KVO at Large Rally in Waterville to Support Haitian Immigrant Held by ICE

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A rally in support of Lexius Saint Martin and his family was held today in Waterville, bringing dozens of supporters, with estimates of as many as 100 in attendance braving the cold.

From MainePublic:

Many of those in attendance say they are outraged at the thought of breaking up a family.

“It helps nobody, and it victimizes the family and the kids, and it’s just horrific,” said Andi Parkinson of Monmouth.

Saint Martin immigrated from Haiti to Maine as a child with his family. He had one previous brush with the law over a decade ago, but has completely turned his life around and is now a home and business owner. He is now married and he and his wife have 2 toddler sons and their third child, a daughter, on the way. He was taken into custody on January 2 and is currently in New Hampshire, awaiting his fate.

From the Facebook event:

Lexius Saint Martin, a Haitian refugee living in Waterville with his family, is facing imminent deportation. Losing him would devastate his wife and children, who are US citizens and native Mainers.

Join us to rally in support of the Saint Martin family, to urge Maine’s congressional delegation to take action, and to call for fair immigration reform.

    This event is supported by:

ACLU of Maine
Aspire For Humanity Initiatives
Capital Area New Mainers Project
Colby Feminist Alliance
Colby Students Organized for Black and Latinx Unity
Families First Community Center
First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church
Gateway Community Services of Maine
Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center
Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project
In Her Presence
Maine Equal Justice Partners
Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services
Maine March for Racial Justice Organizers
Maine People’s Alliance
Maine Women’s Lobby
Moral Movement Maine
New England Arab American Organization
New Mainers Tenants’ Association
Oak Institute for Human Rights
Somali Community Center of Maine
Suit Up Maine
Welcoming Immigrants Network

… as well as Kennebec Valley Organization and many area clergy, who joined in urging Maine’s Congressional delegation to support this young Maine family and work to reunite them soon.

KVO Attends Rally for Racial Justice in Portland

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KVO and member groups drove down to Payson Park in Portland’s Back Bay to stand in solidarity with hundreds of others against racism.

From the “Oppose White Supremacy: Coming Together For Racial Justice” Facebook event page:

“What a beautiful day to gather! And what a beautiful, powerful demonstration in Boston yesterday, where more than 40,000 people standing up for racial justice dwarfed the handful of white supremacists and neo-Nazis demonstrating in the Boston Common.

While the “Free Speech” protesters yesterday were small in number, we know the reach of white supremacy goes wide and deep. We hope today’s gathering in Maine can be another powerful demonstration in opposition to white supremacy; a moment of reckoning about the history and present-day reality of racism in our state and nation; and reflect a collective commitment to liberation. This is an opportunity to face the truths of our past, and our present, and to step towards our future.”

Below are the groups who co-sponsored the gathering:

NAACP Maine, Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund, Maine Women’s Lobby, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, Congregation Beth El of Bangor, Temple Beth El of Portland, Equality Maine, Maine AFL-CIO, Maine Democratic Party, Greater Portland Greens, Somali Bantu Association, Mainers for Accountable Leadership, Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services, Maine Equal Justice Partners, Maine Consumers for Affordable Health Care, Kennebec Valley Organization, Southern Maine Democratic Socialists of America, Maine Episcopal Network for Justice, March Forth, Maine Initiatives, Maine Small Business Coalition, Maine State Nurses Association, New Mainers PAC, Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine, Prevention. Action. Change, Suit Up Maine, USM Socialists, First Parish Portland, USM Women & Gender Studies Program, USM Chapter of the Associated Faculties of the Universities of Maine, Bend the Arc Greater Portland, Progressive Portland, Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center, Somali Community Center of Maine, Southern Maine Industrial Workers of the World, Preble Street, Peace Action Maine, Maine Conservation Voters, Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition, New England Arab American Organization, and Community Financial Literacy, Greater Portland SURJ, Vajra Dakini Nunnery, Sierra Club Maine, Maine Veterans for Peace, New Mainers Tenants’ Association, Maine Votes, Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network, Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church, Catholic Charities Maine

KVO at State House Vigil Against Hate- Solidarity Rally

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Some of the photos from the Maine State House rally, held in response to the horrific events in Charlottesville, VA. Local press estimated that 150 attended, including KVO and member congregations.

From the Facebook event page:

“Stand with us against the rising tide of racism, nationalism and white supremacy highlighted this past weekend in Charlottesville. Show support for our brothers and sisters around the country who are resisting hate and coming together in love and compassion.”

Similar rallies and vigils were held in Portland, Sanford, Skowhegan, Rockland, Bar Harbor, Machias, Bangor, Cumberland, Norway, Gouldsboro, Belfast and Brunswick. Almost 700 rallies were held across the country.