Kittery residents are taking a stand against a white supremacist neo-Nazi group that recently targeted their neighborhood with recruitment materials.
“We saw them just littered all over the neighborhood, in the street, on front lawns, in driveways,” Kittery resident Meaghan Dunn said.
Dunn lives near the Admiralty Village neighborhood in Kittery, where members of the so-called Nationalist Social Club recently dumped thousands of recruitment flyers under the cover of darkness.
“It was the Nationalist Social Club, and they are a neo-Nazi group who has been doing similar recruitment distributions throughout New England,” Dunn said. “It appeared like they had just driven through the neighborhood and kind of thrown them out the windows. They were everywhere.”
The Town Council held a special meeting about the neo-Nazi flyers on Monday and one councilor didn’t mince words.
“They are cowards. They put themselves out in places with masks on,” Town Councilor Mary Gibbons Stevens said. “I invite them to come here and stand here at this podium. State your name. State where you live. And state your beliefs so that we can all see you.”
Others told the council this recruitment effort must be taken seriously. They said extreme fringe groups can influence young people into committing violent acts.
“Although we pride ourselves and this nation on having free speech, we cannot let it appear that we will accept or tolerate it leading to any form of violent physical action,” Kittery resident Celestine Fisher Bragg said.
The council condemned the group for spreading racist beliefs and trying to recruit members in Kittery.
“This is a very small number of people,” Council Chair Judy Spiller said. “They use these actions to try to recruit people, to try to create dissension.”
“They’re trying to target our youth here in this area to believe these thoughts,” Dunn said. “I’m the mom of two Black children. So it made me feel nervous that there are people in my neighborhood who could see these flyers, be intrigued by these flyers, inspired by these flyers. That’s not the kind of people who I want my family to live around.”
The Nationalist Social Club is also responsible for passing out the exact same recruitment materials in Portsmouth. Like Kittery, the group got the same response, with Portsmouth residents condemning the racist group.