PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A group of protesters gathered in Congress Square in Portland Wednesday to express their concerns about the Arctic Council's focus during its meetings in Maine.
Bruce Gagnon, of Veterans for Peace, helped organize the rally that included members of 350 Maine and other environmental groups. He said they were worried that the Council supports "exploiting" the Arctic, to use it for drilling purposes.
Gagnon also said the Council should "demilitarize the Arctic." On the Council's website, it states: "The Arctic Council's mandate, as articulated in the Ottawa Declaration, explicitly excludes military security."
The protesters called on the council to focus more on climate change.
"We're trying to bring this stuff -- these questions to the public. There's been a lot of articles in the newspaper about what's going on, but there is no real discussion about the issues that we're raising," said Gagnon.
The last day of the meetings is Thursday, October 6.