Maine union members protest tax scam

When news broke that Senator Susan Collins had voted for the horrible GOP tax scam that gives millions of dollars to the wealthiest on the backs of the working class, local union members felt compelled to respond.

Following a rally outside her Bangor office, four union members and a disabled veteran went upstairs to speak with the Senators' staff.  Given their inadequate answers as to why Collins voted to sell out the working families of Maine, they decided not to leave until she pledged to oppose it on the next vote.

This sit-in sparked instant national attention, and ended in their eventual arrest later that evening. Their action was followed by thousands on Twitter and Facebook as they spoke up against inequality. 

Nick Paquet, an electrician from Benton and member of IBEW 1253, Erin Oberson, a nurse from Old Town and member of the Maine State Nurses Association, Jim Betts, a retired State worker and member of MSEA-SEIU 1989, Sarah Bigney of Hallowell, a member of UFCW 1445, and Tina Davidson, a veteran and disability activist, all were arrested and taken to the Penobscot County Jail on charges of tresspassing. 

The "Bangor 5," as they were dubbed, inspired others to act Later that week, 9 clergy were arrested in Collins' Portland office in protest of the rigged tax bill.  Several other sit-ins occurred in the following days, including by clergy and faith leaders at Collins' Lewiston office, and a graduate student sit-in again at her Bangor office. 

News coverage from the sit-in: 

Bangor Daily News: Protesters Arrested for Staging Sit-in at Sen. Collins' Bangor Office

WABI 5: Protestors Arrested inside Senator Collins' Bangor Office

WLBZ 2: Five protesters arrested after refusing to leave Susan Collins' office

WABI 5:  Protesters Arrested in Sen. Collins Bangor Office Donate to Brewer Non-Profit

IBEW: Local 1253 President Joins Sit-In to Fight ‘Dead-Wrong’ Tax Bill