A group of hateful people Zoom-bombed a local meeting of city councilmembers in Saratoga, South of San Francisco recently, the Mercury News reports.
It’s the latest incident involving White supremacists, Islamophobes, anti-Semitic and homophobic protestors to hit the Bay Area.
“This kind of hate, virulent anti-Semitism, racism and intolerance is abhorrent and has no place in our community,” Saratoga Councilmember Belal Aftab, the first Pakistani American and Muslim American councilmember in the city, said to the Mercury News. “Our council is exploring how to manage this kind of situation going forward while respecting everyone’s First Amendment rights.”
Berkeleyside reports a similar incident happened Tuesday night in Berkeley, east of San Francisco.
The protestors there also interrupted the city council by Zoom-bombing a meeting with anti-Semitic and racist remarks.
The same thing happened over the summer in other Bay Area cities including Walnut Creek, Sonoma County, Contra Costa County and a regional meeting of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“It poisons the well for something that I used to enjoy, which is listening to members of the public, hearing their perspectives, understanding what are the unmet needs in the community that might not be on the agenda for that day,” Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins said to the Chronicle. “This makes you sort of tense up every time someone opens their mouth online, which is horrible.”
Some jurisdictions have moved to restrict comments to topics on the agenda, allowing those who move off-topic to be cut off.
Assemblymember Evan Low passed a bill allowing anyone who disrupts a meeting to be removed, as long as they are warned first.
The bill was inspired by efforts to limit harassment against AAPI officials.
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