Fracking protest in Boulder: "Mob harassment" or a great moment of community togetherness?
|Tamara Roske with some of the Earth Guardians.|
In the aforementioned statement, signed jointly by commissioners Cindy Domenico, Deb Gardner and Will Toor, this behavior is castigated. "Efforts by a small segment of attendees to threaten and intimidate a speaker walking to her car was nothing short of shameful," the open letter reads.
With that in mind, the commissioners note that "we will be creating a security plan for future hearings to ensure that everyone is made to feel welcome for taking the time to let his or her voice be heard. In the interest of helping to create this safe environment, the plan will entail the removal of individuals who elect not to participate in civil discourse and the prosecution of individuals who threaten the safety of other individuals."
The statement supplements the claim of "mob harassment" by asserting that Wiedenbeck was the target of cursing and intimidation. However, Roske points out that during the mic check that caused the meeting's initial closure, she heard no profanities -- and the folks with whom she's spoken afterward say the speeches during the remainder of the meeting didn't cross the line.
She stops well short of endorsing the actions seen in the 9News clip and admits that she was surprised the police weren't called at some point. But she leaps to support the other grown-ups at the meeting. "I know so many of them," she says. "They're all wonderful people who we've worked with for many years -- and this is the first time I've seen them involved in anything like this. They must have felt a desperate calling: 'We've got to do something or we're going to be in trouble.'"
At the same time, she doesn't want the moment when the young Earth Guardians stepped to the fore to get lost amid the criticism of other events. "The whole audience participated in what happened," she says. "It wasn't just a few people who stood out. Everyone was chanting that they don't want fracking in their community. Everyone celebrated a moment of the community coming together to say, 'We don't want this.'"
Continue see a video featuring the Earth Guardians taking over for the absent commissioners' seats and sharing their thoughts about fracking, a more extended Vimeo clip, footage of activists giving Wiedenbeck an earful, and the commissioners' statement.