Flotilla on Penobscot River to Support Tribal Territory and Rights

flotilla 5-23-15

On May 23, 2015, people converged on the Penobscot River in Bangor to show their support of the Penobscot Nation’s rights over its ancestral territory- the waters of the Penobscot River.  The State of Maine issued a letter to the tribe in 2012, redefining the Penobscot’s territory to NOT include the River itself, a direct departure from historical treaties and previous interpretation of treaties and the Land Claims Settlement Act of 1980 by the State of Maine.

Around 150 people were present in boats or on shore to demonstrate their support.  Following is a video, news coverage, and photos of the event:

WABI-TV 5

BDN

3 minute video by Sass Linneken

photos by the Maine Paparazzi (including photo above)

Alliance for Common Good hosts 3rd Annual Rally of Unity

A tremendous showing for community and tribal sovereignty, and water protection

Augusta – Over a hundred Maine citizens and representatives from dozens of organizations joined forces at the State House’s Hall of Flags for the third annual Rally of Unity. The overarching theme for this year’s rally was protection of our water resources and respect for community and tribal sovereignty. Featured speakers included Shenna Bellows, former candidate for U.S. Senate and former Maine Senator Troy Jackson.

Other speakers shared the podium addressing concerns around the critical need to protect water in Maine. With many potentially destructive plans looming in Maine, such as extreme water extraction/privatization, mountain-top mining and the exorbitant waste it produces, the East-West Industrial Corridor and pipeline, industrial wind, and more, organizations came together to speak in a unified voice informing Maine legislators what Mainers expect from their service. A current critical issue between the Penobscot Nation and the State of Maine government was one of the topics at this year’s rally.

“Sadly, Penobscot people are anxiously awaiting the fate of our river,” said Maria Girouard, Penobscot tribal member and founder of Dawnland Environmental Defense. In Augusta 2012, state government asserted its opinion to Penobscot Chief and Council that the Penobscot Indian reservation did not include the water. The Penobscot Indian reservation consists of over 200 islands in the Penobscot River. “Frankly, this redefining of our territory feels outright hostile. Maine government is supposed to be working for all Maine people, yet most people have no idea that this is happening. This current legal battle has the potential to last years and cost millions of tax payer dollars. What I would like to know is why Maine government is asserting its claim to the water? And on whose behalf?”

Larry Dansinger of Resources for Organizing Social Change and an organizer for this year’s rally said, “The Maine legislature has been passing too many bills that benefit the one percent and hurt 99 percent of Mainers. The public needs to demand laws that benefit the vast majority of Maine people, not just a select and powerful few.”

All individuals and groups participating in this third annual event are unified under the principles of: Reserving Maine money for Maine people; keeping money out of politics; respecting community and tribal sovereignty; and promoting an economy that protects, rather than compromises, our environment. In addition to speakers and songs, the rally hosted organization tabling and provided opportunity for networking and alliance building.

Alliance for the Common Good Members include: 350 Maine, 350 Waldo County, Ability Maine, Alliance for Democracy, American Friends Service Committee Wabanaki Program, Americans Who Tell the Truth, Artists Rapid Response Team, Bring our War $$ Home, CodePink, Community Water Justice, Dawnland Environmental Defense/ Justice for the River, Defending Water for Life, Don’t Waste ME, Food AND Medicine, Food and Water Watch, Food for Maine’s Future, Forest Ecology Network, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, Friends of Penobscot Bay, Friends of the Piscataquis Valley, Global Network, Green Initiatives, anti-Industrial wind activists, Maine EarthFirst!, Maine Fair Trade Campaign, Maine Greens, Maine Peace Action Committee, Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition, Maine Students for Climate Justice, Maine Veterans for Peace, Midcoast Peace and Justice, Occupy groups statewide, Pax Christi Maine, Peace Action Maine, Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine, Peace and Justice Group of Waldo County, PeaceWorks of Greater Brunswick/ Waging Peace, Peninsula Peace and Justice, Pine Tree Youth Organizing, Power in Community Alliances (PICA)/ U.S. El Salvador Sister Cities Committee, Resources for Organizing Social Change, Riverbilly Coalition for Natural Resources Preservation, SEEDS for Justice, Southern Maine Workers Center, Stop the East-West Corridor, TWAC (Trans and/or Women’s Action Camp), We the People Maine.

