Peaceful demonstration for women’s rights | Community News

by Maggie White

On Thursday, June 30 at 4 p.m., Blue Hill resident Mary Richardson staged a peaceful protest in response to the WE Supreme Court’s June 24 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the constitutional right to abortion. The news compelled Richardson, who currently works at the Blue Hill Inn, to take action. “I texted my colleague, Josie, and said ‘we have to do something’.”

Make it happen

Alumnus of George Stevens Academy and recent graduate of Bates College where she double majored in art and psychology, Richardson said that while she has some experience in leadership roles through student council and in as a cross-country captain, she had never organized anything. like this event. Despite a lack of experience, she went ahead, checking with the city before posting the event to her Facebook and Instagram accounts.

“I was joking with my parents, who told me to check with the municipal authorities that everything would be fine. I said, ‘How’s the activism going if we ask permission?’ said Richardson. She decided to call it a “peaceful protest” as opposed to a “rally”, a “march” or simply a “protest” because she felt such a title was “soft but firm”.

sing together

The event included a keynote address from Richardson, followed by a group march through the center of Blue Hill. “Initially there was a bittersweet energy…for the first 20 minutes there was a bit of awkwardness or social anxiety, people were settling in and there was definitely some sadness. Once we started singing, the stage fright went away. In the end, people felt empowered,” she said. Some of the chanted lines included “My body, my choice,” “Abortion is a right human” and “Abortion is a health system”.

power in people

Richardson said: “My heart was so warmed by the number of people who came. It started with some of my girlfriends from Ellsworth and some mothers I know. By the time I read my speech we had a good crowd and by the time we got to the bridge there were about 150 people. It was really inspiring to see people of all ages. Of those who participated, Richardson estimated there were about 25 men.

As 150 people marched, countless vehicles coincidentally ‘participated’, driving past the group and honking, waving and/or shouting in support. “I was so touched by people driving by because…I thought some people were too conservative or wouldn’t be for our cause and a lot of people were honking their horns and waving their hands,” she said. “It’s not a question of left or right. It depends on who is carrying the child.

As for next steps, Richardson encouraged her crowd to give whatever they are able to give to like-minded causes and to participate in other events. “Of course, our small demonstration will not change everything, but we are not an island. We can do it… So many different circles support this cause. There is power in people.