Lawmakers need to hear, he said, from "everyday, working Mainers who are paying attention and who want democracy to work for all people."

But he also said: "Representative democracy means seeking common ground with those we disagree with. That can be hard, even frustrating."

Similarly, rally participant Bob Guethlen said: "When people collectively express how all these issues fit together, it's promising," But he acknowledged "it's a long-term struggle" to have a political effect.


Creative Protest: Making activist ARRT

Banners displayed at the Alliance for the Common Good rally at the State House had a professional look. They were made by a group of Maine artists who have organized into the Artists’ Rapid Response Team (ARRT) to help “positive social change” campaigns.

With “carfare and a tiny stipend” paid by a $5000 grant from the Broad Reach Fund —an anonymous donor’s fund administered by the Maine Community Foundation — the team will help progressive causes “make ideas visible,” according to a brochure distributed by painter Natasha Mayers, of Whitefield.

ARRT is available to make banners, posters, costumes, parade floats, murals, and other creations. Other artists involved include Suzanna Lasker, Chris Higgins, Kenny Cole, Rob Shetterly, and Doreen Conboy.

Look for ARRT banners at the January 26 tar sands rally and march in Portland.

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