsor an End Violence Together event to be announced sometime, pledging publicity support to our network.


Steve promises to soon watch Do Not Resist, a 2016 documentary that has been screened in February 2018 on PBS. Then we can decide at another meeting whether it fits our needs for a public screening by PPJ.


Please note our new P.O. Box # below.

Our next organizational meeting is scheduled for the Bass Room, in the Blue Hill Library, at 12:30 p.m., (not 12:00, because the room is reserved by others at that hour) on the first Wednesday of next month, August 1, 2018. 


— Notes by Steve Benson 

Peninsula Peace & Justice
P.O. Box 1257
Blue Hill ME 04614


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Carolyn Coe July 14 report from Beit Ummar, Palestine

Begin forwarded message:

From: cm coe <>
Subject: Beit Ummar and South Hebron Hills
Date: July 14, 2018 at 10:41:48 AM EDT
To: cm coe <>

July 14, from Beit Ummar, Palestine

Two days before the funeral of a man killed by the IDF, Reem, 17, can’t sleep. She anticipates the upcoming tear gas and shooting by the soldiers that she knows will enter her town. She stays awake, listening to people’s voices outside and hearing dogs barking.

Then last night, she turns the volume on the TV way down and stands in the open doorway.  “A lot of shoots,” she says quietly. Reem can yell when she thinks she needs to, but usually she is soft-spoken, and she is especially quiet on this night.
    Her youngest brother Abdullah, 3, sleepwalks into the kitchen and cries out as he grabs onto a cabinet door. Reem walks him back to bed and he continues sleeping. Reem and I wonder what his nightmare was about.
     She tells me that she doesn’t like to sleep with her sister Della because Della will often wake up pointing and shouting, “Where?! Where?!” I think about their mom telling me five years ago how the usually boisterous Della would become strangely silent during IDF raids of their house.

    With Sara from next door, Reem and I do some yoga, playing the yoga game Reem saw me creating for the kids I’m teaching in Aida refugee camp. “It’s like ballet,” Reem says, as we come into dancer pose. Reem calls her mom to come play the game with us.
    Later, Reem and I walk together to the pizza shop, which happens to be the place where we pick up some sweets for a gathering today. Reem is afraid to go by herself.

The man killed, Ramen Sabarna, was 33, the father of two young children. He used to work for the municipality of Hebron and was cleaning an area with a small bulldozer when IDF soldiers shot him. Killed a month ago, they did not release his body until last night, and today was the funeral. When I returned to Beit Ummar around 1 p.m. from an early morning trip to the South Hebron hills, IDF soldiers had closed the main entrance to Beit Ummar, so I had to take a roundabout route back to Reem’s family’s house. I arrived just in time for the funeral march and the IDF tear gas.
Reem sets bottles of cold water on a table outside their home for those fleeing the tear gas. Her brother Obai covers his eyes with his t-shirt as if the action could relieve the stinging in his eyes and throat. Then he comes into the kitchen and cuts up an onion. He heads back into the street with a piece of onion to witness more action between the soldiers and the Palestinian youth.

This morning before the funeral, near the Susiya settlement, Israeli volunteers with Ta’ayush stood beside highway 60 as a shepherd, Ahmed, took his sheep to graze. Some volunteers stayed with him until the animals finished grazing while three of us hitched a ride in a van up a nearby hillside. In the van was a Palestinian land owner, Saed, and sixteen kids, ages 4 to 14.
    “Wasalna! Wasalna!” they chant. “We arrive! We arrive!”
    Every Saturday, for about six years, Saed’s nephews and neices have come to play football on land bordering the settlement outpost of Mitzpe Yair. They play to show claim to the land that the settlers won’t let Saed use to grow barley. And over time, their game has moved closer and closer to the illegal settlement
    Settlers first established an outpost there in 1998, though by a different name. Through an earlier court case, Saed succeeded in getting settler greenhouses removed from his land. At times between 2004 and 2008, he could work on his land, but at other times he could not because of settler violence toward him. Now Saed is struggling to get the Israeli civil administration to register his ownership of the land.
    Saed collected small dry plants to create a fire and brewed some sage tea while the children played. A couple kids added an extra layer of clothing as the wind gusts grew stronger.
    The game over and the sweetened tea drunk, we piled into the van once again, said goodbye, and headed to land beneath the Otniel settlement where members of the Shawamra family have brought their donkeys to graze in a field. Two settler security vehicles appeared as well as two army jeeps. The area military commander descended to meet us. He claimed that it will be no problem if the Shawamra family are in the field so long as they don’t leave their donkeys there over night. He said the donkeys’ nighttime movement activates an alarm.
    One of the Ta’ayush volunteers asked me if I understood the bit of good news. I voice skepticism that the commander will in fact protect the family from the settlers. One volunteer acknowledges that even if the commander is true to his word, he could be transferred at any time. Most IDF soldiers doing their military service in the West Bank grew up in the settlements with the biases against Palestinians that come from their upbringing.


