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Maine Activists Protest Spending on U.S. Nuclear Overhaul

Ed Morin
Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, speaks at a tax day rally Tuesday in Portland.

PORTLAND, Maine - As Maine residents scrambled to get their income taxes filed by today's deadline, a small group of activists gathered in Portland's Congress Square Park to protest how those taxes are being spent.

Members of several groups called on the federal government to scrap its plans for a trillion-dollar overhaul of the U.S.'s nuclear weapons program and instead take steps to abolish the weapons.

Bath resident Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.

"The Pentagon has essentially become the primary resource extraction service for corporate globalization, but obviously it benefits the military industrial complex as they make massive profits from endless war," Gagnon said.

Other groups represented at the protest included Maine Veterans for Peace, Peace Action Maine, PeaceWorks, Maine War Tax Resistance Resource Center, Maine Natural Guard, and 350Maine.

The protesters said they want their tax money spent on healthcare, education, rebuilding the nation's "crumbling" infrastructure and other programs that bolster communities.

Ed is a Maine native who spent his early childhood in Livermore Falls before moving to Farmington. He graduated from Mount Blue High School in 1970 before going to the University of Maine at Orono where he received his BA in speech in 1974 with a broadcast concentration. It was during that time that he first became involved with public broadcasting. He served as an intern for what was then called MPBN TV and also did volunteer work for MPBN Radio.