Welcome to PICA!

Carasque Listening Project DelegationPICA (Power In Community Alliances) is a grassroots organization in Bangor, Maine. For the past 30 years we have been building grassroots community alliances that confront global problems of economic justice, human and worker rights and address the effects of the global economy on our own lives.

Our work is grounded in careful listening, telling and sharing stories. We are inspired and informed by our deep bonds of friendship and mutual solidarity with our Sister City of Carasque and the people of El Salvador. Our goal is to transform both individuals and institutions.

Make your Voice Heard – Affirm and Defend Bangor’s Community Values!

Affirm and Defend Bangor's Community ValuesSign the petition

In ordinary times, we have no reason to ask our City Council to declare that we are proud to treat every person in our community with dignity, respect and equal protection. Why belabor the obvious?

But these are not ordinary times. In recent months we have seen rising levels of apprehension on the part of the most vulnerable among us. Their concerns have proved to be justified, most immediately those of immigrants and their families. People have well-founded fears of a Muslim registry. Hate crimes are on the increase, including threats and attacks against Muslim and Jewish communities.

President Trumps’ ICE agents are now coming to get undocumented immigrants in Maine, as reported by the ACLU of Maine and the Bangor Daily News. State Rep. Lawrence Lockman’s (R-Amherst) bill LD366, would punish any local government that gets in their way, withholding state aid to towns and cities that don’t collaborate with ICE. It is time to make our voices heard. Read more and sign the petition…

You can also download a printed copy of the petition, gather additional signatures, and return it to the PICA office.

El Salvador Bans Metal Mining!

On March 29, 2017, El Salvador became the first country in the world to pass a comprehensive ban on metal mining within its borders. Read more…

Immigration Class Resources Now Available

On April 26, 2007 the Dignity For All committee presented a 3-hour class, “Who Is The Other,” addressing immigration issues with an emphasis on Central American. The class was offered through the Penobscot Valley Senior College. We are thinking of doing a longer, 6-session class in the Fall of 2017. Meanwhile, you can check out the handouts and presentations from the class here.

 PICA Plant Sale is Here – Order Deadline May 1

Indulge your plant addiction and support your political commitments at the same time by choosing from many varieties of hardy, field-grown perennials, including many plants native to Maine or New England.

You can download the 2017 plant list and the order form and place your order – either give the order form to your plant sale contact or send it to the PICA office.. Orders must be submitted by May 1. Shipping is not available – plants must be picked up in the Bangor area.

Trade in the Trump Era

Log pile, Ashland MEOne of President Trump’s first official acts was to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership (the TPP), but Trump did not kill the TPP. It was already dead when it was signed by President Obama last February. Congress could have ratified it by a simple majority vote at any time after that, but the votes were never there, thanks to years of work by millions of Americans to hold our elected representatives accountable. Trump took a staged “victory lap” when he put a stake into the heart of a treaty that was already dead and cold, but the victory was ours, not his.

We should celebrate, but this is no time to let down our guard. There are still plenty of pending trade agreements to worry about, starting with Trump’s promised renegotiation of NAFTA. Any new agreements that the Trump administration negotiates could well be worse than what we have now.

The good news: Activists in countries around the world have learned how to block bad treaties and advocate for fair trade agreements that put people and the environment above corporate profits. Together we can win!

You can keep up with developments by checking the Web sites of the Maine Fair Trade Campaign and the Citizens Trade Campaign.