BRUNSWICK — Brunswick Police Department is investigating mysterious fliers left around town, and most recently on the windshield of Town Councilor Kathy Wilson.

The flier references a group called the “Forest Brothers” and equates the rainbow flag used as the symbol for the LGBTQ movement with a Soviet Union hammer and sickle symbol. Wilson said she came back from the town’s 9/11 memorial service on Monday to find the strange flier on her car.

Fliers like this one were found at the Cook’s Corner Burger King in Brunswick, and on Brunswick Town Councilor Kathy Wilson’s car after a 9/11 memorial Monday.

“Once I got out and got it off my windshield and saw it, I looked to see if any other cars had fliers, and I was apparently the only one,” she said. “My guess is it’s because I have the rainbow bumper sticker on the back of my car.”

Wilson said she feels like the flier is definitely a form of threat, though whether or not it’s to her personally or because of the sticker on her car, she’s unsure.

“I do take it as a threat, only because of my experience all these years,” she said. “I am very, very active in the gay community and everybody knows about it.”

Commander Mark Waltz of Brunswick Police Department said so far Wilson’s flier, and fliers left at the Cook’s Corner Burger King on Sept. 6 are the only places they have turned up.


“Right now we’re treating them both as bias incidents, which means it isn’t necessarily a crime,” said Waltz. “Depending on why they picked her car, it could be considered harassment.”

The fliers, on their own, don’t constitute a crime, but could be considered harassment if the individual making and distributing them is targeting anyone in particular.

Police are also investigating the incident in case a later crime is committed by the person distributing the fliers. “In the event that later on they are a suspect in a crime against someone, because of their gender or race or whatever, this could be an example to show that the crime was hate motivated,” Waltz said.

The “Forest Brothers” is not listed as a hate group, according to Rachel Healy, director of communications for Maine ACLU. “We haven’t heard of them before,” she said.

The group also does not appear on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups. The SPLC keeps a database and tracks the movement of hate groups across the country, and curates a list of all known hate groups in the U.S.

Rebecca Sturtevant, a communications associate with the SPLC, said, “This is not a flier that we’ve seen.”


The phrase “Forest Brothers” referred to a group based in the Baltic states during and post World War II, according to online sources. It featured most prominently as a description for locals who fought a guerrilla war against Soviet invasion and occupation. The term doesn’t refer to any one organization in the area, rather a collection of resistance fighters known for retreating into the wilderness.

Some of the fighters were allied with Nazi forces, including the 20th Waffen-SS Division, for a brief period and the organization would continue to fight post-war against Soviet occupation with the support of British, American, and Swedish intelligence services.

Wilson said while some people may criticize her publicizing the incident as “getting their message out,” she said she wanted to get her own across: “I think they’re stupid. Hateful people, as a rule, are not the most intelligent you run across.”

Wilson is also a member of the Human Rights Task Force in Brunswick, which was formed after the reporting of racist incidents in 2015. She has already talked with other members about the incident.

She’s not scared by the fliers, but she has friends who would be and denounces whoever did it. “Somebody is walking around prepared to do this,” she said.



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