portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting portland metro

gender & sexuality | government

Reportback from the Sam Adams Rally

Last night, 200+ people showed up at Portland City Hall, starting around 5:30 pm to show their support for the recently elected mayor Sam Adams who is now the subject of a gay witch hunt.
Lady Liberty Speaks
Lady Liberty Speaks
Sign
Sign
another sign
another sign
disenfranchised with Just Out
disenfranchised with Just Out
Surrounding the Homophobe
Surrounding the Homophobe
People brought their signs, support and voices as they gathered en-masse in front of City Hall. Most signs read something such as, "We Still Support Sam" and "Apology Accepted." Others reflected this reporter's sentiments with "Transportation is an issue. Homelessness is an issue. The economy is an issue. And all you want to talk about is SEX? Go F*ck Yourselves!"

This sign most likely addressing the corporate media which was also present. Signs also displayed the GLBTQ community's disdain for Just Out, which called for the mayor's resignation. Signs said, "Just Out doesn't speak for me." and "Just Out of Touch."

Despite what corporate media suggested, there was not a large contingent of people against Adams. There five people. I counted. Three of them were silently holding their signs, engaging in conversations with the pro-Adams, anti-witch hunt crowd. However, one man chose to wear a biblical quote on a sandwich board and yell, "Fudgepackers!" from his bullhorn. However, the mad ravings of this bigot were quickly silenced by a loud speaker box pumping out dance tunes.

Cars drove by, mostly honking in support of the rally but there were a few fingers against Adams as well. However the crowd maintained it's spirit through cheering, dancing and general comradery. Personally, I have never been to a mayoral support rally. I only went to this one because of the issues surrounding it. I was overjoyed to be yelling and cheering with my brothers and sisters. We need to take it to the streets more often.

Another Rally Announced For Tuesday @ Noon! 24.Jan.2009 12:38

Working Class Mama

www.myspace.com/isupportsamadams has announced plans for another rally Tuesday the 27th 12noon @ City Hall

5 anti-Adams? 24.Jan.2009 19:18

David queercognition@gmail.com

I counted 2...many people thought I was against Adams, although I was there to support him. I was attempting to shout over the man with the megaphone, reading literature of man-boy relationships and religious bigotry out of "Homosexuality & Civilization". How many protesters were reported on other media?

Thanks! 24.Jan.2009 19:56

reading the report back

How about "Just Out for a Buck."

Thanks for this report back. I could not be there yesterday, but plan to be present next week.

Funny, the corporate media did mention this last night, but they made it seem like equal numbers were there in support and against Sam. They really are blatant about twisting the facts around to suit their agenda, aren't they?

Go Back to Work! 24.Jan.2009 20:14

Dance

The 5:30 evening rally in-support-of-Sam/in-opposition-to-resignation at City Hall was a huge success -- almost certainly the most fun per minute I've ever had in my long career of political activism (partly 'cause the podium entertainment ended after only half an hour at 6:00).

My favorite sign was the first one I saw as I arrived: It was held by a guy about 50 or 60 - older than most of the crowd - on the Madison St. sidewalk for passing motorists to see: "Where were you moral hypocrites when Bush lied to take us to war?"

Soon after voices started being heard over the sound system (the crowd was so thick and the stage - if any - was so low that I couldn't see where the podium or stage was til almost the end of the rally), the mantra "Get Back to Work" was born (or was it "Go Back to Work"? some reporter I am - maybe I could get a job for one of our local papers!). It was then repeated frequently both as an audience response to various speaker's comments and as a chant. It was directed to Sam, and, although I think there were a few folks who really did fault him for spending the last 3 days out-of-sight (i.e., not in City Hall) and seemingly hiding out and licking his wounds in terror (although even the Oregonian acknowledged he's been contacting various groups and individuals asking what they think he should do), I hope he understands we mostly meant it tongue-in-cheek. Basically the crowd was saying, "Ignore the holier-than-thou fingerpointers, bullies, and political opportunists and get back to 'business-as-usual' (which in Sam's case, being a work-a-holic apparently, "business-as-usual' isn't so bad from the perspective of his employer, us).

We sang "America the Beautiful", and Storm Large sang - then led us in a reprise of - "Stand By Your Sam". Each time there was mention of the names of the newspapers that had editorialized that Adams must resign "because he'd lied", Just Out got the most jeers. Clearly, the young, liberal crowd felt its betrayal as the greatest affront among the four media bullies. (Thank God the papers and those they claim to speak for or to are neither homophobic nor sexophobic; they're just very proud and protective of the long-standing record that Americans - especially political candidates - never lie. --- There were at least 2 anti-Adams signs present: As I turned to leave, I saw one that read, "Most of us learn as children not to lie." ... ain't THAT one to ponder! ... seems that's when I learned TO lie, ... and not to trust politicians. ... (It took me much longer to realize that I shouldn't be trusting newspapers.)

