Presiding Officers condemn hateful demonstrations, highlight civil rights resources

AUGUSTA — In response to the hateful demonstration in Augusta on Saturday, Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, and House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross, D-Portland, issued the following statement:

“On Saturday, a small handful of individuals belonging to a white nationalist organization gathered in Augusta to partake in what appears to be an ugly demonstration of hate – complete with repugnant language and gestures that hearken back to the Holocaust. It was reminiscent of a time when the KKK marched in communities from Milo to Lewiston targeting Catholics, Franco-Americans and Black Americans with their twisted racism. These activities were as appalling and offensive then as they are now, and they represent an affront to our values. More than that, they’ve left Mainers with a deep and profound sense of unease as they worry about the safety of their friends, families and neighborhoods.

“As Presiding Officers, let us be clear: Maine is not and will never be a haven for abhorrent individuals and hateful ideologies. We will not tolerate white nationalist groups’ ideology, intimidation or rhetoric — not in our communities, our workplaces or our homes. Amid the recent rise in extremism, the Legislature has taken steps to bolster the Maine Civil Rights Act and better protect our communities. These new laws will take effect in October. We have also begun to explore whether or not additional laws are needed. 

“Maine people have a right to live their lives free of discrimination, harassment and threats of violence. We will be relentless in combating extremism and denouncing hate loudly and forcefully at every turn. Together, Mainers can band together again to drown out these disturbing and dangerous voices, and make clear that these hate groups will not be welcomed or tolerated here.”



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