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Rockland citizens protest group with anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant views

By Stephen Betts | Jun 03, 2018

Rockland — A group of Rockland residents turned out Saturday, June 2, to protest an "activist training" session led by a state legislator known for his anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim views.

The location of the Maine First Project event, organized by state Rep. Lawrence Lockman, a third-term Republican from Amherst, was kept secret. He recruited people via the internet, but people who wanted to attend had to send him private messages in order to be approved for the session.

Becca Glaser of Rockland, along with her father, City Councilor Ed Glaser, were among the protesters who turned out at noon Saturday at the Rockland Public Library, where they had heard the training session might be held.

"The Maine First Project was keeping a tight wrap on the location, as they know their racist, anti-LGBTQI views are not popular in Maine, so even if they are not at the Rockland Public Library, the group will rally to show our values for diversity and inclusivity -- a welcoming Maine with room for all of us," Becca Glaser said in a written statement handed out at the protest.

"The responsibility of all caring people is to show up and speak out against the creep of anti-immigrant racism and other bigotry disguised in the cloak of what it means to be a Mainer. We will not let their voice be louder than ours! And we ultimately hope that their empathy will come to be expanded to understand there is enough for all of us, and that we are much stronger when we expand the circle of who we care about," she said.

Rep. Paula Sutton, a first-term legislator from Warren, attended the training session.

"I made a short presentation on the topic of rank choice voting to a group of people who were attending a training class on political networking and marketing," Sutton said Sunday in an email response to the Courier-Gazette.

On her Facebook page, Sutton said it was a civilized event with about a dozen people in attendance.

On Monday, Sutton responded to the issue of immigration.

"I warmly embrace all legal immigrants and am a regular at a few locally owned businesses run by new immigrants. I applaud their business skills and entrepreneurial pursuits, whether they have a seamstress shop, a restaurant or nail salon, as those are the places I patronize regularly," Sutton said.

"It may serve your readers if you could keep the differences in mind between illegal and legal immigration. This detail seems to be strangely overlooked at times and is quite important," she said.

The Maine First Project mission includes ending refugee resettlement programs and any assistance to communities that accept immigrants. The Maine First Project also posts links to Maine First Media, which features anti-Muslim videos and stories.

Those stories include ones with headlines such as "Exposed: Open-border leftists plot to invade rural Maine with Muslim refugees."

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Comments (8)
Posted by: MRS THOMAS WILLIAMS | Jun 04, 2018 14:56

"The rising racism emanating from Trump's Pandora's Box" .... You're kidding, right?



Posted by: Nicole Jeanette Boutin | Jun 04, 2018 14:41

Slow press day Steve... did you use the wide angle lens?



Posted by: James Clinton Leach | Jun 04, 2018 08:37

Racism and bigotry seem to be the labels being thrown around these days ....ever have a civil conversation to why these folks are against Muslims coming to Maine and the States...could be unfounded fear, or something else....we get no where without communication....one might call on the other to exchange beliefs, insight and more...



Posted by: Kendall Merriam | Jun 04, 2018 08:03

Edwin: Here's what you might consider: "If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament." Said by Florence Kennedy, a 1960's feminist lawyer.



Posted by: Kendall Merriam | Jun 04, 2018 07:16

Wish this protest at our library had been advertised. I would have participated and enjoined friends and neighbors to also join in protesting against the rising racism emanating from Trumps' Pandora's Box.



Posted by: Harold Bryson Mosher | Jun 04, 2018 05:44

Edwin, if you don't like abortion then promote easy access to birth control and informing young people.



Posted by: Edwin E Ecker | Jun 03, 2018 16:47

What a bunch of quacks ! Get a life and stop making fools of yourselves .Go protest something worthwhile like saving the unborn before they are murdered !



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Jun 03, 2018 15:14

YES!!  "The responsibility of all caring people is to show up and speak out against the creep of anti-immigrant racism and other bigotry disguised in the cloak of what it means to be a Mainer. We will not let their voice be louder than ours! And we ultimately hope that their empathy will come to be expanded to understand their is enough for all of us, and that we are much stronger when we expand the circle of who we care about," she said.



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