October 16, 2018
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A year after the biggest protest in American history, Maine women plan to march again

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
In this file photo from last year's Women’s March on Maine, held Jan. 21, 2017, supporters stride down Congress Street from the Eastern Prom. It took about two hours for the thousands of marchers to make their way to Congress Square, just over a mile away.

Thousands of women in Maine are expected to march Saturday to mark the anniversary of the 2017 Women’s March, a historic global demonstration that drew millions to protest to the election of President Donald Trump.

This year’s marches in Bangor, Gouldsboro, Bar Harbor and Augusta, will focus on driving turnout in future races and electing women, said Jennifer Jones, founder of March Forth Maine and organizer of the Augusta march.

Jones said she expects a few thousand to attend the march in Augusta. More than 500 are expected to march in Bangor. Last year, an estimated 4,000 Mainers marched in Washington, along with about 4 million others across the country — the biggest single-day protest in U.S. history.

“It’s really about getting people to the polls. We are laser-focused on elections in 2018 and 2020,” which includes electing more women and minorities in political office, Jones said — a nationwide trend that became apparent in November elections across the country.

Emerge Maine, an organization that trains future female Democratic candidates, in the last year has doubled its numbers of applicants interested in seeking political office — a phenomenon that Sarah Skillin Woodard, executive director of Emerge, attributes to the election of Trump.

In Augusta, events will begin at 11 a.m. for the Maine Women’s March 2.0: Power to the Polls on the steps of the State House. U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree and Maine Speaker of the House Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, are scheduled to speak, along with Emily Cain, director of Emily’s List, a Washington, D.C.-based group that aims to elect pro-choice Democratic women. Other speakers include Sherri Mitchell, an Indigenous activist and Fatuma Hussein of the United Somali Women of Maine.

The Mid & Northern Maine Women’s March in Bangor, organized by Stacy Leafsong, founder of the Maine Common Good Coalition, will begin at 11 a.m. at Pierce Memorial Park. Speakers include Maulian Dana, the tribal ambassador for the Penobscot Nation, along with Belfast’s newly elected mayor, Samantha Paradis, Maine Rep. Barbara Cardone, D-Bangor, and Ambureen Rana, vice president of MaineTransNet.

The Gouldsboro Women’s March 2.0, organized by Acadia Action, will start at 4 p.m. on Saturday in front of the Gouldsboro Town Office, at 59 Main St.

In Bar Harbor, the Power to the Polls march, organized by Indivisible MDI, is scheduled to begin at noon on Saturday at the Village Green.

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