SANFORD — Those who can’t take part in the Women’s March on Washington in the nation’s capital Saturday can participate at home.

The Women’s March on Maine: Sanford, steps off at 10 a.m. Saturday from Central Park. As well, participants in an event called Take a Stand in Kennebunk for Women’s Rights, will line U.S. Route 1 in that community’s downtown beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Organizers of both events say all are welcome.

“We’d love to have any and all folks both sides of the political spectrum,” said Lana Cannon, a member of a Sanford group called Project CommUnity, which has organized the Sanford march. “As long as people are supportive, we’d love people to join us. Everyone is welcome as long as they are in support of woman and families. This is a pro march; it is not anti anything.”

The Sanford march and  the Kennebunk event are sister marches to the national Women’s March on Washington. There are marches in all 50 states and Puerto Rico as well as 55 global cities on six continents, from Tokyo to Sydney, Nairobi, Paris, Bogotá and more, said Boston-based national sister march spokeswoman Yordanos Eyoel in a statement.

Others in Maine, according to the Women’s March on Washington website, are in  Augusta, Brunswick, Eastport, Portland, Surry and Vinalhaven, and that number could expand by Saturday.

“We just feel important to do the work here at home,” said Cannon. “Even though we’re a smaller city, we’re still a city, and we want to get our voices out there … and represent those being marginalized and to stand up for those women and families and others who might be feeling a little scared right now.”

She outlined concern about the incoming administration’s stance on the future of the Affordable Care Act, concern that gay marriage may be made less possible, and issues affecting people of color, transgendered and others.

“This (walk) is not anti-Trump by any means,” said Cannon,”It  is a communication to him that these are human needs that needed to be heard. We want to make sure he is taking into consideration the needs of the folks that make up our vibrant community.”

Fellow Project CommUnity member Natasha Nolan said as a parent of a young child, she wasn’t able to make arrangements to get to Washington, D.C., for the national march.

“It’s important (there is) is a display of solidarity with that movement and that we show here in Sanford and all over Maine that we believe in women’s rights and don’t want to move backward,” said Nolan.

This is Project CommUnity’s first public event — the group has held peace walks with their membership on Sundays since they formed shortly after the November election.

“We take no party lines, we promote no candidate or specific person,” said Nolan. She said the group walks in peace, unity and community. She said the women’s march seemed like a good time to invite the community to join them in supporting women’s rights — promoting less divisiveness and more unity.

Everyone who supports women’s rights, civil liberties and protection of the planet is welcome, they said. There will be public speaking at 10 a.m. Saturday before the march steps off from Central Park  and makes its way toward Gowen Park, looping around Number One Pond and Gateway Park before winding down back at Central Park later in the morning.

In Kennebunk, community members are invited to gather on Main Street at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.

“People of all genders will stand for the protection of our families, our health, and freedom from violence, in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington,” said organizers Jacky Peters and  Miriam Whitehouse in a statement. “Women’s rights are human rights. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. The Women’s March aims to send a message to all levels of government that we stand together in solidarity and we expect elected leaders to protect the rights of women, their families, and their communities.”

Participants will gather at Kennebunk Town Hall and will line U.S. Route 1 south to the Waterhouse Pavilion and north to Shopper’s Village. Organizers said participants should feel free to bring signs  and note they are promoting a tone of respect and unity. Warming stations will be available at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church and Christ Church on Dane Street.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]


Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: