While the Pittsburgh Organizing Group re-groups in its campaign against military recruitment locally, it has had its first success exporting the movement. Members of POG will be speaking about the Pittsburgh effort to several groups in Athens, Ohio, on Weds. Oct. 19.
Damon Krane, executive coordinator of People Might, which trains progressive activists in Athens' high-schools and colleges, says he and several other Ohio activists were in Oakland on Aug. 20, when six protesters were arrested - some maced or hit with a taser -- in front of the military recruiting station there. But the Athens group is "still trying to see what form" their protests might take. Meanwhile, he is impressed with the success of Pittsburgh's campaign in getting attention and drawing participants.
POG will speak to Athens members of such established social-justice groups as Positive Action and InterAct, but the town's POG-friendly atmosphere is nothing new. Athens County was a top Ohio draw for John Kerry in the 2004 for presidential race and also voted against the state's Amendment 1 proposition to define marriage as exclusive to one man and one woman.
And Krane is the younger brother of Justin Krane, one of the six Aug. 20 arrestees.
"I started doing this work before he did," Damon marvels. "Now he's probably doing more stuff than I am."