Friday, December 6, 2019

Youth And Indigenous Voices Speak Out Against NECEC / CMP Corridor Through The Maine Woods

It was a long, tiring public hearing for the proposed NECEC / CMP corridor through the Maine woods last night in Lewiston, Maine. Most who testified were opposed to the project, receiving hearty applause from the hundreds in attendance. The federal officials who had come to hear from the people of Maine certainly got a strong indication of where public sentiment is on this environmental disaster as they began listening at 4:30pm.

As many of us wearily remained until 8pm to see if we would have a chance to testify, up stepped the students of St. John's Catholic School from Brunswick. Parker Jones spoke first and the effect on the audience was electrifying. Such eloquence from one so young!

Parker and his mom (and science teacher) Tiffany Jones gave me permission to record and post this video of his remarks. Unfortunately I didn't have the opportunity to ask the other two students for permission before they came to the microphone. All of them did well and nothing could have worked better on my motivation to hang in there until the end.

Research, writing, thinking and speaking skills are alive and well in Maine!

Before the hearing we held a press conference for my U.S. Senate campaign. Here's video that Regis Tremblay produced:

It's a good thing that he did, because the mainstream press who attended ignored our contributions completely in their coverage of the event. This was sad because we were fortunate to be joined by three indigenous speakers: John Gonzalez of the Pimicikamak people whose lands in Canada have been devastated by megadams to sell hydropower to the U.S., Dawn Neptune Adams of the Penobscot people whose homeland in Wabanaki territory would be devastated if NECEC is built, and a written statement from past Penobscot chief Barry Dana which he had sent to be read at the press conference.

Why would the mainstream press ignore these important voices? Perhaps indigenous voices are inconvenient when considering a project founded in environmental racism.

I'll write a fuller report on the content of the public hearing when I have more time. It was extremely educational and deserves to be widely shared.