"First Amendment" Attorney Charlie Hinkle was there. A few words were quoted from Gus Van Sant and City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, each of whom were apparently among the several dozen who had gathered in the City Hall atrium at noon-time in support of Sam. (I've read that a smaller crowd appeared earlier Friday morning to demand Adams resign.) Columnist Dan Savage came down from Seattle - not expecting to speak, but just to help "swell the numbers", he said, which he acknowledged clearly hadn't been necessary. He ended his comments with a short list of somethings-or-other (probably "trivial things we shouldn't concern ourselves with"), which list he ended with - and I almost missed this one, and I think many folks did - "and Sam's boner". (meaning, of course, in Dan's inimitable way, "big deal that Sam made a mistake.")

As people left, many wore stickers that had been passed around that said, "Tomorrow we'll make better mistakes."

...Friday night's rally was organized by a Facebook group called Support Sam Adams. According to posts Portland Indymedia, www.myspace.com/isupportsamadams is going ahead with plans for a Tuesday rally in support of Adams staying in office. It's set for Noon on the 27th at City Hall. -- which they should! Hopefully Sam will be back at work at City Hall by then.

Meanwhile, Channel 8 KGW says they have videos of the pro and con rallies, and the Sunday Oregonian has a front page article entitled, "Adams sex scandal leaves Portland's gay community hurt, divided". (Would you ever have guessed the Oregonian cared so much?) You can save yourself $2 by reading it via this link:  link to www.oregonlive.com (I don't know how long this link will go to an active page, but it works as of now.)

not about homophobia 28.Jan.2009 11:00

lupin

As a lesbian I am so offended by these hysterical claims of homophobia behind the sam adams problem facing us. Of course, this problem of sam's will stir up the homophobes but to explain any and all opposition to sam staying on as mayor as homophobia is to fall for a ruse. As portlander explains clearly, this is about his lies and his attempt to cover this up by hiring somebody into a position they are not qualified for and using tax payer money to mentor someone in lying.

I've had a lot of personal experience with sam (related to MAL(mississippi ave lofts) and their theft of right away etc)) and I can promise you he is not the little peoples friend. he is in the pocket of developers and the well heeled and he will lie and deceive to protect and benefit them.

While I don't think his sexual behavior should figure into the question of whether he is a capable leader I do think his behavior was a misuse of power. he does have a groovy hair cut but he does dress frumpy and is not exactly buff... if this isn't a good example of using your position of power improperly than I don't know what is.

notes against Sam 28.Jan.2009 13:44

your neighbor

I object whole heartily to the use of indymedia as a mouthpiece for
the faction of a corrupt and embattled mayor. Sam Adams is an
operator, and has been planning his ascendency to the mayor's office for
decades. He was ruthless in his pursuit and would allow nothing to
stand in his way.

He is the heir to Vera Katz and her decades of shady
dealings with the PDC and other local landed and wealthy interests.
Sam Adams is business as usual and I find the vitriol and frenzied
rhetoric lobbed against an at least well reasoned position merely
questioning whether his defense should be the focal point of our local
grassroots journalists and activists out of order.

Does anyone expect a Sam Adams administration to differ in character
from that of his predecessors? I pity them if they do. Insults and
bullying will not derail the efforts to recall the mayor, and will if
anything only embolden those who might otherwise have opposed such
efforts.

I urge those who hurl superlatives to glance back over the history of
this site, and look at the corruption and back door dealing that has
and will characterize Sam Adam's and his mentor, Vera Katz's, time in
"public" service.

Sam is close to many a local or transplant plutocrat
with designs on the people of Portland's coffers. Look no further than
the unprecedented and impeding handout to the scion of the house of
Paulson in the form of not one, but two stadiums to be built out of
city funds designated as for "community development". This is just one
of the myriad of back door dealings to be enacted by Sam.

I ask those who oppose this way of operating government to stand down in their
misplaced outrage in Sam's defense. What of those who dream of the
real implementation of bold change as opposed to the mere placation of
such through hollow rhetoric.

Please don't waist our civic energy defending this seasoned political hack, who cries wolf about the "worst kind of gay smear", denigrating the legitimate struggles for acceptance sought by gays, queers, and other marginalized groups.

Just out 31.Jan.2009 16:27

Sam for gov.

Just Out, the paper so good they have to give it away. I have had past dealings with them and they have always been guilty of self loathing. I don't get why Just Out asked for Sam's resignation. Just Out has Just Lost any future advertising from me. Just Out is old and tired and the editor has her own issues.