Last week, the ACLU of Maine participated in marches in Portland and Lewiston calling for racial justice and an end to violence. The marches were part of a nationwide response to multiple instances of excessive police violence against people of color that have gone unpunished.

On December 7, over 600 protesters gathered in Portland and marched from Congress Square Park to Portland High School. On December 12, more than 100 marchers walked through Lewiston in an event organized largely by youth. 

Participants at both events called for an end to the racism pervasive throughout our justice system and for greater police accountability. They called for recognition of the fact that the tragic deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice are part of a long history of police violence and discrimination against communities of color, and called for reform of our two-tiered system of justice.

Last Saturday, the ACLU marched with thousands of protestors from downtown Washington D.C. to the U.S Capitol in the Justice for All rally. Tens of thousands more marched in New York City, Los Angeles and Boston. From Cleveland to Ferguson, from New York to Maine, there is a dire need for reform. People nationwide have taken to the streets to demand change and to make clear that the status quo is unacceptable.

Demonstrations are sure to continue nationwide. If you plan to join an upcoming action, rally or demonstration make sure you know your rights.