(Photos from the soccer match
and of Reem and Della as the funeral procession goes by)

Note: the current end date of the court-imposed freeze on the forced transfer of the bedouins of Khan Al-Ahmar is July 17.


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Carolyn Coe report from Khan al-Ahmar, Palestine

From: cm coe <>
Subject: forced displacement, again

Khan al-Ahmar, a bedouin community near Jerusalem whose residents face the threat of forcible transfer to white metal housing containers on treeless highway-sandwiched land

July 10

Yousef and I have barely crossed the highway and climbed over the guardrail to approach Khan al-Ahmar when two Israeli police officers approach. They brandish papers in Hebrew and deny our entry into the village. An officer photographs our IDs and then we walk away from the village, along the highway, as we make plan B.

We flag down a ride with some Palestinian Authority (PA) employees who find another approach road. Part of a caravan of a half dozen PA cars, we slowly snake our way down a dusty rocky road leading into a wadi. As we near Khan al-Ahmar, we once again climb the hillside to reach the village. This time, the police are nowhere in sight. Within a couple hours, 200+ Palestinian dignitaries and activists as well as foreigners join village men and some children in Khan al-Ahmar’s tarped central gathering space. The forcible transfer of the villagers has been delayed by court order for another six days, until July 16.

Abdul Khader, age 8, borrows my camera and roams the plastic-grass-floored space taking photographs. He takes a photo of village leaders sitting in a line of plastic chairs and one of the top of his spiky dark hair. Later, he takes me by the hand and guides me over to the school, whose walls are constructed out of mud-covered tires.

Villagers and the visiting governor of Jerusalem make speeches before a line of video cameras.
Water bottles and small cups of coffee appear in timely waves.
Circles form with men talking quietly beneath a tree,
and other circles of people clapping and singing political songs.
A group of argile smokers hang out in one corner,
and boy scouts huddle in small clusters, their identifying scarfs tied around their necks.
Someone sets up a TV and a half circle forms with watchers of the France-Belgium World Cup match, the TV shut off temporarily during evening prayers.

After 11 p.m., a bus-load of activists from Hebron arrives chanting and waving Palestinian flags and the quieter energy of the evening re-transforms into exuberance.
Men dance the Dabke with a village elder leading the line of dancers and twirling his cane.

Around 1 a.m., foam mattresses appear and I lie down. My eyes closed, someone drapes a fleece blanket over me. A few minutes later, I feel the weight of a second blanket. It must have been in the upper 90s but I take no action to remove the extra blanket. A pillow is pushed beside my head. Soon enough, someone re-appropriates the second blanket. When I find the pillow too big and push it aside, and someone takes that, too. During this bedding supply and removal process, I don’t open my eyes, exhausted.

The next morning, some of us bag up the plastic bottles and paper coffee cups that litter the floor. Bread, falafel, and hard-boiled eggs appear along with coffee. By about 8 a.m., almost all have left the community except for the villagers.

Here’s a link to Mazin Qumsiyeh’s post about our previous Khan al-Ahmar visit on Sunday:

With love,

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Hugh Curran <>

12:14 AM (12 hours ago)

I viewed a well researched and impressive You-Tube video on toxics in fish farms in both Vietnam and Norway. If we keep in mind that fish farms are being seriously considered for Maine it would be worthwhile for those interested in such matters to type in  the following title in Youtube and watch this important documentary:

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Vets for Peace speak out on Okinawa: June 29, Blue Hill

Contact: Dud Hendrick         207-348-2511

Okinawa is under siege!  

