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Maine flag ladies head to court over harassment complaint

WEST BATH, Maine (Tribune News Sercice) — The Freeport flag ladies headed to court Monday to seek a permanent protection from harassment order against the son of a Maine man who died when hijackers crashed an airplane into the World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 11, 2001.

The three women — Elaine Greene, Carmen Footer and JoAnn Miller — have a temporary protection from harassment order against James Roux III. They claim he has harassed them and made them feel unsafe.

Roux was taken into police custody after disrupting a 9/11 observance in Freeport on Sept. 11, 2015. The Cumberland County district attorney’s office chose not to pursue charges against him for that incident.

In a Sept. 22, 2015, letter published by the Portland Press Herald, Roux described himself as “a pacifist and a patriot,” and said that he objected to the Sept. 11 ceremony’s “program of military force” and its “exploitation of 9/11 victims, such as my father.”

The flag ladies have stood on the streets of Freeport waving American flags every Tuesday morning since the 2001 attacks.

On Dec. 1, Roux stood opposite the flag ladies on Main Street with his mother, Liza Moore, and held signs supporting refugees. After that, the two encountered the flag ladies in a nearby coffee shop. Moore and Greene each denied initiating the exchange that followed, but it prompted Greene, Miller and Footer to seek a temporary protection from harassment order against Roux.

The three women went to court Monday in an effort to make that order permanent.

Moore also opposite the flag ladies on Dec. 8 and Dec. 15.

“It’s her way to harass us because her son can’t,” Greene said. “This is not an accident. This is not freedom of speech. This is backdoor harassment against us because we have an order of protection against her son.”

Greene later said she supports Moore’s right to free speech and that the harassment order is not directed at her.

In December, Moore said that seeing the flag ladies “picks a scab” for her son.

On Dec. 22, more than 100 supporters to support the flag ladies. Moore and Roux were not present, but a group of local high school students stood across the street with signs supporting immigrants and tolerance.

Monday’s hearing was scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m.

Information from CBS 13 is included in this report.

©2016 the Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine)
Visit the Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine) at www.bangordailynews.com
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