[act-ma] Alternative 4th of July events in Maine

Roger Leisner rleisnerrfm at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 2 07:30:16 PDT 2010

Listed below you will find information about four alternative 4th of July events in Maine, plus a Peace & Justice event on July 17.Personally, I will be attending the West Athens 4th of July Parade and Play as I have for years.  I find it refreshing to spend the 4th of July with fellow anarchists and without police and military.  Whatever you do, celebrate your freedom.
Bar HarborSaturday, July 3, Gathering 9:30 AM at at the intersection of School and Main Streets in Bar Harbor, near the YMCA, for the
 10:00 AM parade start."Dick Atlee" <atlee at umd.edu> writesI was one of the organizers of the Westside Peace Group on Mount Desert Island.  It was started as part of the Maine-wide "Village Green" event opposing the Iraq War, in March, 2007.  Bar Harbor had a peace vigil going back to at least the onset of the war in 2003, but until 2007 there was no organized activity on the "west side" of the island -- the communities
 of Tremont, Southwest Harbor, Somesville and Town Hill.
With only possibly two or three exceptions, we have been standing vigil on Main Street in "downtown" Southwest Harbor ever since.  Bar Harbor ceased their vigil last year, presumably on the assumption that the change in administrations meant something as far as war was concerned. We saw other handwriting on the wall and decided to continue.
The Bar Harbor group early on (in 2003) had the idea of creating large 12'x4' canvas-like banners, each containing an array of 144 coffins with the name of an American serviceperson killed in Iraq.  As of the parade last year, the number of such dead had reached over 4300, for a total of 30 banners.  Over the years, carried by people dressed in black, mostly silent, accompanied by a huge, baleful drum, they've been used in the parade (and in many other venues) to stunning effect.  When there weren't twice as many people as banners to carry them, they were carried in a chevron formation with one person in the middle holding the near ends of two banners.  To deal with situations in which there weren't sufficient carriers for even that formation, Southwest Harbor contractor and activist David Henry built a "caisson" to carry the load that exceeded the human carriers, though without the visual impact of seeing all those coffins.
This year, the Westside group met last weekend to discuss whether and how to continue the vigil.  The general conclusion was that the recent increase in service fatalities and the coincident damning Rolling Stone article that resulted in McChrystal's sacking but also provided much more damning evidence about the failing war had combined to greatly increase negative feelings about the war, and thus now was not a time to stop.
At the same meeting it was decided to participate in the parade, and an unprecedented flurry of zero-to-sixty activity resulted, including a very successful sign creation session today.  We hope to be out in force on Saturday, gathering 9:30 AM at at the intersection of School and Main Streets in Bar Harbor, near the YMCA, for the 10:00 AM parade start.

West Athens36th Annual West Athens 4th of July Parade and Play
Starts around 10:30 am and ends around 3:00 pm
West Athens (north of Skowhegan)
For more than three decades, liberty minded Mainers have gathered in West Athens to celebrate freedom and independence.  Lacking lockstep patriotism as well as police and military, true Mainiacs march for over a mile in lovely downtown West Athens in an anything goes
 parade, culminating in an original anarchist satire featuring local actors with local, state, national and international themes.  Come dressed as your favorite American hero or idol.  It’s a hoot.

Whitefield4th of July, 10:00 am sharp on Sunday in Kings Mill section of Whitefield, on the corner of Townhouse Road and Route 194, near
 intersection with Route 218.Radical political artist Natasha Mayers <mayersnatasha at gmail.com>writesHeavily-veiled woman in mourning leads off 4+ pallbearers, dressed in heavy mourning clothes, veils, black hats carry oil spill.  Tarball creature throwing tarball plastic balls at viewers (9-yr. old Raynor)  4+ waiters/waitresses dressed in black/white holding a tray in each hand, one tray an oil spill with a lobster or seagull covered in oil, and the other tray with a windmill or solar collector or buy local agriculture, etc.  It becomes a performance piece with each waiter asking/telling people they have a choice (did you order this……….or this?,  or it’s your choice………or be careful what you ask for………….etc.)  Then comes a person (or two) with a big downtrodden-of-the-earth mask who is hauling a giant fishnet full of hundreds of empty water bottles.  David?  Dress all in black or in dk.green or black garbage bag.
  Accompanied by a person holding a giant water bottle made of cardboard, with facts on it: 17 million barrels of oil per year used to makeplastic water bottles, or 50+billion/yr. end up in landfills.  Woman in dress constructed of plastic bags goes next, maybe a sign about how many barrels used to make bags.....barrel of oil with fact: Dept. of Defense uses……billion gal.of jet fuel/yr, or pays BP $2.2 billion/yr for that oil, etc.?
Big beautiful sign: LET’S MOVE BEYOND PETROLEUM to a clean energy future end with:  Beautiful tall white bird with flapping wings.
 writesPeople will be coming from Biddeford to Solon to join us as we carry puppets,
 banners, and signs.  We'll hold the Bring Our War $$ Home banner and signs that depict things we want to fund like education, health care, food, public transit, wind
 turbines, etcThe Navy is having the entire crew of the USS Maine Trident nuclear submarine in the parade in order to promote the joys of anuclear weapons delivery system.We are calling on all available Mainers to join us in Bath at noon for the parade. Stand up and be counted for peace!Meet at noon at the Addams-Melman House (212 Centre St) or at the cemetery on Lincoln St in Bath.  We will be #80 in the parade which begins at 1:00 pm.Hope to see you there.     PeaceWorks  207-443-9502
HallowellJuly 17, Saturday, Women in Black and Veterans for Peace will walk in the Old Hallowell Day Parade.  All Maine Peace & Justice advocates are invited to join us in Hallowell at 9:15 am for the parade.  Our theme for this year is Props for Peace.  Stay tuned for more info.
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