An anti-mask group that claimed to have partnered with an upcoming reelection rally for President Donald Trump was never authorized to affiliate itself with the event, organizers said Friday.
A Facebook event called the Maine Anti-Mask Protest and Rally said it had partnered with the Trump rally that is supposed to take place next week in Bangor.
“No more silent compliance — enough is enough!,” the event announcement said. “Bring your signs and show the silent majority is silent no longer! … Let’s assert our Individual Sovereign rights!”
Trump rally organizer Marc Abplanalp said the group was given permission to attend the rally but not authorized to claim they were affiliated. It was meant to be a rally for Trump, he said, not a public statement on mask-wearing versus non-mask-wearing.
The false claim has created public confusion and even led to some backlash for Moshe Myerowitz, who runs the Myerowitz Chiropractic Center on Broadway.
Myerowitz — who owns four acres beside his clinic — gave Trump rally organizers permission to use part of the land for their gathering, but said that it was not to be affiliated with his clinic.
Organizers used the clinic’s address in an announcement because it was a landmark that would help people find the location of the rally, he said. But the anti-mask group — which made a separate flyer announcing its involvement in the rally — also used Myerowitz’s clinic as the event location.
Myerowitz said he’d received a letter from someone saying they had reported his involvement in the rally to the Maine Professional Licensing Office.
The anti-mask protest and rally announcement also said that public officials including legislators and “the Franklin County Sheriff” would be in attendance. Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols, however, told the BDN on Friday that he was not attending.
Rally organizers said they’ve notified the anti-mask group to take down their Facebook event and are going to seek a new location for the rally away from Myerowitz’s clinic.
Myerowitz said he plans to ask for a police investigation and will pursue legal ramifications against the person who disseminated announcements claiming the anti-mask group was affiliated with his clinic.
Anti-mask group organizers had canceled the Facebook event by Friday evening. They did not immediately respond to a request for comments.
BDN writer Charles Eichacker contributed to this report.