By Mary Ellen Quinn
The 4th Annual End Violence Together Rally & March (EVT) was held in Bangor at West Market Square on Saturday, September 16th from 1 – 4 pm. EVT was initiated by the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine and Pax Christi Maine, the Catholic Peace & Justice movement.
Over thirty local organizations and faith communities co-sponsored the event as part of national Campaign Nonviolence Week Sept. 16-24, 2017. About 150 people participated throughout the afternoon.
The purpose of ‘End Violence Together’ was to raise awareness of the interconnectedness of war, poverty, racism, environmental destruction and violence in all its forms and to educate our community about nonviolent solutions. There was music, speakers, interactive art activities and informational tables followed by a march through the downtown area and a closing ceremony.
EVT was emceed by Mary Ellen Quinn, Co-Coordinator Pax Christi Maine. Music was led by Gray Cox, peace troubadour and professor at the College of the Atlantic. Gray and several of his students sang and led a number of lively songs related to diversity and unity. Alyssa Limeburner, a gifted songwriter and student from Belfast HS sang an original song about a young girl who committed suicide following her experience of being bullied.
Art activities included making prayer flags, painting ‘message rocks’ and the creation of a mural depicting a nonviolent community in a downtown location. The creation of prayer flags was facilitated by artist, Julia Demaree of the H.O.M.E. community in Orland; ‘message rocks’ by Anna Limeburner of the River Coalition in Old Town and the mural, depicting a nonviolent community, is being painted under the direction of Andrea Simoneau of the Peace & Justice Center.
This year’s End Violence Together event highlighted the personal and societal impact of violence especially on our youth. Speakers included exceptional students from local high schools and the University of Maine. Issues highlighted were sexism, self-harm & recovery, racial bigotry and its impact on community. Other topics were the costs of militarism & nuclear war and sowing seeds of nonviolence in our community.
Amy Hughes and Karen Marysdaughter, Co-Coordinators at Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine played a significant role in the planning effort. Photo credits go to Christina Diebold and Tracey Hair. Excellent media coverage came from local TV, radio, newspapers and the Maine Public News Service.
They got great press too:
See other press they received here:
See photos below:
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