Hundreds gathered in downtown Bangor Saturday afternoon to promote peace in the face of a variety of global issues — including war, poverty, climate destruction and racism.
An estimated 200 to 300 people came by during the three-hour event in West Market Square, which included a rally, speakers, information tables, art activities and a march through downtown Bangor.
The point was to talk about peaceful ways to end the violence experienced by people in the U.S., an organizer said.
“When people are hungry, it’s violence against them,” said Ilze Petersons of the Peace and Justice Center, who helped organize the event. “When we’re spending money on [tax breaks] for the wealthy and when we’re spending money on the war, like [President Dwight] Eisenhower said, it takes food away from the hungry and [shelter] from the homeless who need to be sheltered.”
Mary Ellen Quinn of the Catholic movement Pax Christi Maine, which along with the Peace and Justice Center started the annual event four years ago, said the event in Bangor is part of a national movement “to make nonviolence an alternative way to address the problems that we face locally and globally.”
The Bangor event is part of national Campaign Nonviolence Week, which runs from Sept. 16-24 and coincides with the International Day of Peace on Sept. 21.