Veterans for Peace to speak of Okinawa Occupation

Thirty-two U.S. military bases cover 20% the Japanese island which is roughly 1/3 the size of Rhode Island.  The 50,000 U.S. military personnel stationed there are unwanted by large majorities of the 1.5 million inhabitants.

Three Veterans for Peace leaders have recently returned from what they characterize as “ground zero” of Okinawan objection to a virtual occupation.  They will be speaking of their experiences and observations at the Blue Hill Library at 7pm, Friday, June 29th.   

Bruce Gagnon, from Bath, Coordinator of the Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, has spoken widely—in more than 20 countries and throughout the U.S.   He has been included among those honored by artist Robert Shetterly in his portrait collection of Americans Who Tell the Truth.  In 2006, he was the recipient of the Dr. Benjamin Spock Peacemaker Award.  

Tarak Kauff has served on Veterans for Peace national board of directors for six years and has organized VFP delegations to Palestine, Okinawa, and to Standing Rock.  

Dud Hendrick, a Vietnam veteran from Deer Isle, is a Naval Academy graduate, has served as president of Maine Veterans for Peace, and has traveled with peace missions to Greenland, Palestine, Korea, and Okinawa.

The three answered the call from leaders of the Okinawa Anti-Base Action Committee who deemed a week in late April to be particularly critical to the effort to stop the relocation of a U.S. Marine Corps Air Station, presently situated in the middle of Ginowan, a city of 100,000, to a scenic bay 30 miles distant.  The protest at times turning violent has been going on since 2004.  Many have been arrested.  It is the focal point of Okinawan objection to all the military bases located on lands confiscated by the U.S. following WWII. The project at Oura Bay calls for a landfill of 375 acres of pristine waters and an estimated investment of over $3 billion! 

The evening is sponsored by Peninsula Peace & Justice, Island Peace & Justice and Americans Who Tell the Truth.    

photo: Okinawans Say “NO US military bases”

Peninsula Peace & Justice
P.O. Box 1515
Blue Hill ME 04614

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Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh, talk on Palestine, June 20 Brooksville

Reminder: talk by Mazin Qumsiyeh on Weds, June 20, Reversing Falls Sanctuary, Brooksville.

[We have had the opportunity to hear Prof. Qumsiyeh speak a few years ago and have read his book. His valuable history and perspectives will be of benefit to all who can come to hear him. — JR]

The Importance of Human and Biological Diversity:
Threats and Opportunities in Palestine
pastedGraphic.png Activist Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh, Birzeit and Bethlehem Universities, is the founder and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History, and Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability ( and author of Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment, among other books. He previously served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee, Duke, and Yale.

  • the plants and animals of the Holy Land and the status of nature conservation in Palestine
  • the challenges facing Palestinian people and organizations in today’s political situation

Wednesday, June 20 7 p.m.
Reversing Falls Sanctuary
Brooksville Info: 852-6696

Sponsored by the Downeast BDS Coalition, Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights, Episcopal Peace Fellowship of Maine, and Americans Who Tell the Truth

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The War At Home

I just pledged to this Kickstarter campaign.

Watch the info at this site and you may want to as well !

The War at Home, the acclaimed feature documentary that tells the story of the 1960s Antiwar Movement, has been newly restored from the original 16mm negative film to a new 4K Digital Cinema Package (DCP). 

We are now seeking funds to support the re-release of this Oscar Nominee to arthouse cinemas and college campuses around the nation this fall, when the politically-charged run up to the midterm elections will be at its height and the film can reach and engage new audiences. 

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HUGE factory salmon farm in Belfast?

Begin forwarded message:

From: “Katherine, Organic Consumers Association” <>

View This Email On the Web

The World’s Largest Land-Based Salmon Factory Farm? In Maine?

Dear Judith  ,

A Norway-based company wants to build a 40-acre land-based salmon factory farm, in Belfast, Maine. And Belfast city officials are keen to green light the $450 – $550-million project.

But a group of local citizens—Local Citizens for SMART Growth—have a lot of questions about whether the project is good for the environment, good for their city, or good for the state of Maine.

Organic Consumers Association supports the local Belfast citizens’ effort to put the brakes on this project. We encourage local officials to explore alternative businesses that are ecologically, economically and socially better for Belfast and the surrounding region.

Want to help keep Nordic Aquafarms (NAF) factory farm out of Maine? Sign up here! We need help with community and media outreach, fundraising, event-planning and more. You don’t have to live in Belfast to help organize against this project.

