Distrust among organizers fuels rival rallies Saturday in Augusta …

October 6th, 2017 by admin Leave a reply »

AUGUSTA — Competing rallies to denounce violence and hatred scheduled for Saturday in Augusta are instead highlighting the distrust and animosity dominating the national political debate.

Days after a “Rally to Denounce Political Violence” was announced for the Maine State House grounds, a coalition of socialist and left-leaning activist groups suspicious of the intentions of the event’s organizers drew up plans for a counter-rally to “Oppose Alt-Right in Maine.” Counter-rally organizers are portraying the “Rally to Denounce Political Violence” as part of a national campaign by the “alt-right” – a loosely defined subset of conservatives often associated with white nationalism and populism – to promote their ideologies from behind benign-sounding events.

“We view it as a deliberate provocation by ultra-conservatives and conspiracy theorists in order to promote their hateful agenda and their conflation of fascist violence with the right of a community to self-defense,” reads a statement announcing the “Oppose Alt-Right in Maine” rally. Groups involved in the counter-rally include the Socialist Party of Maine, Portland Confront, Bangor Racial and Economic Justice Coalition, the Southern Maine IWW and the Maine John Brown Gun Club.

Yet organizers of the Rally to Denounce Political Violence said they have no connection with the alt-right, white supremacists or other extreme groups. Instead, they portrayed the counterprotest organizers as the conspiracy theorists employing the very tactics, rhetoric and labeling that the original rally aimed to refute.

“They want to turn me into a bogeyman to make it OK to use violence against a rally that is organized to denounce

Article source: http://www.pressherald.com/2017/09/29/distrust-among-organizers-fuels-rival-rallies-saturday-in-augusta/