By: Ronda Snyder
After several delays, Maine held it’s Bicentennial Parade on Saturday, August 21, 2021. Governor Janet Mills led the parade as the Grand Marshall and rode in University of Maine’s 3Dirigo Boat. Along with security personnel, Mills was joined on the boat by Senator Bill Diamond (D-Cumberland).
When the boat carrying Mills crossed the Longley Bridge, she was greeted by protesters lining both sides of the bridge. The protesters, many of whom are healthcare workers against the Covid vaccine mandate, numbered around 1,200 strong. You can watch our live video of the parade below.
While local media such as The Bangor Daily News reported that Mills “ignored the protesters,” that wasn’t accurate. Mills repeatedly threw her arms up in the air and blew kisses at the protesters in what can only be described as mocking those who are fighting for their careers and livelihoods. In fact, nearly all people on the bridge were protesters and not the “crowd.” The Bangor Daily News recently reached out to it’s readers on a Facebook post telling them “local news is in crisis” and asking for their help. Perhaps misleading and inaccurate reporting are the reason BDN is in crisis – with the screenshot below from BDN’s article being a case in point.
Mills NOT ignoring the protesters and mockingly blowing kisses to the protesters on the bridge
Here’s another video of Mills not ignoring the protesters. In fact, she rises from a seated position, goes to the other side of the boat and leans toward the protesters almost as though she is taunting them. Watch Mills’ left hand as she makes a dismissive hand movement toward the protesters at the end.
Another clip of Mills NOT ignoring the protesters
With any crowd, there are outliers who are overly emotional. One woman in particular was screeching nonsensical and rude comments to Mills but that was not the norm. There were several different groups protesting Mills on the bridge. However, the healthcare workers who organized the event for healthcare made it clear they weren’t happy about some of the protesters from other groups. The healthcare workers greeted Mills with various chants such as “Stop the Mandate,” “Freedom not Force,” “Hey, hey ho, ho Janet Mills has got to go,” and “Shame on you,” The “worst” of these chants from an unidentified group was “Janet Mills Sucks.” Mills was quite thoroughly booed several times as well.
Photos from the Longley Bridge.
The far left and other Mills democrats quickly took to Twitter and other social media to deride and attempt to shame protesters for the chants and the protest itself. Perhaps the left would have liked the protest if the protesters rioted, looted and burned buildings as their radical left friends did last summer? Their outrage over the peaceful protest is laughable given what transpired across the country last summer and their silence or support of those violent protests. One such tweet, before the protest read “One of the very few times I’m actually rooting for the police to forcefully put down protesters.” A comment on the MJN Facebook page from Susie read “It was obscene and completely wrong for protesters at the bridge to harass and follow, scream obscenities and carry hateful signs as the Governor went past.” A comment from a woman named Maureen on the MJN Facebook page below our live parade video stated, “What TF is WRONG with you nut jobs!!!! You IQ45 cultists are TREASONOUS and UNAMERICAN!!!!” The First Amendment gives citizens the rights to freedom of speech and assembly in public forums such as streets, sidewalks, parks, and similar public spaces. That’s about as American as it gets.
Based on our conversations with protesters at the Bicentennial Parade and previous Augusta protests, this mandate is likely to cause a host of unintended consequences including a lack of quality care because of dire worker shortages, issues surrounding patient safety and longer wait times for emergency care, ambulances and other health care needs. We will be following up on these issues in more depth in a separate article.