Police alerted to letters sent to Maine lawmakers’ homes

Published: Apr. 14, 2023 at 11:12 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine legislative leaders notified Capitol Police that inflammatory letters from a white nationalist organization have been mailed to lawmakers’ homes in an attempt to harass and intimidate, they announced Friday.

“We cannot state this forcefully enough: We have zero tolerance for white nationalist groups’ behavior or intimidation,” Senate President Troy Jackson and House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross, both Democrats, said in a statement Friday.

The letters this week claimed “ethnic Europeans” are being defamed, disenfranchised and threatened with “demographic replacement.”

“The groups issuing these messages masquerade as seeking social justice, yet in reality distort information to create false equivalency to misdirect the public and stoke racial tensions. The state Legislature is a place where lawmakers, members of the public and professional staff deserve safety, security and the certainty that the democratic process will operate without harassment,” the leaders said.

The letters came after two dozen people representing the Nationalist Social Club showed up unannounced in downtown Portland and marched around two weeks ago. There were some scuffles but no arrests.

Portland, Maine’s largest city, is in the midst of dealing with a flood of asylum seekers, mostly from African countries. More than 1,000 asylum seekers have arrived since the beginning of the year.