Group delivers petition, renews call for Lewiston mayor to resign

LEWISTON — More than 40 people gathered in the rain Thursday morning chanting "This is what democracy looks like" before delivering 1,400 signatures to City Hall asking for Mayor Robert Macdonald to apologize and resign.

The mayor is under fire for a series of remarks aimed at the city's immigrant population, capped with a comment aired on the BBC earlier this month to "leave your culture at the door."

When confronted at a city council meeting Tuesday he said his remarks had been taken out of context and declined to apologize.

The demonstration was organized by the Maine People's Alliance, which said it had gathered about 200 written petition signatures and 1,200 more online.

"Mr. Mayor, this remark was painful, hurtful and displayed your ignorance about our community," said Jama Mohamed, communication director for the Somali Bantu Youth, standing in front of City Hall steps. "You need to own your mistake and to be a responsible leader and accept you made a mistake.

"We want to work with you," he said. "We want to be part of this community. We consider ourselves Lewistonian."

The city has seen thousands of Somali immigrants settle here over the last decade.

When the signatures were delivered to Macdonald's office, City Administrator Ed Barrett said the mayor wasn't in but he would accept them and pass them on.

In remarks later in council chambers, Council President Mark Cayer said he couldn't speak for another person, but, "If I knew I had offended or hurt someone's feelings, I personally would apologize."

For the full story, see tomorrow's Sun Journal.

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Comments

Richard Begin's picture

Mayor Macdonald

The Mayor is right. Here is a thought why don't these "Poachers" do us a favor and exit Maine and the USA they offer nothing.

But let's look at Mayor Gilbert. He is fanning the Flames. Also lets look at the Twin City Times decision not to be brave enough to Publish The Mayor's last weekly Column.

According to the Steele's they were waiting for things to Quiet down Well I for one have never cared for the Twin City Times. This Rag which has the Gaul to label itself as A Newspaper should grow a set of you know what.

The Twin city times is a Social record and support Choir for Chip Morison and his worthless social Gatherings.

One may disagree at times with the Sun Journals Editorial directions at times.

At least with the Sun Journal we get News and not pictures of the Usefull idiots who are frequently craving their Pictuires to be seen in that Useless Paper.

As far as the Front person for the local uprising Jen Lysen is concerned she is Life time Consumer of the Liberal Multi Diversified Rainbow Kool aid Drinker her Father Jim Lysen has an established Reputation of standing up for almost any whacky Ridiculious cause any one could imagine.

As a former Code Enforcement Officer Jim is a Nice Guy and was the Master Liberal Agent for visiting a Liberal Agenda on Androscoggin County. I like what the Mayor said and I stand by and with him

RfB

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Democracy or Activism????

Doesn't really matter which is which, you left out stupidity. The Mayor can try and justify his words any way he wants. "We the people elected him", not exactly something I'd be proud to admit.
At the very least, an apology is in order, beyond that, he alone needs to decide what to do next. Hatred comes in many forms, ignorance isn't an excuse for it. He's an elected official, he needs to own up to his mistakes. If he can't do that, he has no credibility as an elected official. What ever he does, he needs to choose his words carefully, we may take them out of context, again.......

 's picture

Attention Maine Peoples

Attention Maine Peoples Alliance,

That is not what democracy looks like that is what activisem looks like. Democracy would be campaning and voting in the next election. Yea the mayor can be a bone head but we the people elected him. And this spark with the BBC would not be a fire if you didn't keep fanning it make a flame.

Really your getting to be like that annoing girl in third grade, in everyones business crying thats not fair, thats not fair.

GARY SAVARD's picture

"About 200 written petition

"About 200 written petition signatures and 1200 more on line". Lewiston's population is just under 36,500 people. There are more than 1400 Somali adults in Lewiston. I would venture to guess this is another grab for attention by a vocal minority that never seems to have enough "rights" and always want more. The American way is to try to change things you don't like at the polls. Next year, these folks that don't agree with Bob Macdonald will have the opportunity to fix that. Civics 101.

 's picture

"About 200 written petitions"

You are so right Gary. The minority wins again. Now all you have to have is a complaint from a minority of any kind and the rules are supposed to be changed so they are more comfortable. Are we afraid they will leave? If all the good people leave a country what are the chances that the country will ever be fit for decent people to live. I keep hearing that "they would prefer to go back to their own country" but they won't need to cause we will change everything here I suppose.

Jason Theriault's picture

No

This isn't a power grab. The mayor said some stupid things that pissed off some of the citizens. They have every right to be mad about it. Hell, alot of people here freak out about stores not saying "Merry Christmas". Imagine if the roles were revered and the mayor said "Stop with all those European customs. If you love your christmas trees so much, why don't you go back to Paris?"

You would lose your ****.

 's picture

NO

This country is going down the tube fast enough without help from within like you. Maybe you are one of those that see their gravy train coming to a stop with the Mayor at the helm and this is your chance to get him out under any pretext and you have all been watching for him to say a word that you could pounce on. No one is saying there aren't good immigrants from any country but apparently you haven't dealt with the ones that don't intend to be part of the community but sure intend to live off it. Saying Merry Christmas may seem like a little thing to you but its the snowball effect that is happening that everyone keeps saying can't happen. If those "good immigrants" that are raising such a stink about the Mayor would do something within their own society to change the way people perceive them maybe none of this would be happening but to come forward to say me and some of these others are nice people and what the Mayor said ain't fair sure wouldn't be fair to others that don't share your view. Its not the "Christmas tree" its why we celebrate "Christmas" I don't expect any of them to wish me Merry Christmas but I don't think I should have to stop saying it or hearing it from others and to those stores that tried not saying it so not to "offend" a minority would have a hard time staying in business if not for "christmas shopping" Anyone that is offended by a manger in the town square sure don't want to be part of our country or community I wouldn't think.

SCOTT THISTLE's picture
staff

Christm as Trees

Jason,
I appreciate your use of asterisks. I thought you may find this bit on Christmas trees interesting.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/xmas_tree.htm
Thanks for reading and have a merry evening.
Scott

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