Since October 2023, a number of groups in Maine have coalesced around one pressing issue: keeping Palestinians alive under Israel’s genocidal apartheid. The killing is bolstered by our own government’s money, weapons, and intelligence services. It is being carried out by a far-right Israeli government seeking total control of the land west of the Jordan River. Solidarity actions have been carried out across the Pine Tree State since Israel launched what is essentially large-scale collective punishment for armed resistance. These actions have included weekly stand-outs and larger marches in the Portland area; frequent protests in Augusta, Bangor, Freeport, Lewiston, and other municipalities; demonstrations at Bath Iron Works and the General Dynamics facility in Saco; and student protests in Portland, Bangor, Brunswick, Farmington, and Orono. Mainers have not been silent as we watch—to our collective horror—a genocide unfold. 

Maine DSA members attended many of these actions and were active in the coalition by endorsing the first large rally in support of Palestinian liberation in October and participating in phone-banking via our national organization. A vote at the chapter’s semi-annual meeting in January unanimously endorsed a motion to join the coalition in an official capacity. The “From The River To The Sea” working group was established as the liaison between the chapter and the local coalition. We are stronger when we stand together for justice and we are prepared to stand with everyone fighting for Palestinian liberation.

Who comprises this coalition? What are some of our goals and tactics? Most importantly, what does Maine DSA have to offer in the stateside fight for Palestinian liberation? 

The guiding principles of our coalition acknowledge that solidarity is the basis of this struggle. We are currently living on stolen Wabanki land while we witness Israel steal land and life from Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Israel’s government needs continuous American propaganda and financial assistance, and relies on our congressional delegation to vote for said support. Putting pressure on Senators Collins and King and Representatives Pingree and Golden to call for a ceasefire and to divest military expenditures from Israel’s illegal apartheid is the fundamental call of the coalition. Actions throughout the state have specifically targeted our elected officials in many capacities, including phone banks, office sit-ins, local and statehouse protests, and a general public outcry. As the Israeli Defense Forces proceed to bomb civilians every night, our calls for peace feel more urgent. Our representatives would do well to heed our demands—including Rep. Chellie Pingree who has yet to sign on to House Resolution 786 sponsored by Rep. Cori Bush calling for a ceasefire. instead of slathering more blood on their hands.

The Maine coalition aims to facilitate coordinated community action throughout the state with different ways for all people to engage. Whether we agitate in-person, online, over the phone, in Instagram comments, around kitchen tables, marching in the streets, or through written words and art, we must be certain to center Palestinian people, their voices, their anguished demands, their calls for liberation, and their undeniable humanity. Members of the coalition are in contact with friends and family in Gaza and the West Bank—acknowledging their plight led one activist at a recent protest to exclaim “[Being arrested] can’t be worse than being in Gaza right now.” It is hard to disagree when our social media feeds and news stories are dominated with footage of gunfire, rubble, and blood.

Many groups have been hard at work for months now and Maine DSA is bolstering the effort by officially joining the coalition. Knowing who we are standing alongside at actions and online will deepen our understanding and sow the seeds of solidarity we need to see justice bloom here in Maine and, crucially, in Palestine for Palestinians. 

Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights (MVPR) has worked for over twenty years and is a central hub of current coalition work. Their volunteers are committed to statewide, nonviolent advocacy, evidenced by their teach-ins for all ages, rallies, and lobbying of congressional delegations. They collate and publicize statewide pro-Palestinian events on their calendar and keep tabs on when any actions that are planned for your neck of the woods! If you don’t see anything near you, reach out to change that. Their volunteers are always ready and willing to help organize events. No town is too small.

Activists with Jewish Action have been outspoken in Maine. They hold tight to the progressive Jewish tradition of liberatory struggles in order to build a joyful, beautiful, and life-sustaining world for all. Their work resisting Zionist violence is a manifestation of their commitment to racial justice as much as an act of solidarity with Palestinians. By calling for a permanent ceasefire, they seek to cultivate justice where destruction flourishes and blocks out peace. They know that their Judaism demands they stand up for anyone who is struggling. “Not in our Name” is emblazoned on the protest signs they carry.

