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Disruptions from crowd seen at Anchorage Assembly meeting Tuesday evening

Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 7:27 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - At Tuesday evening’s Anchorage Assembly meeting, disruptions from the crowd broke out before the assembly took a 20-minute break.

During her report at the start of the meeting, Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson denounced white supremacy, Nazism and ”any ideology other ideology that directs hate, rather than care, towards members of our community.” Her comments were met with shouts from members of the audience.

“You are the tyrant,” one member of the crowd said.

“Shut the h--- up,” another yelled.

Quinn-Davidson’s words came a few hours after the governor’s office announced that District 2 Assembly woman Jamie Allard had been removed from the state’s human rights council, for social media comments she made in reference to Nazi-themed license plates.

Allard was granted a moment of privilege from Assembly Chair Felix Rivera, where she commented on the matter.

“I condemn racism and white supremacy in all forms,” Allard said. “I understand that some have misinterpreted my recent comments as defending a specific license plate. That was never my intention.”

Allard also said that she found the license plates in question to be in poor taste. Members of the crowd cheered after her remarks.

Another outburst from people attending the meeting appeared to stem from frustration over the duration the public had for testimonies.

“We don’t care about this,” one member of the crowd yelled while testifying by phone. When that caller mentioned Allard directly during testimony, protestors stood in the crowd, shouting: “Follow your rules.”

Security asked several people to leave and some assembly members walked out of the chambers before a break was taken. Allard also intervened, directing the crowd to stop disrupting the testimony of others.

“When someone is testifying let them finish what they have to say,” she told the crowd. “I am up here, strong enough to listen to what they are saying about me. You need to have my back and listen too. Let us get through our agenda tonight.”

The break delays ultimately resulting in the public testimony portion of the meeting running out of time.

The assembly was also tasked with using this meeting to make its final decisions regarding any final items to be placed on the April election ballots.

Before the assembly concluded for the evening, some of the proposals that were passed, included ballot proposal for a tax to fund body cameras for Anchorage Police Department, a bond package related to capital improvements for the Parks and Recreation department.

This story has been updated with more details about the disruptions at Tuesday’s meeting. An initial write-up indicated that a mid-meeting break caused the public comment portion of the meeting to run out of time. That break is standard procedure for the Anchorage Assembly. The current article reflects that correction.

Malia Barto contributed to this report.

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