“Are you a white supremacist? Do you support fascism?”
Ross Street resident Danielle Clark, while protesting against the ReAwaken America Tour event scheduled for Cornerstone Church on Bank Street Road, directed those questions to Batavia City Council members at the outset of their Conference Meeting on Monday night.
Stating that she is “horrified” by the response of public officials in Genesee County regarding the tour, Clark said City Council should not be able to stand behind “plausible deniability” since the event isn’t taking place within the city limits.
“I’m here tonight to tell you and to tell the people of the city of Batavia, that that’s not true,” she said, before asking how much the city would be paying toward the deployment of the Emergency Response Team for the tour.
She said she spoke with a city police officer, who confirmed the ERT has been asked to deploy. She said she was not told the cost for security reasons.
“Therefore, leaving me not able to tell you exactly how much it will cost the taxpayers of the city of Batavia. But there will be a cost,” she said, adding that she was told the Batavia Police Department “shoulders approximately 60 percent of the cost of the ERT deployment.”
Clark said city leaders have an obligation to speak out against the RAT.
“I don’t delude myself with the idea that you guys, or any government agency, has the authority or the power to prevent events that are being held in a prime location,” she continued. “However, I do believe, and I am here to hold you to account for this belief, that as public servants it is your duty to clearly, vocally, loudly, express your opposition for an event like this coming to our community.
“It is your duty as public servants to let organizations like this know that this city does not stand for hate. The city does not stand for lawlessness. And we won't abide it.”
At that point she posed the “white supremacist” question to Council members and city employees in attendance, prompting Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. to tell her to direct her questions to the chair.
Clark then said, “Mr. Chair then, I would like you to ask the employees if they are white supremacists. Do you support fascism? The people of this city deserve to have answers to those very straightforward questions.”
She then said she would be “listening closely” to Council members’ response to her comments after the public comment period.
“In the days ahead, I will be listening carefully for the Council members — our Council as a whole — to publicly speak against this event coming to our area,” she said. “We await a statement expressing that you have heard our very valid concerns and to tell those attending the tour that though they have found a way around the law by holding their event inside a church, (that) outside the church, the law still stands and will be enforced.”
Later in the meeting, when no one on Council addressed her concerns, Clark darted off, blurting, “Each and every one of you, showed your true colors. You are fascists and you are on the wrong side of history.”
Then, as she walked out of the room, she used a four-letter word against the City of Batavia.