Speaker after speaker called on Senator Susan Collins (R) to host a town hall meeting in Portland for her constituents to answer questions that she so far as remained silent on – speakers urged Collins to stand up to President Donald Trump on behalf of Maine people and our values. Over 1,000 people came from all over Maine according to police estimates for the rally on the steps of Portland’s city hall at 10:30 am this morning.
The issues that protesters want Senator Collins to address in a Portland town hall meeting were varied. They included the repeal of the Affordable Care Act with nothing to replace it, Trump’s ban on immigration just announced on Friday and the resulting chaos at airports, and her shameful support of Jeff Session to be AG among others.
“This is not normal. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act would turn health care decisions over to Governor LePage and that is not good for Mainers,” said Gordon Adams. “It will no longer do to get a busy signal or a filled box. Rise up, speak up and show up,” he shouted referring to Collins’ lack of accessibility to her constituents over the past few months.
“Senator Collins has remained silent on many …key issues facing America’s democracy. When Trump wrote an executive order to bring back waterboarding and other torture methods that are now banned, it was a Republican – Senator John McCain who immediately spoke out against it. I ask you: WHERE WAS SUSAN COLLINS?” asked Mark Klinek who addressed a pumped up crowd under a blue sky with no winds and warmish winter temperatures. ‘WHERE WAS SUSAN COLLINS?” Klinek asked several more times – with protesters repeating the chants.
Overall twelve speakers spoke to a crowd sometimes emotional over their stories but always energized by their “we can do” spirit. The comments of inspiring speakers to Senator Collins were often interrupted by chants such as “Answer the Phone, Love Trumps Hate, Get Them Out and Out of Touch” with Maine values.
“We invite you to come back home to Maine. This is our second weekend in a row that we’ve stuck together and it will not be our last. Ninety-five thousand (95,000) Mainers will not have health insurance if the ACA is repealed,” Stacie Davies told the crowd who showed no signs of waning after l l/2 hours of speeches.
“Let’s get together soon!” Davies invited Collins – no where to be seen today – as the crowd repeated the words in a chant.
The event was hosted by the Maine People’s Alliance. It can be reached at 207 370-5508 or at: email@example.com. The other organizer was Mainers for Accountable Leadership. For more about this grass-roots organization, please call 207 200-6810 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(editor’s note: MHN.com has emailed Senator’s Collins spokeswoman in Washington, D.C. asking if Senator Collins will be willing to host a town hall meeting in Portland and answer questions from her constituents. MHN.com attended both events today and thought the crowd at Portland’s city hall was significantly larger than the one held at the Jetport later in the day.)