Sam Sanborn remembers protesting war and flashing peace signs back when she was young, she said.

“And now, apparently, we have to do it all over again,” she said.

Sanborn, 69, of Canaan, was one of about 20 who rallied at the Margaret Chase Smith Bridges in Skowhegan at noon Saturday in response to Ku Klux Klan fliers recently found in central and southern Maine.

“This is a community response to the Klan trying to recruit in our state,” said Rob, who organized the rally with his wife, Bria, and declined to give his last name. “They’re not welcome here.”

In late January, residents of the Sand Hill neighborhood in Augusta awoke to find KKK fliers in their driveways purporting to be for a “neighborhood watch.”

Freeport residents also reported finding what appear to be the same fliers near their homes, and at least one flier was reportedly found in a mailbox in Gardiner.

Protesters stand on the Margaret Chase Smith Bridges in Skowhegan on Saturday to protest the Ku Klux Klan. Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

Michael Moore of Veazie, who attended the rally in Skowhegan, said he was shocked by the fliers.

“I can’t believe people are passing out KKK literature in this day and age,” Moore, 73, said. He went to the March on Washington in 1963 and can’t believe that he’s still protesting the same things, he said.

Nearly everyone in the group had brought a sign – which included lines like “Destroy Fascism,” “No hate in this state” and “Love thy neighbor” – to hold up on the bitter, foggy day.

While passengers in one car at the beginning of the rally flipped off the group, dozens of others beeped in solidarity. One man in a pickup truck stopped to ask what the rally was about, giving a thumbs up when they said they were protesting the Ku Klux Klan.

A Portland Press Herald article in February detailed the history of the Klan in Maine. In the 1920s, membership reached 40,000 and while the Klan targeted small groups of minority communities in the state, it also focused on the large numbers of Irish Catholics and French-Canadian immigrants.

Madeline St. Amour can be contacted at 861-9239 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: madelinestamour

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