End Violence Together 2016 – Rally & March in Bangor, Maine
By Mary Ellen Quinn
On Saturday September 17th, close to 200 people gathered for ‘End Violence Together’ (EVT) at West Market Square in Bangor, Maine. Forty organizations and faith communities co-sponsored this community event whose purpose was to raise awareness of the interconnectedness of war, racism, poverty, environmental destruction and the epidemic of violence. Co-sponsoring groups provided informational tables on nonviolent strategies to effect change.
Mary Ellen Quinn, Co-Coordinator Pax Christi Maine who acted as rally emcee spoke about national Campaign Nonviolence and the EVT action being in solidarity with over 700 actions across the country.
This 3rd annual EVT rally highlighted youth who spoke eloquently about their experience of religious and racial discrimination; sexual assault; environmental destruction; gang violence and steps taken to overcome the impact of violence. Speakers were Ban Shoukier, Sofia Wittman and Margo Roberts all of Bangor High School and Jamar Wilkins of Penobscot Job Corps. Jules Hathaway and Jim Mello shared their personal experience through poetry readings.
Following the speakers, Women with Wings performed and led the group in song during the march through downtown Bangor. Peter Baldwin led the march with his peace drum. A closing ceremony included singing in circle and the passing of an inflatable globe.
Having the active participation of so many students and young adults from Bangor High School, Penobscot Job Corps, Youth MOVE Maine and Shaw House was a mark of success. Maine Discovery Museum provided children’s activities preceding the rally.
End Violence Together had excellent media coverage leading up to September 17th as well as during and after the event by three TV stations, two radio stations and local newspapers. Karen Marysdaughter of the Peace and Justice Center coordinated the planning effort, informational tables, interactive activities and media. Photographs were taken by Sam Chamberlain of Youth MOVE Maine.
See local news report here:
See photos below.