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Gerritt Kicks Off 2009 Buy Nothing Day

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Below is an email sent out by Rhode Island Green Party delegate Greg Gerrit. As was mentioned in a 2008 OpEdNews interview with Gerrit, he's been heading up Rhode Island's version of Buy Nothing Day since 1997. Buy Nothing Day always falls on the busiest shopping day of the year in the US, the day after Thanksgiving.

In the '08 interview, Gerrit elucidated upon the purpose of Buy Nothing Day as well as the yearly Coat Exchange with which he couples Rhode Island's version of Buy Nothing Day.

Although the email deals with Rhode Island's Buy Nothing Day's specifics, it's published as is. There are some contacts in the email which may help anyone who may consider initiating this effort in his or her community.

I know on a day as hot as this, who can even think of winter coats. But it seems that this year will show us even more need, so it seemed like the time to start. We all have our own understanding of why the economy collapsed, mine is based on the greed by the bankers was a response to ecological collapse. The bankers wanted an ever bigger share of a pie that is struggling to grow due to destruction of soils, forests, and the climate. What we need is equity combined with ecology, democracy, and non violence to solve our economic problem. A community effort to redistribute winter coats such as Buy Nothing Day, is a tangible way, a community affirming way, to take a stand on all these issues.

Last year we added an event in Woonsocket at St Ann's cultural center. I gave a talk in Woonsocket recently on ecology so I walked by St Ann's for the first time. The outside is very nice, wish I had had time to stop in.

I can think of several more regions of the state that could use a BND event. If you can catalyze in your own neighborhood, I am happy to help. Get in touch (contact on the flyer below)

I am enclosing a simply updated version of last years simplest flyer. I hope my friends on this list will send me various versions to distribute, knowing that there are likely to be a couple of updates before November, but also knowing that for 98% of our purposes the version here will be useful. Thanks for your continued participation. Greg gerritt


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If you have a coat to give, please drop it off.
If you need a coat, please pick one up.
State House lawn (directly across from Providence Place mall)
Rain/snow site: St. Patrick's School, 244 Smith St
the Visitors Center, 175 Main St. Pawtucket
And 3 other locations: Newport, Wakefield, and Woonsocket

On November 27th - the busiest day in the American retail calendar and the unofficial start of the international Christmas-shopping season - thousands of activists and concerned citizens in 65 countries will take a 24-hour consumer detox as part of the annual Buy Nothing Day, a global phenomenon that originated in Vancouver, Canada.

Reasons for participating in Buy Nothing Day are as varied as the people who choose to participate. Some see it as an escape from the marketing mind games and frantic consumer binge that has come to characterize the holiday season, and our culture in general. Others use it to expose the environmental and ethical consequences of over-consumption.

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In Providence as part of International Buy Nothing Day, we hold a winter coat exchange on the lawn of the State House directly across from Providence Place mall.

There are over 60 co-sponsors of this event - from community organizations, places of worship, civic, environmental and peace groups. To volunteer to help with this life-affirming event.

Contact information:

Providence Greg Gerritt: 331-0529;; Phil Edmonds: 273-4650;
Pawtucket - Arthur Pitt 724-8915;
Newport - St Paul's Church 12 West Marlborough St. Maggie Bulmer 849-3537.
Woonsocket St Ann's Arts and Cultural Center 84 Cumberland Street Roger Bonin 728-8328
Wakefield --St. Francis Church, 114 High Street, 10 Am to Noon Tom Abbott 364-0778

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Michael Bonanno is an associate editor for OpEdNews.

He is also a published poet, essayist and musician who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Bonanno is a political progressive, not a Democratic Party apologist. He believes it's (more...)

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