Commotion Erupts as Unite the Right Organizer Delays Council Meeting
Charlottesville City Councilors are reminding everyone of some rules after a disruption on Monday, April 2, brought an unexpected recess to council chambers.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville City Councilors are reminding everyone of some rules after a disruption on Monday, April 2, brought an unexpected recess to council chambers.
A big commotion erupted at the meeting on Monday shortly after Unite the Right organizer Jason Kessler headed for the podium.
“If a federal judge grants me an injunction to hold another rally in support of the monuments, will you ask them not to block access to the park and remain nonviolent? Will you ask them to be nonviolent - a show of hands?” Kessler asked the audience.
“We have a rule against directly addressing councilors,” says Councilor Mike Signer. “So you are free to make a statement, but we have a rule against this.”
An uproar passed through the room as Kessler continued to speak, and it continued as Chris Wayne, the man found guilty of removing the tarps that once covered the city’s Confederate statues, also spoke out.
Eventually, Mayor Nikuyah Walker cleared council chambers and people spilled out into the hallways.
Once everyone returned inside, Walker reminded the crowd of the rules for council meetings.
“I don't even raise my kids like this to the point where I am telling them what to say,” says Walker. “I want them to be vocal, I want them to have a voice."
She told speakers they each have three minutes to speak, even if they don't like the words being said.
"The screaming, yelling, bottles crinkling, all of that stuff is not going to change that,” says Walker. “They have a right to speak, they have to voice their concerns."
The whole incident delayed council for about 30 minutes from its agenda. However, no arrests were made Monday night inside City Hall.