Matt Hale followers rally, draw opposition in Maine

Peoria Journal Star, Jan. 12, 2003

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) – In response to a smaller white supremacist demonstration, more than 4,000 people gathered Saturday for a rally against racism in this city where the mayor once urged Somali immigrants to stay away.

Police brought in reinforcements and closed roads to keep the groups of demonstrators apart.

The supremacist World Church of the Creator planned its demonstration to denounce the presence of the more than 1,100 Somalis who have made Lewiston their home over the past two years.

Matt Hale of East Peoria, leader of the World Church, did not attend after being arrested Wednesday in Chicago on charges alleging he tried to arrange the murder of a federal judge.

As the 32 anti-Somali demonstrators gathered at a National Guard building, more than 200 opponents of the World Church assembled outside.

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