350 Maine had its Summer Heat event at Sebago Lake yesterday! Around 200 people came out to call for a tar sands Maine. Melodeego (a bike-powered band) and Bill McKibben were special guests.
The flotilla was incredible! It was very unique and engaging. Dozens of people were in the water simulating a fake oil spill and trying to picture the devastation of that catastrophe. Lee Chisholm (a 350 Maine member) wrote and choreographed “lake theater” to simulate the beauty of the lake before a tar sands spill and what would happen if the flow of the Portland-Montreal Pipeline was reversed to carry tar sands.
There were also a large group of 350 Mainers on the intersection of routes 302 and 85 doing street theater in front of thousands of people to raise awareness about tar sands.
We also received some fantastic media coverage! We were featured on two of Maine’s primary TV stations as well as in two major newspapers.
We had a press conference as well for speakers to share their thoughts. I was honored to be a speaker. We heard from Read Brugger, an incredible 350 Maine member who was arrested a few weeks ago as part of a Fearless Summer effort to raise awareness about the dangers transporting crude oil by rail through Maine. Connie Cross, a Casco, ME resident, spoke about her efforts on the anti-tar sands campaign. Sylvia Stormwalker spoke about those being directly affected by tar sands extraction and refinement. Carol Masterson of South Portland reminded us the Concerned Citizens of South Portland’s impressive effort to gather signatures as part of a campaign to block tar sands in their community. And lastly, Bill McKibben spoke about the movement and the reality of climate change.
It was an inspiring day. The goal of the event was to raise awareness about the dangers of tar sands transportation in Maine. We wanted to go beyond the choir. Although the flotilla at Sebago was mostly 350 Maine members, the event on Rt. 302 and the press coverage reached many others. We are continuing to build our base as an organization, and yesterday was certainly a success in reaching that goal.
For more information, please visit www.350maine.org.
For media coverage and more photos, please visit www.350maine.org/summer_heat_media.