Want to learn more? Attend one or more of these meetings:

  • Tuesday, June 12, 6 p.m., University of Maine, Hutchinson Center, 80 Belmont Ave, Belfast, ME 04915. This will largely be a one-sided “dog and pony show” by NAF. More info here.
  • Thursday, June 14, 6:30 p.m. at the Ecovillage Common House (reddish building), 25 Village Rd., Belfast. Local Citizens for Smart Growth will host an organizing meeting.

Are we getting the whole truth about the NAF factory farm?

Nordic Aquafarms CEO Erik Heim has been making the rounds, trying to win over public sentiment. But many opponents don’t think Heim is giving them straight answers. As Belfast columnist Lawrence Reichard wrote, in the Republican Journal:

In promotional material, Nordic says the facility will have no “adverse environmental impacts.” False. Fish produce feces, and Nordic would produce 66,000,000 pounds of fish per year – that’s a lot of feces. Nordic says most of that might become fertilizer – might. But the rest will go into Belfast Bay, and that is an adverse environmental impact. Fish feces produces nitrogen and phosphorus, which cause algae blooms and oxygen deprivation for all marine life.

In a follow-up column, Reichard wrote:

Nordic’s U.S. operations—which are so far only in Belfast—are incorporated in Delaware. Why would a corporation doing U.S. business only in Maine incorporate in Delaware? Corporations register in Delaware because Delaware shields corporations from liability more than other states. Is Nordic expecting liability problems? At the Feb. 21 public meeting, Erik Heim said Nordic wanted to be a good neighbor. Wouldn’t a good neighbor incorporate here in Maine and follow Maine law, as local businesses do?

Those are just two of the many concerns Maine citizens have about the NAF project. Others include:

• There has been no public discussion about selling off Belfast Woods, a treasured public recreation area.

• Belfast city zoning laws have been changed to allow up to 70 percent of the over 40 acres of natural landscape, which would become the site for the factory farm, to become impermeable (hard paving and building footprint). The proposed new zoning will allow up to a 45-ft.high structure. Vent stacks, antennas and solar panels would make it even taller. The minimum boundary setback is only 50 feet. The site adjoins established woodlands and prime recreational and wildlife habitat.

• The proposed facility is 16 times larger than NAF’s initial project in Norway, which is not yet even at full capacity. There are no precedent studies to show that it is safe. Plus NAF has no experience with atlantic salmon.

You can read about other questions and concerns here.

In her book, “The President’s Salmon: Restoring the King of Fish and Its Home Waters,” Catherine Schmitt writes:

Hundreds of thousands of salmon used to ascend the rivers of New England. By 1992, no adult salmon returned to the Kennebec River.Seventeen came back to the Androscoggin, and only eight to the Saco. Their banks were empty of salmon anglers.

We can’t help but think, what if Maine invested in restoring the Atlantic salmon’s habitat, instead of allowing a foreign company to come in and destroy 40 acres of biodiverse, natural habitat? Only to produce an unhealthy consumer product?

Sign up to get involved.

Like and follow the Local Citizens for SMART Growth: Salmon Farm on Facebook to keep up with news and events

Call Nordic Aquafarms CEO Erik Heim to express your concerns:

More on fish farms and factory farm salmon here and here.

Hope to see you soon in Belfast!

Katherine, for the OCA team

P.S. OCA is committed to fighting factory farms, including the salmon farm in Belfast. We are committing resources to this fight, including toward potential legal action. If you would like to support this campaign, please make a generous donation today, either online, by phone or by mail, details here.

Connect With OCA:

Like OCA on Facebook
Follow OCA on Twitter
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Join our Mobile Network: text ‘JoinOCA’ to 97779

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The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization campaigning for health, justice, peace, sustainability and democracy. Donations to the OCA are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

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Reduce plastics use — Bag It movie tonight June 11 in Ellsworth

The Ellsworth Green Action Team (of the Ellsworth Green Plan) is hosting a program on reducing use of  plastic bags, etc. , and framing an ordinance to present to the City.  Communities all around us have already done this so we have lots of good examples.  

The movie Bag It will be shown and Todd Martin of the Natural Resources Council of Maine will be there to lead a discussion and answer questions. 
Program starts at 7 pm at the Moore Center Theater in Ellsworth.   

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