Maine’s congressional delegation condemned the white nationalist protests that turned violent Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, releasing statements on social media and via email.

One person was killed and at least 19 injured when a car plowed into a group of anti-racist counterprotesters, and a Virginia State Police helicopter later crashed, killing the pilot and passenger.

All four members of Maine’s delegation characterized the violence by white supremacist marchers as acts of terrorism and hatred. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat who represents the 1st District, lambasted the protesters shortly after the violence broke out Saturday, while the other members of the delegation issued statements Sunday.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins, Maine’s senior senator, commented on Twitter.

“The violence in Charlottesville is domestic terrorism,” she wrote. “Hatred, racism, and bigotry have no place in our country.”

Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, tweeted: “Actions of hate groups in Virginia are unacceptable and un-American and have no place anywhere in our country.”

Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Republican who represents the 2nd District, said in a statement: “I am deeply saddened and disgusted, as are many Americans today, by the disturbing acts of terrorism that took place in Charlottesville. There is no place in our country anywhere for racial hate and vicious violence.”

Pingree tweeted twice on the subject Saturday.

“Hate has no place in #Maine or anywhere else. Saddened & disturbed to see what’s happening at @UVA,” she tweeted shortly after the counterprotester was killed and others injured when a car rammed into them.

“POTUS must explicitly condemn violence in Charlottesville as act of domestic terrorism by white supremacists,” she tweeted a few hours later, referring to President Trump. “This cannot stand.”

Pingree also released a statement to Maine residents attending Sunday evening vigils – including one in Portland – for the Charlottesville victims, recalling the circulation of Ku Klux Klan fliers in Freeport and Augusta on Jan. 30.

“Just one week after President Trump was sworn in as President, the KKK circulated fliers throughout Maine in order to recruit members and intimidate our communities. The KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists have been emboldened by political rhetoric that harkens back to an America where minorities, women, gay people, and the poor did not have rights or a seat at the table,” she said. “The horrific resurgence of hate in Charlottesville over the weekend feels like 1968, not 2017. Today, three people are dead and more than a dozen are injured for upholding the values of America in the 21st Century – where equality is our common goal and hate has no place.”

In her statement Sunday, Pingree said she was “sorry that I cannot be a part of the vigils happening across Maine tonight because I am traveling with congressional colleagues overseas. However, I am so grateful to Mainers, from Portland to Bangor, who are coming together in the face of this horrible act tonight.”

Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:

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