PORTLAND, Maine — Dozens of protesters took to the streets of Portland Friday evening, as part of action organized by the Jewish Activsts of Maine.
The group decided to organize with the larger, national framework Never Again Action, which is "a mass mobilization calling for Jews to shut down ICE and hold the political establishment accountable for enabling both the deportation machine that has separated immigrant families across the US for decades and the current crisis at the border."
"Groups of people are being rounded up and detained in terrible conditions in camps," said JAM organizer Becky Wartell. "We recognize what’s happening. It’s happened before. And we can’t let it get to that point again."
The group marched from the Maine State Pier to Longfellow Square, where they rallied before holding a traditional Shabbat service, which happens each Friday before sundown in the Jewish faith.
"There’s a phrase which I really like which is praying with our feet. It’s getting out into the streets and acting to change the world," Wartell said.
Protesters agree and say now is the time to act.
"This is a perfect time for people who feel that pinch of injustice to stand up and say this is wrong. Hate is wrong," said Merle Nelson.
"I think its important for lots and lots of people to show up. Lots of different people -- lots of people from different walks of life to show up and imagine what we want America to look like and what America means to us," Elizabeth Somo said.
JAM says this is the first of many demonstrations they have planned.
"Community is being built, and we are going to be able to call these people back together for more and more things in the future," said Wartell.