October 23, 2017
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Mainers rally in support of Charlottesville victims

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff
Updated:
JIM BOURG | REUTERS | BDN
JIM BOURG | REUTERS | BDN
Two people stop to comfort Joseph Culver (center) of Charlottesville, Virginia, as he kneels at a late night vigil to pay his respect for a friend injured in a car attack on counter protesters after the "Unite the Right" rally organized by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, Aug. 12, 2017.

People from across the state are organizing vigils and rallies to stand in solidarity with the victims of the weekend violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one dead and 19 injured.

The anti-hate protests in Maine began on Saturday night, when about 50 people gathered on the Eastern Promenade to stand up for the victims of the violence in Virginia, the Portland Press Herald reported.

By Sunday morning, nearly a dozen more rallies had been announced for Sanford, Skowhegan, Rockland, Bar Harbor, Machias, Houlton, Bangor, Cumberland, Norway and Monument Square in Portland, according to the group Indivisible’s website.

In addition, those unable to attend an event are encouraged to place a lit candle in a window to show their support for Charlottesville and those targeted by the hate groups.

Neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and other white nationalists clashed with counterprotesters at the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville Friday, where they planned to stage a large rally to “take America back,” and on the streets of Charlottesville Saturday morning, according to The Washington Post.

The chaos turned deadly on Saturday when a car plowed into crowds killing one and injuring several others, The Post reported. The driver of the vehicle, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit-and-run attended failure to stop with injury.

Two Virginia state police officers also died in a helicopter crash outside the city while patrolling the rally, according to The Post.

All four members of Maine’s congressional delegation weighed in on the weekend’s events in Virginia.

Sen. Susan Collins on Twitter condemned the violence in Charlottesville as “domestic terrorism.”

“Hatred, racism, and bigotry have no place in our country,” she said.

Sen. Angus King in a tweet called the weekend violence “unacceptable” and “un-American,” saying that is has “no place anywhere in our country.”

Rep. Bruce Poliquin said on Twitter that he was “saddened” and “disgusted” by the “disturbing acts of terrorism that took place in Charlottesville. There is no place in our country anywhere for racial hate and vicious violence.”

Rep. Chellie Pingree also tweeted that “Hate has no place in #Maine or anywhere else. Saddened & disturbed to see what’s happening at @UVA.”

 


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