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Protester: I Came Here So I Wouldn’t Feel So Alone

Yesterday in Belfast, Maine around 40 peacebuilders came together at a big intersection on Route 1. Our statewide coalition has now brought anti war, pro peace messaging monthly to seven different locations over the course of the costly NATO war against Russia in Ukraine:

four times at various locations in Portlandtwice in Westbrooktwice in TopshamBath, and now Belfast.

I admit that I went grumbling as I wanted a day at home, but I smiled all the way back after standing with several friends I hadn’t seen in a while. And, as with each of these monthly events, I met new friends, most on the younger side; one had just arrived from Florida and came looking for kindred spirits. I felt fortunate, indeed, to be part of the beautiful “conscience of the community” (and it didn’t start to rain until we were almost home).

Our circle round in conclusion produced a few common themes: the role of the military-industrial profiteers in stoking endless wars, and the suffering of people in war zones and war economies where basic needs go unmet. Bring our war dollars home!

One person said that they and their partner are creating a new family and they worry about their child’s future with the threat of nuclear war hanging overhead.

One person was brought to tears telling of the persistent refusal of their church’s congregation to follow its own professed beliefs and criticize war making. Frustrated Christians have been a consistent presence at our protests, with individuals from various denominations expressing some version of, “I came here so that I wouldn’t feel so alone in my opposition to this war.”

One person noted that Flora, Earth Goddess, had joined us, inspired by Bread and Puppet. Her presence warmed the hearts of many who have stood for peace with her over the years.

One person brought the portable megaphone that allows us to include everyone’s voice in our closing circle. Much appreciated!

One person responded to the prompt, Tell us why you’re here, with “Where else would I be?”

Amen to that! 

Growing coalition

These groups are now co-sponsors of our series of protests: Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Maine Natural Guard, Peaceworks of Greater Brunswick, Communist Party of Maine, Party of Socialism & Liberation Maine, Maine Green Independent Party, Citizens Opposing Active Sonar Threats (COAST), People’s Party of Maine, and Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine.

Our demands

Protest schedule for summer

Saturday June 24 at 1:30pm Lewiston (Veterans Memorial Park, stand by the bridge)

link to Facebook event:

Saturday July 22 at 1:30pm Augusta (Civic Center intersection on Route 27 at I-95)

Saturday August 19 at 1:30pm Ellsworth (Route 1 intersection with Main St.)

Saturday September (exact date TBD) Skowhegan (Margaret Chase Smith bridge at confluence of Routes 2 & 201)

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