SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine -- A half dozen Ku Klux Klan members planning to rally at a suburban shopping mall were forced back into their cars Saturday by more than 100 angry counter-protesters.
At least one fight broke out and a Confederate flag was ripped out of the hands of one Klansman during a 15-minute confrontation at the Maine Mall, but no arrests or injuries were reported, police said.
A white Klan hood dropped by one of the marchers was burned by the demonstrators after the Klansmen left.
The Klansmen, who had announced their march on Friday, pulled into the mall parking lot in two cars about 2:30 p.m. and were immediately surrounded by the estimated 100 demonstrators who shouted insults and chanted, 'KKK go away.'
At least four Klansmen emerged from their cars wearing white robes and hoods, but they quickly removed them as the crowd moved in. About a dozen police officers then separated the two groups.
Klan spokesmen said the march, for which they had obtained a permit, was to protest government aid to homosexuals and the influx of Asian immigrants to Maine.
The march leader, who identified himself as David White of Shelton, Conn., was taken from the scene in a police car, but police said he was not arrested. The remainder of the Klansmen left immediately after White was taken away.
'We showed them we don't want them in Maine,' said Jim Randeau, a counter-protester from Westbrook. 'We want them out of the state.'