Protesters occupy Middle Street in front of the Portland police headquarters throughout the rally Thursday night. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer More than 70 people demonstrated in front of the Portland police headquarters Thursday night versus police cruelty in the wake of months of nationwide protests following the deaths of
Blacks at the hands of law enforcement and less than two weeks before the presidential election. The peaceful rally, which was organized by Black Lives Matter Maine, was held as part of a nationwide demonstration motion– the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Cruelty, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation– that started 24 years earlier. Comparable rallies were prepared throughout the U.S. on Thursday.
In the past, similar gatherings in Maine’s biggest city have actually concentrated on the killings by cops of Black Americans such as George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky. Their names were discussed again at Thursday’s rally in speeches and chants, but the tone of the occasion was slightly different with just days left prior to the Nov. 3 election.
Josh Wood, a member of Black Lives Matter Maine, started the rally by leading the crowd collected on Middle Street in a chant: “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA.”
In a declaration Thursday, nationwide organizers stated the country has reached a moment of “enormous possibility, but likewise immense threat,” declaring the United States is in threat of becoming a fascist state as evidenced by federal forces kidnapping demonstrators on streets through the orders of President Trump, by organized acts of terror carried out by armed white militias, and by the government promoting white supremacist violence.
“Many of these acts of fear were prompted and condoned by the greatest office in the land, and Trump continues to push and empower his base to frighten with shows of force,” the declaration stated.
< a href="https://portlandmaineinsnearme.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/black-lives-matter-maine-stages-rally-at-portland-police-station-press-herald-1.jpg"data-caption="A protester from Old Orchard Beach who offered the name "Tew" chants with protesters at the Portland police station for National Day of Action Versus Authorities Cruelty on Thursday evening. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer
“> A protester from Old Orchard Beach who provided the name “Tew”chants with protesters at the Portland police headquarters for National Day of Action Against Police Brutality on Thursday evening. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer Wood said that Black Lives Matter Maine and those who support its cause requirement to make it clearer to the news media and the general public that they represent a racially and ethnically varied group of individuals who are attempting to construct a new, inclusive chapter of the organization.” We want to highlight that everybody have lives which we are not simply faces and names on a TELEVISION screen,”Wood said. After leading the crowd in another chant in memory of Taylor, who was shot in her home during a raid by white law enforcement officer, he welcomed members of the crowd to speak.
Wood stood on the steps of the police headquarters and utilized a bullhorn to resolve the group. Portland cops blocked both ends of Middle Street to traffic during the rally.
Dennis Turenchalk, who resides in New York state, seized the day to speak to those on hand, most of whom were much younger than he.
Turenchalk said he had lived through the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal, which caused the resignation of previous President Richard Nixon.
“Racism lives and it’s in all of the nation,” stated Turenchalk, who is white. “It’s taking place and it is taking place all over.”
Michelle Brown, left, of North Berwick and Daria Cullen of Sanford hold Black Lives Matter indications during the demonstration Thursday at the Portland police headquarters.
Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Professional Photographer Trump advocates may deny it, however the president is a racist, Turenchalk asserted. “I’m a student of the ’60s. My advice to you is to keep going, keep objecting. We got rid of Nixon and we can get rid of Trump,”he stated.
Hamdia Ahmed, one of the leaders of Black Lives Matter Maine, thanked the crowd for coming and urged them to keep repeating the names of those Black citizens who have been eliminated by authorities. She stated their names can never ever be forgotten if change is to occur. And Ahmed, without mentioning her choice for president, prompted everyone to vote on Nov. 3.
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