Hundreds gather to protest President Trump's arrival in Bangor

Published: Jun. 5, 2020 at 5:25 PM EDT
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Just down the road from the Bangor International Airport, hundreds of people turned out to peacefully protest the President's arrival

The rally was called "Turn Our Back on Hate and Turn to Love."

Protesters took a knee and faced the opposite direction as Air Force One landed.

Organizers say their message was one of unity and opposition to hate, bigotry and racism. Designated peacekeepers were on hand to make sure the hour-long event "stayed on message," according to one of those peacekeepers.

Many speakers were from Maine's faith community, including Reverend Linette George. Out of 153 congregations in the Maine Conference of the United Church of Christ, she says she's one of only two African American ordained clergy. She says in the past week she's already noticed a change in attitudes regarding race in Maine.

She told a story of being out around town with her sister a few days ago. "'Did you see that? Was that a Black Lives Matter sign?'," Rev. George said to her sister. "We went down further and we got in front of John Bapst, and in the median in front of John Bapst was an even larger, I believe, Black Lives Matter sign. I was so excited that I almost wanted to weep. I graduated from John Bapst in 1983 and I was always one of two black kids in that whole school. It meant the world to me that the place that formed me so significantly is standing with me."

After the speakers were done, some protesters crossed the street to the airport. According to law enforcement, they got too close to the red zone, which was deemed a security risk. Officers from multiple departments responded, but there was no further escalation.

At the same time, a pro-Trump rally was happening nearby. His supporters say they were hoping to get a glimpse of the president and were excited he chose to visit Maine.