Time to file a formal complaint
The Madison Board of Education is a public governmental body. As such, it is open to the public to attend. As a public meeting, it is the right of every citizen to record the proceedings as long as it causes no disruption. The news media did not attend Monday night’s meeting but if they had been harassed as were citizens supporting cops in school, they would file a formal legal complaint (scathing editorial to follow).
Blaska will do likewise. The school board made no attempt to protect the First Amendment free speech rights of Madison taxpayers and citizens. It is well established law that citizens have the same First Amendment free speech rights as the institutional news media.
Blaska and another blogger, Dan Duerst, were prevented from recording the meeting. We remained seated as we held up our cell phones. We caused no disruption. Social justice warriors (SJW) from Freedom Inc. swarmed around each of us, blocking our view.
Duerst left his seat to escape the blockade; the swarming squadron followed him. Eventually, a school district security officer wearing a black tee-shirt (logo: “MMSD Security”) intervenes. Does he protect Duerst’s right to record the meeting for his blog? No, he does not. Instead:
MMSD Security asks: “Is it necessary for you to have your camera?”
Duerst responds: “Is it necessary for them to menace me?”
MMSD security: “Why don’t you just go out so we don’t have this issue?”
There is more dialogue but I can’t make it out from this video.
We were not the only ones. A 70-year-old woman noticed that the Freedom Inc. warriors were recording without being harassed and protested the injustice. She pulled out her very outdated cell phone as if to record and she got swarmed. She tried to maneuver her camera (which cannot record video) around the outstretched arms of the swarmers.
Another security officer intervened. Did he admonish the harassers? No, he warned the woman with the outdated cell phone not to touch anyone. That was it!
Full frontal view
The irony, folks, is that the entire meeting is streamed live on-line and the podcast available to watch today. (A young man admonished to wrap it up responds “I can speak if I want to” and does, at 51:57. Ald. Skidmore is at 59:44.)
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Time to file a formal complaint. Court action if we can get it.