Can you keep order at your own meeting?
The Policy Werkes e-mailed this to our elected city leaders yesterday (06-27-19) and copied the news media. We’ll update if anyone bothers to answer:
Will the City of Madison assure its citizens that they may attend and speak freely at the Tuesday, July 2 meeting of the Madison Common Council without fear of intimidation or harassment?
It is at this meeting that the School Resource Officer contract is to be scheduled as an agenda item.
Several organized groups have disrupted government meetings over the issue of policing, including the November 2018 Dane County Board and the October 2018 budget meeting of the Madison Board of Education. I had signed up to speak at the latter meeting; I never got a chance. Protestors shut down the meeting.
You may have read the WI State Journal article “Freedom Inc. challenges liberal Madison with in-your-face approach to racial justice.”
Supporters, including a “youth squad,” have made a point of shutting down School Board meetings, shouting down and getting in the faces of speakers with alternate viewpoints, calling those who disagree with them racists, repeatedly interrupting Dane County and city of Madison meetings, and generally refusing to abide by what they disdainfully refer to as “respectability politics.”
It is worth noting that the photograph accompanying the article shows myself in the background, clearly being harassed. Freedom Inc. will tell you they were trying to prevent me from video recording “juveniles.” The speaker is Bianca Gomez, an adult employee of Freedom Inc.
At one such Madison school board committee meeting last July, protestors grabbed a smartphone from a district mother and smashed it to the floor. The next day, Police Chief Koval had this to say over the WIBA AM1310 airwaves:
“If you saw some of the dynamic that unfolded, what you saw was a choreographed and orchestrated show of force. It is daunting, it is meant to intimidate, it is meant to marginalize and for those who otherwise want to express some civic opinion that is counter to [the terrorists] own, you are literally leaving the hallway in fear …
Specifically, are you going to allow:
• Speakers to exceed the 3-minute time limit?
• Spectators to catcall and snap their fingers while other citizens speak?
• Protestors to chant slogans and unfurl banners?
• Unelected persons to occupy council member seats?
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Repeat these immortal words of Vice President Mike Pence while presiding over the Senate confirmation vote of Justice Kavanaugh: “The sergeant at arms will restore order. The sergeant at arms will restore order. The sergeant at arms will restore order.”