Juanita Perez Williams Supporters Interrupt Walsh Campaign Event
On Westcott Street, having been invited to an event scheduled at the Westcott Theater to hear the announcement that there are members of the Democratic Party who are supporting, Independent candidate Ben Walsh. The day was warm and tailor made for a campaign event. Ben Walsh and his supporters were assembled under the Westcott Theater Marquee. But across the street something more ominous was occurring.
Supporters of Democratic Mayoral Candidate Juanita Perez Williams were carrying on an active, loud protest, shouting slogans in Spanish at times interrupting the proceedings. One protestor had walked across the street, and got my attention, while pointing across the street at a wall of people holding “Juanita for Mayor” Lawn Signs she said, “We have more people, than them.”
The shouting continued for another 10 minutes. I don’t know Spanish, but I was informed that it was interpreted as some variation of “Yes, we can.”
Being a believer in Dr. King’s concept of non-violence and conflict resolution, Juanita Perez Williams’ supporters broke every rule in the Civil Rights Handbook. To make this clear, William’s supporters appeared at a rival candidate’s event protesting, shouting slogans in an effort to disrupt the proceedings. This amounted to an assault on the electoral process and an assault on the campaign of Ben Walsh.
I’ve spent decades either covering politics or being a “serial” candidate. I’ve never seen the kind of public demonstration displayed on Westcott Street, today at noon. It was clearly intended to be disruptive.
Shouting in Spanish was also offensive, appearing to make a point about the heritage of their candidate. If you didn’t know Spanish, you had no idea what they were saying. Were they only speaking to Spanish speakers?
In the meantime, Mr. Walsh was asked about the appearance of protestors from the Perez Williams campaign and he said, “You can see what they’re doing across the street, they’re trying to pull people apart, we’re pulling people together.”
This may hurt some progressive purists’ feelings, but the protest was an assault on free speech. Juanita Perez Williams’ supporters who participated are no different than the rabid Donald Trump supporters who disrupted Clinton’s campaign events, or when Tea Party supporters showed up at town hall meetings creating anarchy during the debate on the Affordable Care Act.
This is a case of preventing a white man from speaking.
(Short sound/video from Perez Williams supporters protest download click Here)