Lewiston's waves of immigration

"Many and One" shirt, Lewiston, 2004

"Many and One" shirt, Lewiston, 2004
Item 102760   info
Maine Historical Society

After Lewiston’s Mayor, Laurier Raymond, wrote a letter of concern on the front page of the Lewiston Sun Journal in 2002 expressing concerns about Somalis in the community, citizens in the Lewiston/Auburn area formed the Many and One Coalition to show support for the cities' Somali immigrants.

Lewiston received national attention from the media, social justice organizations, and white supremacists after Mayor Raymond asked the Somali community to stop coming to Lewiston, and to, “exercise some discipline and reduce the stress on our limited finances and our generosity…We have been overwhelmed and have responded valiantly. Now we need breathing room.”

The letter prompted support and outrage. The World Church of the Creator (WCOTC) and the Many and One Coalition held competing rallies on January 11, 2003. Turnouts indicated that the majority of Lewiston’s citizens supported tolerance, with 300 people attending the WCOTC rally, and an overflow crowd of up to 5,000 people at Many and One’s event.

This T-shirt commemorates a later event hosted by Many and One—Ten days of Diversity and Justice in 2004.

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