From Caucusing to Marching, Central Maine Resists Division

Last March, I changed my residency from New Jersey to Maine so that I could caucus for Bernie Sanders in my first presidential election. The caucus was held in the basketball gym at Thomas College where myself and a few hundred other registered Democrats squished together to hear pitches from the Sanders and Clinton camps as well as hear a number of other presentations by local Democrats.

Whether it was the cramped conditions or the stimulating presentations, the conversations flowed easily and were substantive. Being surrounded by people of all different classes, colors, genders, and self-interests, challenging each other and working together to make their progressive ideologies a reality was a really powerful experience. I felt the same indivisibility and commitment to justice when I attended the Women’s March on Maine, in Augusta, on Saturday, January 21.

As a white upper-class cis-gender heterosexual man, I often feel uncomfortable speaking out, as my demographic’s actions are the source behind many of the issues  our nation faces today. However, instead of being viewed as a part of the problem, a product and perpetuation of systemic racism and sexism, I along with my three other white male friends were welcomed with open arms at the March. Clumped together on the front lawn of the Maine State Capitol, I stood and chanted arm in arm undivided with men and women of all ages, genders, races sexual orientations, economic and immigrant statuses, demonstrating against hateful rhetoric and now enacted policy that is determined to divide us.

We heard from a number of people on issues central to the resistance, LGBTQ rights, Women’s rights, environmental protection, and refugee’s rights. The vigor and the passion of the speakers energized the crowd and created an environment so understanding, focused, and loving that the good vibes were nearly palpable.

The diversity in age was also incredible. I remember seeing a collection of parents with toddlers on their shoulders and seniors with their walkers, all watching intently as a girl in her 20s danced to Native American music. To hear the elderly speak so harshly against the hateful rhetoric of the past political season and to watch the younger generations so passionately demonstrate against the rhetoric was amazing and instilled confidence not only in me and my generation but also those that came before and the ones that will follow.

Similar to during the caucus, I felt that the progressive community in central Maine was indivisible. I felt that regardless of what is going to be thrown at us these next few years, the central Maine community would stay together and not give in. Despite the lines in the sand being drawn by the Trump administration, the Women’s March showed the importance in recognizing intersectionality and inclusion in the resistance to those divisions.

The Women’s March was truly a great way to start the resistance and it has been inspiring to see subsequent demonstrations in Waterville and all over the state. Increasing the fortitude of the resistance in the next few months is key and I implore you to join me and get out there and fight for what is right.

One Comment

Leave a Reply