Resources for Organizing and Social Change (ROSC) seeks peaceful change through education, activation, and empowerment to improve Maine through grassroots organizing. With particular focus on those “most affected by oppressive systems,” intersectional solidarity beats at the heart of their work as they champion rights for disabled Mainers, Black Mainers, and immigrants new to Maine, all the while advocating for Palestinian justice. 

The Maine chapter of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) has been actively organizing and speaking at many of the actions since October. In their national publication’s statement on October 7, they correctly note that “resistance to apartheid and fascist-type oppression is not a crime!” Their members have willingly listened to the directive to mobilize and demand freedom for Palestine.

The Communist Party of Maine understands that multiracial and multinational unity are prerequisites for the liberation of the working class worldwide, and for the democratic expansion of socialism stateside. By equally decrying both Islamophobia and antisemitism, they support shattering unjust capitalist structures of oppression that harm Palestinian people in occupied lands and Jewish people across the globe. Check out what these comrades are up to on their website.

We cannot overlook the value that students bring to such a protracted fight. Maine Students for Palestine encourages college students to “speak out against Western imperialism” from inside the centers of American empire. Students have carried out actions at universities throughout the state, building bridges between campuses where miniscule distinctions seek to divide. Please check out their resource document for more information.

Maine Labor for Palestine continues the union tradition of organizing to end systems of oppression. The Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions called for international union support on October 16th and Maine union members have answered. By supporting the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement, labor can actively impact material conditions in Maine, Israel, and Palestine in ways that uphold life for everyone. Workers of the world unite, indeed! 

The Southern Maine Workers’ Center (SMWC) highlights the role the United States is playing in fueling violence at home and abroad. They acknowledged the role of the U.S. in funding settler colonial projects and exploiting workers to reap outrageous profits.

Healthcare Workers for Palestine (HCW4P) is leveraging the power of healthcare workers “to hold our health systems accountable to the values of human rights.” To date, over 5,600 people have signed onto their statement  that rightly points to the catastrophic collapse of care work in Gaza over the course of the Israeli blockade. A key part of their participation is the belief that all humans are deserving of medical care in Maine, in Israel, and, most urgently, in Palestine.

Since 1982, Peace Action Maine has been calling for global nuclear disarmament and an end to war. They link our insufficient domestic policies and lack of social care to our government’s militaristic foreign policies of violence and control. Cutting U.S. aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) while attempting to send Israel even more money and munitions to carry out their genocidal campaign is absurd, and Peace Action has no problem pointing this out. 

From pine trees to olive branches,  Maine Natural Guard (MNG) approaches Palestinian solidarity from an anti-militaristic, ecological perspective. They remind us of the cost of pollution and fuel consumption when waging war and the devastating, lasting toll on our land and water. With an ever-ballooning “defense” budget, the Pentagon is one of the largest contributors to climate collapse on the planet, and they cannot continue “business as usual.” Locally, MNG has called on Bath Iron Works to “stop building carbon belching war ships and instead build solutions to climate catastrophe,” joining others in Midcoast protests against General Dynamics.

Mainers in the Veterans for Peace (VFP) make clear they understand what IDF leaders mean by their “rules of engagement.” They implore us to acknowledge the harm American “aid” and “intervention” have caused, are causing, and will continue to cause if we cannot alter the course of spending. Finding American support of violent solutions untenable, they advocate for conscientious and life-affirming peace. The risk of escalation grows every day we do nothing, and veterans acutely know what horrors await a world engulfed in bloodshed.

Maine DSA is proud to stand with the aforementioned groups and the countless individuals who demand to see injustice abolished and peace upheld for everyone. The Palestinian people have been struggling for a very long time, demanding to be listened to on a global scale. Mainers have not stood idly by while an ethnic cleansing is carried out with American support, and we will continue to agitate for dignity, health, and happiness. Join us however and whenever you can. If your organization is interested in joining, please fill out this form to get involved. Spreading solidarity can lead to a better world—so let’s go! We have a world to win! 

(If organizations were unintentionally neglected from this piece or coalition members would like to make any additions or corrections, please contact

Tyler Eaves is a non-binary member of Maine DSA. They can be found frolicking in the forests around Sanford with their spouse, dogs, cat, and rabbit. 

Photo credit Maine Coalition for Palestine