Here is WABI-5 news coverage of the event.

Here is a video of the full event.

Here are pictures from the event by the Maine Paparazzi, Roger Leisner.

Lastly, here is an independent article published in The Cryer by Lew Kingsbury:

The Most Successful Statehouse Event You Never Heard Of

End Violence Together event draws crowd in Bangor

One week after hundreds of thousands took part in the People’s Climate Change demonstration in New York City, Mainers came together for a rally and march to connect the dots between climate destruction, poverty and war.

Defending Water for Life in Maine was one of 38 Maine cosponsors for the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine’s “End Violence Together” event that was held on Saturday, September 27 on the Bangor waterfront as part of the national Campaign Nonviolence.

Chris and others marching with DWFL banner made by ARRT!

Chris and others marching with DWFL banner made by ARRT!

This public action featuring drumming, speakers, music and a march was one of more than 170 being held across the country. It was designed to raise awareness of the interrelationship of war, poverty and environmental destruction. Participants demonstrated a commitment to work collaboratively to build a culture of peace and nonviolence. 

Speakers included Mary Ellen Quinn, social worker and co-chair of Pax Christi Maine; Marc Cryer, Veterans for Peace, Jim Harney Chapter  and Chris Buchanan of Defending Water for Life.   Doug Allen of the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine emceed.

A short performance by Voices for Peace set the tone for the event.  
To view Chris’s speech, click here.
Visit http://www.CampaignNonviolence.org to make a national connection.

 

Defending Water for Life / STEWC at Hope Festival, 2014

Link to orginal BDN article, “20th Annual Hope Festival held at Orono,” and slide show.

CB tabling HOPE 2014 best shot

ORONO, Maine — The 20th annual Help Organize Peace Earthwide (HOPE) festival was held Saturday, April 26, at University of Maine in Orono.

The festival is held each year to celebrate Earth Day and all the good work being done my more than 60 organizations working to take care of the earth and each other, according to a press release.

The day’s events featured at least 60 organizations who had displays, provided activities, music or speakers or otherwise participated in the event. There also was a special display of 20 years of HOPE Festival posters and videos.

The annual HOPE Festival was organized by the Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine, located in Bangor.

CB tabling HOPE 2014 CB tabling HOPE 2014 2

Charleston residents ‘pass over’ ordinance to block east-west highway

Bangor Daily News , Dec. 14, 2013

CHARLESTON, Maine — Even with extra chairs brought in, it was still standing room only at Saturday’s special town meeting, where residents voted to pass on considering a rights-based ordinance designed to stop the proposed east-west corridor.

The decision to pass over the proposed ordinance nullified it, town officials said.

“There is a flaw in the definition section,” Bob Lodato, one of the backers of the rights-based ordinance, informed those gathered at the Charleston Community Center. “We plan to continue working in order to develop another option to stop the east-west highway.”

Read More: http://bangordailynews.com/2013/12/14/news/penobscot/charleston-residents-pass-over-ordinance-to-block-east-west-highway/?ref=latest

Eastern best guesses 1-30-13

eastern route options 1-30-13

Hot pink is Washington county line
Yellow is Sunrise area, a group of many small segments of preserves etc
Red is the Power line ROW edges to Canada
The Greens are preserves provided by standard Google Earth, however more are displayed with the Maine overlays from the website
light pink is Passamaquaddy lands
the blue is Penobscot lands
both as per newest atlas
Light blue is the Machias Watershed main tributaries
cream colored is the Farm trust land
These are better separated with the State overlay. Not part of this snapshot.
Dark purple is a conceptual route south of the Moosehorn preserve (near ground level view)
The lighter purple below it is a more northern conceptual route
The eastern pink is a route from Eastport up to these two conceptual routes for a connection
The lime green is conceptual routes based on the Perry statement of which the most northern only allows about 1200 feet directly though Pembroke, the two southern are Cainbro dream routes of more bridges.