You’ve seen but probably haven’t quantified Portland’s political posters. There are thousands of wheat-pasted parts and pieces, in tatters all over town, but dominant downtown and in inner North and Northeast. Seems they collect around establishments which advertise in the Portland Mercury.

Here’s a damaged but particularly nice one, giving a bit of the history of Unknown-in-the-USA 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wangari Maathai of Kenya.

Discreetly glued to a filthy telephone pole on N Cook and Williams Streets. Huh. Ponder the politics of that decision for a moment.

We’ve highlighted a few posters in this blog – Patrice Lumumba Ford comes to mind. Well, there are a lot more. And you might think – Hey! Has the revolution started without me?

No it hasn’t and you’re just not cool enough to know that much political posters / stickers / bumperstickers are now carefully manufactured and sold online, at shows, & other nexus. Some are original – at least local – and those are interesting for their own sake. But it’s emblematic of this current cool set of kids that they simply download their political objectives, simply are soldiers in a public relations war.

Here’s the undamaged version of the Wangari poster, available for $3 from

Just as surreptitious are the folks who try to tear down these posters. Certainly downtown it’s the Portland Business Alliance pseudo-cops and minders. I dunno about N & NE, possibly do-gooder utility workers.

Read the wiki about Wangari Maathai. She could be your hero. The fact you don’t know her name is astounding.

For more anti-commercial snits, see Adbusters from Canada.
Patriotic posters from
For blog + info pipline – see

And surpise! This is not a Portland phenom. See Los AngelesRio de JaneiroTokyo.