Nancy Gish wrote:
>Dear List Members,
>I feel very proud of Maine tonight, and I hope many of you will find this
>A neo-Nazi hate group called "The World Church of the Creator" came to
>Maine to openly call for the removal of the Somali community in Lewiston.
>These are the people whose leader, Matt Hale, was arrested in Chicago
>last week on charges of soliciting the murder of a judge. They are proud
>about being against everyone--blacks, Jews, Asians, gays, anyone not
>"white" by their definition--and being about "love" of white people.
>Anyway, Lewiston spent a couple months planning for them: they
>organized an alternative rally called "Many and One" and arranged a space
>for the hate group to do their thing--protected by riot police and snipers.
>They arrived--12 of them--and went in to the building with the Mainers who
>came to hear them. 8 came. At the other rally, 4000 came, including the
>new governor, the attorney general of Maine, Senator Snowe, and people
>from the whole state.
>The Lewistorn administration was pretty thoughtful about it. Unfortunately,
>they found, the only available venue for the hate group was five miles out of
>town and had room for only about 40 people, but as only 12 + 8 arrived, it
>was comfortable. But it did require a long walk in Maine winter to make it.
>It's still above zero, though, this week.
>Thousands streamed into the alternative rally (also walking far in the cold)
>to say no one wanted the "World Church" in Maine and they were wasting
>I had planned to go but was unable to, but I watched the news all day.
>And it seems a kind of wonderful thing I wanted to tell about this state.
I'm with you: the remedy for vile speech is to allow it to be aired
and to reply with other speech. (Although silence sometimes works well
on this list.) I'm glad of your report, as it wasn't clear from NPR (or
else I didn't hear it all) just how well-supported the sane rally was.
How nice when rights are so productively employed.