200 Adrien supporters rally at city hall, decry racism

Supporters hold signs during a rally for City Councilor Gerly Adrien, the first women of color elected to the Everett City Council, at Everett City Hall on November 9, 2020. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso)

Call out mayor, council for being stuck in ‘old days’, say they’re over


Councilor-at-Large Gerly Adrien addressed several hundred protestors in front of city hall late Monday afternoon.

The event was intended to shout out publicly the perceived racist attacks in Everett on Adrien by her colleagues on the city council.

The protest was a response to the personal attacks launched against Adrien two weeks ago by councilors for not attending the meeting in person.

They later asked Adrien to resign.

Adrien chose attendance on ZOOM out of consideration for her health, and the health of family members living with her.

City technicians couldn’t manage to run the audio properly for the public airing of the city council hearing, which ended in turmoil when the meeting was cut short and adjourned.

Councilors then verbally attacked her.

She insisted it was her right to stay away from the city council chamber because of the COVID-19.

Councilors said she should either attend in person or resign.

Later, it was revealed the videotape of the council meeting was missing, apparently erased or hijacked from the city’s server.

An investigation is apparently underway to find out who the culprit is.

The council meeting was depicted as deplorable as well as misogynist by Adrien, who is Black – the only Black ever elected to the Everett City Council.

It also generated wide interest in the Boston Globe, which published a major piece detailing the racist overtones of the meeting.

Following that, the Globe printed more than a half dozen letters to the editor deploring the racial situation in Everett.

None of Adrien’s colleagues on the council attended the protest.

The mayor and Senator Sal Didomenico remained in attendance during most of the protest.

Councilor at Large Gerly Adrien met with and spoke to supporters at a rally in front city hall Monday. Rep. Joe Kennedy was one of many local politicians and community activist who attended to call out the city councils comments of late about Adrien. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso)

The mayor was the butt of several criticisms hurled at him by about a half dozen speakers indicating the old days are over.

“They ain’t coming back” one of the speakers shouted out.

They said they were referring to a white supremacist government running Everett and that they weren’t going to allow the white system to rule the city any longer.

“Vote them out,” one of the speakers urged.

“Vote them out of office,” she repeated.

Shouts of “Black lives matter,” were repeated by the crowd a dozen times during the protest.

Organized by the United Steel Workers on behalf of Adrien, it was dubbed as an opportunity to target racist calls for Adrien’s resignation by “Trump-like misleaders.”

In addition, Steel Workers Local 8751, described the city council’s attack of Adrien as a “constant, despicable, daily barrage of blatant racism, disrespect, aggression, and microaggression.”

Seven speakers preceded Adrien before she stepped up to the microphone to speak.

She was introduced by her husband who delivered a rousing, fiery, old-time political stumping tour type speech.

Then Adrien spoke.

“I am here today to say I will not resign. I work for the people of this city. I love my job. This is what I have wanted to do. No amount of criticism about me by my colleagues can make me resign,” she told the crowd. Many cheered. Many shouted and waved their signs.

Supporters hold signs during a rally for City Councilor Gerly Adrien at Everett City Hall on November 9, 2020. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso)

Adrien’s remarks were brief and personal.

“I thank all of you for coming out and supporting me. It means so much to me,” she said.

Congressman Joseph Kennedy delivered stirring remarks. He appeared to get emotional at one point, insisting to the crowd that Adrien didn’t deserve to be attacked for wanting to protect her health during the pandemic.

The Boston City Council president gave fiery remarks.

A councilor from Chelsea said it was time to change for Everett.

Another speaker said there was no room in Everett politics for bigotry and racism.

Yet another speaker said city councilors’ attacks against Adrien were part of a circus and a government that is unaware of its animus toward Adrien because of her color.

Superintendent of Everett Public Schools Priya Tahiliani said she had been disturbed by the council’s deplorable behavior toward Adrien.

She was numbered among the large crowd in front of city hall.

“I am disappointed by the lack of decorum on the city council,” she said.

“I am here to lend my support to Gerly Adrien.”

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