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Politics

As Far Right Activists Rally In Belfast, Protesters Gather Outside

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Murray Carpenter
/
Maine Public
Kevin Jenkins, a speaker at the Arise USA rally (standing in the middle, dressed in black) walked over to engage with the protesters, while Belfast police patrolled the July 27 event.

A rally of supporters of the national group Arise USA, which is critical of COVID-19 restrictions and alleges 2020 election fraud, drew a crowd to Belfast's Crosby Center Tuesday evening, as well as protesters on the street outside.

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Murray Carpenter
Former CIA agent Robert David Steele, a speaker at the July 27 Arise USA rally in Belfast, sounded themes of citizen empowerment, while criticizing government's response to the pandemic, voting machines, and satanic pedophilia.

Speakers at the event, including Dr. Cristiane Northrup of Yarmouth, Republican state representative Heidi Sampson, and former CIA agent Robert David Steele, sounded themes of citizen empowerment, while criticizing government's response to the pandemic, voting machines, and satanic pedophilia.

Protesters say they are bringing hate to Waldo County, and dividing the community.

A key figure in in the Arise USA movement, former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, was scheduled as a keynote speaker, but did not attend. Mack is the founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, which believes that in their own county jurisdictions, the authority of sheriffs supersedes that of other law enforcement, including federal agents.

Sampson spoke in support of a forensic audit of Maine elections. She also used the opportunity to launch a new network known as the Freedom Network, which she said was to connect people across Maine for the sake of liberty and freedom.

Steele raised five chief concerns, which included satanic pedophilia and electronic voting.

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Murray Carpenter
A sign protesting the July 27 Arise USA rally of far right activists in Belfast.

He emphasized the importance of education, and encouraged gun-packing mothers to show up at school board meetings, while taking a jab at the protesters who he said were funded by a nonprofit that fights antisemitism.

Moriah Helms, of Monroe, was there to protest the event. She said it stokes conspiracy theories that add to divisions that have been growing in Waldo County, and beyond.

A protest organizer, who chose to be identified only as J, was dismayed that such a divisive event was held at the former high school now known as the Crosby Center.