To the Editor:
Maine Veterans for Peace (VFP) has announced a 175-mile peace walk down U.S. Route 1 from Ellsworth to Portsmouth, N.H., from Oct. 9-24. The walk will reveal the links between the Pentagon’s significant environmental impact on the oceans and climate change.
The Pentagon has the largest carbon footprint on our Mother Earth and was exempted from the Kyoto Protocols. Waging endless war consumes massive amounts of fossil fuels and lays waste to significant environmentally sensitive places on the planet – particularly the oceans.
The oceans are inhabited by a multitude of different life forms, from microorganisms to whales, many of which are able to sense sound and use it to find food, navigate, communicate and avoid predators. Navy sonar blasts wreak havoc on these creatures, disrupting their lives, leaving animals more susceptible to disease and lowered reproductive success and sometimes injuring and killing them.
Maine VFP Secretary and walk coordinator Bruce Gagnon said, “If the seas die, so do humans on Earth and much of the wildlife. Now is the time to speak out for ending the massive military impacts on the world’s oceans and for conversion of our fossil fuel-dependent military industrial complex to sustainable technologies. We will walk to bring attention to these crucial issues.”
Walkers will be hosted each night in local churches for community suppers, where they will also hold public programs about the purpose of the walk. The public is invited to walk for an hour, a day or more.
The walk will be led by monks and nuns from the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist order, which does peace walks all around the world. This will be the fourth time VFP has organized a peace walk through various parts of Maine during recent years.
The walk will pass through Ellsworth on Oct. 10 with a kick-off program and potluck to be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ellsworth on Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. Contact me at 266-6672 or [email protected] for more local information.
The walk is being sponsored by Maine Veterans for Peace; PeaceWorks; CodePink Maine; Citizens Opposing Active Sonar Threats (COAST); Peace Action Maine; Veterans for Peace Smedley Butler Brigade (Greater Boston); Seacoast Peace Response (Portsmouth); and Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.
More information about the walk route and schedule is available at vfpmaine.org/walk.
Starr C. Gilmartin