The "Booze Army" are residents of Richmond who, under the guidance of openly fascist Rev. Ellis, choose to spend their time on a "crusade of values" focused on people's sexual preferences, serving as a distraction specifically against local politicians who are helping the poor or defending human-rights!
"Nat Bates Hears No Hate!"
posted by the "Richmond Progressive Alliance" [youtube.com/watch?v=ftLjerZYwa0]:
On 6/25/13 the City Council of Richmond heard a proclamation celebrating Pride Month (See highlights at [youtube.com/watch?v=zacWvx8p3fs]). Unfortunately there was also hate which Councilman Nat Bates did not hear.
See also how Bates encourages this behavior: youtube.com/watch?v=Ub2IiKQtr04]
2013-07-29 "Time for Richmond hate speech to end"
by Chip Johnson from "San Francisco Chronicle" [http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Time-for-Richmond-hate-speech-to-end-4687609.php]:
The one thing about hate speech is that even when you try to hide it inside a broader political agenda, it still sounds like hate.
And that's what has been spewing from the mouths of a small but boisterous group of Richmond residents who have been disrupting Richmond City Council meetings for months.
Sometimes, the point they're trying to make is muddled and unclear.
But when it's not, it's ugly, homophobic and stunning considering that it's being said during a public meeting in one of the most liberal regions of the nation.
Comments made at the June 26 and July 2 City Council meetings and posted on YouTube provide a horrifying example of hate - yet at least one council member defended some of the statements as fair, reasonable public comment.
"What I'm saying is these lesbians and homosexuals are no lower than an animal," Richmond resident Mark Wassberg breathed into the podium microphone in the council chambers. "That's what they are. It's disgusting."
It didn't get any better when the Rev. Wesley Ellis approached the microphone.
Whatever his intended point was, his comments quickly turned to Councilwoman Jovanka Beckles, who is African American and lesbian.
"There goes a girl, trying to be a man," Ellis said, referring to Beckles. "You proud of it, right? "But you know what? "You're just a little girl trying to be a boy, and don't even have the tools for it."
Ellis, who brought a bullhorn to Tuesday's council meeting, has been escorted out of council meetings before and it happened again on Tuesday, after the group broke into song just as the meeting was about to start. Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin had finally had enough. She cleared the chamber and held the meeting without a public crowd.
If that weren't enough, instead of defending the rights of a colleague, instead of warning speakers that foul-mouthed venom would not be tolerated, veteran councilman Nat Bates defended the atmosphere of intolerance.
"First of all, I didn't view the audience as being hateful," Bates said during the council meeting. "For council member Beckles to accuse individuals of being hateful out here. Rev. Ellis had his viewpoints. Others had their viewpoints. I didn't see that as hateful."
If the shoe was on the other foot and a speaker was describing African American residents in such a manner, I doubt that Bates - who is African American - would come to the speaker's defense, although he says he would.
"If the Ku Klux Klan came to this council and sat in the audience, I would defend their right to express themselves, even though I don't agree with them," said the 81-year-old Bates. "I stand by the principles of free speech."
Beckles views the personal attacks - some of which were too offensive to print - as some sort of perverted, horribly misguided political strategy in advance of her re-election campaign.
"There are legitimate reasons to protest - fairness in hiring, institutional racism, privatization of the criminal incarceration system," Beckles said. "That's the kind of stuff you protest, not getting kicked out of a meeting cause you don't know how to behave.
"They say our meetings are like the Jerry Springer show. Well, they're the Jerry Springer audience."
Beckles and McLaughlin and Councilman Tom Butt lay the blame squarely at the feet of colleague Corky Boozé, whose election to the council coincided with the rise of the outbursts in the council chambers.
Some council members refer to the group as "Corky's Army."
Boozé countered that the protests were the product of frustrated African Americans with no "voice" in government.
That's a rather convenient cloak to disguise what this group is apparently really all about.
Because if that's their best public speaking voice, and homophobic comments and personal insults are the only things they can offer, they'd best just shut up, because their collective ignorance is jarring, divisive, and hurtful to other people just trying to live their lives.
"That's the kind of room these people have been given, and they have taken it to the extreme," Beckles said.
The city's Human Rights and Human Relations Commission have discussed barring hate speech from public meetings. It's a tricky business in a land that cherishes and protects the people's right to speak freely.
But what's happening in Richmond is over the top, and responsible city officials need to put a stop to it.