“In This Together” Addresses Supreme Court Decisions

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Carolyn Tkach, Founder of the New Group “In It Together” at Lincoln Park Today.”

Lindsay Waire, an Organizer for Planned Parenthood Urged Everyone to Vote “Because One Election Cycle Can Change Everything.”

“This is a new group for people who care about Democracy and feel threatened by the recent decisions of the Supreme Court,” said Carolyn Tkach, founder of “In This Together” this afternoon at Lincoln Park in downtown Portland.  “We want people to talk about their experiences and the effect they have had on their lives.”

Jake Kulawgz, co-founder of the group said:  “What we are doing here is really important.  This is not just one event.  It’s the beginning of many events.”  He reminded the attendees that Lincoln Park is on land stolen from the Wabanaki Indians.  The US was founded on decolonization, slavery and land taken from Native Americans.”

Issues on the agenda included the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe vs. Wade, gun control, the future of the LGBTQ community and the Court’s restriction on the EPA’s authority to act independently.

In her introductory remarks, Tkach said that the group will cover a lot of issues that the Supreme Court has dropped the ball on.  “The Supreme Court is an undemocratic institution.  We are standing here because this is an emergency.  We have to fight for it.  We are in a scary spot and we don’t know what to do next,”  But Tkach said she believes in change.  “Just look at what happened in Kansas on the abortion matter,” she said. Women and their allies voted to protect their reproductive health care rights at the ballot box.

Josh Kauppila, of Rev. Barber’s Poor People’s Campaign told the assembled group:  “We are at a turning point in our democracy.  These divisions among each other divide each other.  No one is free until everyone is free,” he said.  “Our dream of democracy has not been met yet.”

Jess Fallero spoke about her poverty and living as a homeless person.  She courageously led the encampment of homeless people in front of city hall several years ago.  It was a grueling and exhausting experience for her.  “The city did not change following the encampment, We are humans even though we are unhoused.  It’s a constant struggle from morning to night,” she said.  In between speakers, Aubrey Trout, a theomusicologist with the Poor People’s Campaign in Maine, led the group in chants.

Lindsay Waire, an organizer for Planned Parenthood, said that following the SCOTUS decision overturning Roe vs. Wade forty-three (43) clinics in eleven states closed immediately.  That number has only increased.  People are calling Planned Parenthood to determine if abortion is legal in Maine.  “Let’s remove the stigma around abortion,” she said.  “One election cycle can change everything dramatically.  Make sure that all  legislative seats in Augusta are filled by people who support women’s health care.”

Michelle Stapleton, of Moms Demand Action, encouraged volunteers to show up at meetings in Augusta.  “Every session groups like the NRA show up pushing their legislation.  That’s even though 80% of the public support stricter gun legislation.  We need people to show up to counter the NRA’s lobbying efforts.”

Tkach announced a pot luck dinner on Sunday, August 28 at 4:00 pm on the Eastern Promenade.  It will be an opportunity to continue the conversation begun this afternoon at Lincoln Park.

For more information on this new group, please emai CarolynTkach.@gmail.com. Or Jkulawgz@gmail.com