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The Pivot and the Zumwalt:
Conference(s) and Protest Planned by Veterans for Peace
Bath Iron Works has recently announced that the christening of the USS Zumwalt, originally scheduled for last October now will take place on Saturday, April 12th. Maine Veterans for Peace, which is planning two related conferences to take place that weekend, considers the postponement a fortunate coincidence. The veterans’ peace organization, committed to making the connection between our ailing economy and unfettered military spending, couldn’t ask for a more opportune confluence.
The first of the conferences addressing “Implications of the U.S. Asia-Pacific Pivot: Maine’s Connection,” will convene April 11th, 2:30 PM, in the Bangor Room of the Union at the University of Maine in Orono. Joseph Gerson, Asia-Pacific expert with the American Friends Service Committee will lead a panel of experts in an examination of the U.S. military’s “pivot” of military resources and focus to the Asia Pacific. Joining Gerson will be Subrata Ghoshroy—MIT-based educator from India, Fumi Inoue—Japanese peace activist and Boston College graduate student, and Hyun Lee—leading Korean peace activist.
The panel will again convene the next day, April12th, at 7pm, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick at 1 Middle St. The public is invited to participate in a pot-luck supper beginning at 6pm at the church.
Earlier on April12th, thousands are expected for the christening of the Zumwalt, a $3 billion “stealth” destroyer which likely will become an element in the “pivot”. Bruce Gagnon, lead organizer for VFP, characterizes the vessel, “as one more unnecessary warship and an example of ‘up-armoring,’ making the world a more dangerous place while ignoring our economic woes at home.” VFP is inviting concerned citizens to join them from ten to noon at the corner of Hinckley and Washington Streets in Bath. There will be an open mic and citizens are encouraged to bring appropriate signs.
Co-sponsors of the conferences and demonstration: Maine Peace Action Committee (UMO), PeaceWorks Maine, WILPF, Pax Christi Maine, CodePink, Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine, Veterans for Peace—Tom Sturtevant and Jim Harney Chapters, Smilin’ Trees Disarmament Farm.
For additional information contact: