BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - A group called The Mayflower Society held a "Rally to Preserve American Traditions" today in Bangor.
The rally took place at Peirce Memorial Park and was a very brief demonstration. According to the Bangor Police Department, the group, which calls themselves The Mayflower Society- not affiliated with the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Maine- had originally canceled the rally on Saturday morning.
The small group came with American flags and a banner voicing that they believe Indigenous People’s Day and Columbus Day should not fall on the same day.
The group says that they believe there is a systematic movement in America to remove Americans from their cultures. They also think that Indigenous People's Day and Columbus Day should be on the same day.
A number of towns, including the cities of Portland and Bangor have decided to call the second Monday in October "Indigenous Peoples Day," instead of Christopher Columbus Day.
The Bangor City Council came to the unanimous decision to resolve the second Monday in October as Indigenous People's Day in August.
Karen Marysdaugher was at the rally to oppose the Mayflower Society's message. She believes the resolve to call the second Monday in October Indigenous People's Day is not a solution, but a step in the right direction toward unity.
“It’s not just good-will that will move us forward, and it is not just Indigenous People’s Day. Although that is an important start. We need to really change our institutions to make them more inclusive.”
Bangor Mayor Joe Baldacci also says that Indigenous People's Day promotes the city's efforts to be more inclusive.
“I think it is important to extend a hand to everybody that wants to live together in peace, and wants to raise their family together in peace in prosperity," said Baldacci. "We can do that as a city without any type of prejudice, but inclusion.”
The Mayflower society at one point mentioned a security threat as one reason for cancelling the initial rally, but Bangor Police say they were never made aware of a threat.
Bangor Police say they are prepared for any possible demonstrations as Indigenous People's Day approaches.