AP, Nov. 27, 2002
LEWISTON (AP) — Some Lewiston residents are planning to counter a speech by a white supremacist group with an event of their own.
City officials gave permission last week to the World Church of the Creator to use the Lewiston Armory on Jan. 11. The group’s leader is planning a speech calling for the expulsion of Somalis.
Some community and religious leaders now an event celebrating diversity the same day. Details of the event are still being worked out.
The World Church of the Creator is one of two white supremacist groups that is looking to recruit members in the wake of a controversy sparked by a letter sent by the mayor to the Somali community.
Last month, Mayor Larry Raymond wrote to Somalis urging them to discourage friends and relatives from moving to the city.
About 1,000 Somalis have moved to Lewiston in the last year and a half from other U.S. cities. Raymond wrote that the influx has maxed out the city’s resources.