by NRCM Public Affairs Coordinator Beth Dimond
I have lived in Maine my entire life, so I understand what a winter’s day is like. I have raced into the Atlantic Ocean in December for the past four years during NRCM’s Polar Bear Dip & Dash. So I understand what being very cold is like. But nothing prepared me for the freezing cold, windy day in Monument Square last Saturday. When I woke up and heard the wind outside, I was thinking that the arctic temperatures would keep people away from this event. Boy, was I ever wrong!
About 1,500 people gathered, marched, chanted, cheered, held signs, drummed, and listened to speakers talking about the many reasons why bringing tar sands oil through a 62-year-old pipeline across some of Maine’s most important waterways is a bad idea for Maine people and our environment.
We heard from U.S. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, Portland Mayor Michael Brennan, NRCM’s executive director Lisa Pohlmann and clean energy director Dylan Voorhees, and from other groups working in Maine and across the region on climate change and tar sands oil issues, and from people who have this pipeline running through their backyards. All very inspiring and motivating, their words illustrated the numerous ways tar sands oil is a bad idea for Maine. You can learn more about tar sands oil at www.nrcm.org/tarsands.asp.
I have worked for NRCM for 17 years and been part of some amazing events, but this may rank as the biggest, and most urgent! To see 1,500 people marching down Commercial Street toward the Maine State Pier was amazing. The signs that people carried were true works of art. There were babies, dogs, young people, elderly people, and they traveled here from all over Maine, New England, and Canada. I don’t think anyone who participated in the planning expected this large a crowd. You could see the smiles from organizers as people kept arriving at Monument Square, signs in hand, ready to march.
If you were there, and would like to, please share your experience with us here on our blog. If you weren’t able to attend, please take a few minutes to view our slideshow of some of the many images from the day. If you have photos you would like to share with us, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can add them to the slideshow.
Beth Dimond, NRCM Public Affairs Coordinator