Last Saturday, demonstrators gathered near the entrances to Bath Iron Works and a nearby intersection to peacefully protest the “christening” of destroyer USS Daniel Inouye (read: implement of terror, violence and planetary destruction).

Twenty-two veterans, artists, parents, teachers and others were arrested, and zero Portland Press Herald reporters covered this. If they had, they would have learned that, as a follow-up action to protest the cash bail system (which unfairly punishes poor people), nine protesters refused to pay release fees of $60 and were held at Two Bridges Regional Jail for the weekend. Kudos to those willing to spend the nicest weekend of the season behind bars! And each with a touching story as to why.

The Press Herald would have known about this action and the central message of the demonstrators if a reporter had attended a news conference last Friday. At this event, youth climate activists, representatives from Maine’s First Nations and other notable speakers, including Dr. Jill Stein, spoke about converting BIW’s product line to a lucrative green and also peaceful one. At present, General Dynamics (BIW’s parent company), while receiving tens of millions in corporate welfare (aka our tax dollars), contributes to the U.S. military’s unprecedented carbon footprint by churning out obsolete implements of war like this one.

Also of note, Gov. Mills spoke in support at the “christening,” despite having signed the Green New Deal in Maine into law earlier that week (hypocrisy).

We’re at a loss for what qualifies as news these days. The Press Herald only reprinted a typo-riddled (but appreciated) Times Record article, which made no mention of the bail refusal action or Mills. Why isn’t the work of robust local activist communities, a former presidential candidate’s visit, the flip-floppy and disappointing actions of the state’s highest-ranking political officials and Maine’s latest contribution to the global climate crisis newsworthy?

Ashley and Sophia Bahlkow

North Yarmouth

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