Hands Around the Capitol canceled because of safety concerns

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The “Hands Around The Capitol” event is not being held for the first time in 47 years in Maine.

The annual protest over the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion was canceled because of safety concerns at state capitols around the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

During the event, participants gather around the Statehouse and a bell is rung for each year since the ruling. But the possibility of violent demonstrations at statehouses motivated organizers to cancel even though there was no specific threat, said Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland spokesperson Dave Guthro.

“Organizers felt they couldn’t guarantee safety of participants this year, so they made the tough call,” he said.

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