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TNC

Photos: “People’s Filibuster” grinds on at the Anchorage Assembly

On Monday and Tuesday, the tense Anchorage Assembly meeting that began on September 28 continued in the Assembly chambers. Though the mood has calmed slightly since the raucous meetings last week, this week’s meetings continue to feature frequent cheering, disruptions, and unusual behavior by members of the audience.

Those giving testimony, the vast majority of whom oppose the mandate, have argued that the mandate would negatively impact personal health, recreation, or jobs, and have repeatedly stated that they “do not consent, and will not comply” with any new restrictions. Testifiers frequently continue to compare mask mandates to the practices of Nazi Germany and to the Holocaust, despite widespread condemnation of that comparison last week.

In recent days, opponents of the mask mandate have increasingly acknowledged that they are attempting to filibuster the vote. On September 30, Elizabeth Welsh, who serves as an administrator for the popular anti-mandate Facebook group OpenAlaska and as an aide to Assembly Member Jamie Allard, declared on Facebook “This is The People’s Filibuster.”

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DOC

People's Filibuster

Allard’s practice of repeatedly asking follow-up questions, the relevance of which is often unclear, has become a long-running topic of humor among individuals present at the meeting–including Allard herself. Toward the end of the meeting Tuesday, Allard abruptly interrupted a person giving testimony to raise a series of procedural questions, eventually prompting an exasperated Assembly Chair Suzanne LaFrance to tell Allard, “I’m accusing you of wasting time.” Assembly Member Austin Quinn-Davidson later accused Allard of engaging in a “dilatory tactic.”

Meetings this week have also frequently put the acrimonious conflict between Mayor Bronson and the Anchorage Assembly majority on public display. On Tuesday, Bronson questioned the right of the Assembly to appoint a Sergeant at Arms, and, to laughter and applause, accused Assembly Chair LaFrance of “inventing things” and holding an “illegal vote” after LaFrance attempted to address Allard’s procedural questions.

The following photos are available for free public use via Creative Commons license, and can be downloaded from the Alaska Landmine Flickr gallery.

October 4, 2021

October 5, 2021

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Ella Ede
18 days ago

Excellent coverage Jeff, Paxson, and team. Thank you for being there to report on what is happening. Keep up the great work.

Lynn Willis
18 days ago

I very much support the idea of immediately having the podium for public testimony be moved to avoid giving Bronson’s “peanut gallery” the chance to “clown for the cameras”. You can expect this sh*t show to be conducted by Bronson, Allard, and Kennedy for the next three years.

Nunyabidness
18 days ago

Try and spin it any way you want. These are proud citizens standing up for their/our medical liberty. No one should be forced to wear a mask or get vaccinated in a free country. The assembly would like to change that starting with the “free country” part. Not on our watch!

floridawoman
18 days ago
Reply to  Nunyabidness

Proud of being antisemitic you mean?

Richie Romero
18 days ago
Reply to  floridawoman

No hope for you,
Lady

slipstream
18 days ago

Always nice to see the Party Planner!

Gringo
18 days ago

Let’s see – science says the relative size of the holes in a typical mask are the width of football goal posts, and the relative size of the COVID virus are the size of a football. So whether or not the virus scores between the mask goal posts or outside through another hole, masks are a relatively ineffective public safety measure to slow the spread of the COVID virus. That is the science data from actual large scale epidemiological studies in the past 18 months. Additionally, “breakthrough” cases of COVID with people who have been vaccinated show that the current… Read more »

Rational in AK
18 days ago
Reply to  Gringo

There’s just so many things wrong in this comment. First, the size of the virus is irrelevant. People keep bringing this up and the basic lack of understanding is beyond frustrating. The virus is carried via particulates like air droplets when you cough. The masks aren’t intended to stop a particle the size of a virus. They’re designed to stop something the size of the particulate. It’s like saying a road block won’t stop a penny in the change compartment of my truck. Second, the vaccine is to prevent serious infection and death. Some people can’t risk getting natural immunity… Read more »

Gringo
18 days ago
Reply to  Rational in AK

Please cite the meta analysis of all the studies on masks in the last 18 months that show masks are an effective non-medical tool to prevent the spread of this virus. Ah, they don’t. For folks under 80, the survival rate is greater than 99 percent. The vaccine survival rate is less than that. People are now dying of COVID who have been vaccinated, so the concept that the vaccine prevent death is not true. People wear masks because they are living their lives in fear, thinking the mask as a magical device to prevent the spread of a virus.… Read more »

Sweeney
18 days ago
Reply to  Gringo

How big is the big lie? As big as gringo wants it to be.

Gringo
18 days ago
Reply to  Gringo

Sorry, the effectiveness of the vaccine is not 100 percent. And for people who already have natural immunity, science data shows it to be more effective than the vaccine. As a matter of public policy, why ban people who have natural immunity from anything? If vaccines are great, then why the need for vaccinated people to wear masks? And for all the talk about variants, no one seems to mind that the variation likely isn’t to the spike protein, so in theory if this approach works to build antibodies to the spike protein, it should not matter about other mutations… Read more »

Last edited 18 days ago by Gringo
Rational in AK
17 days ago
Reply to  Gringo

Using your football analogy, your argument (the football) is only going through the goal post when you move them. Continuing with your analogy, the point (the football) was high and incomplete. Hope you and your family stay safe.

Gringo
16 days ago
Reply to  Rational in AK

No worries

I’ll use a better analogy…

Hey – my breakthrough pregnancy doesn’t mean the contraception failed.

Father is Disappointed
17 days ago

I guess Bernadette has survived a lot of other kinds of diseases/infections/viruses in her personal life going about her personal/professional business. What is COVID when you’ve beaten the clap and God-knows-what-else how many times?

Matt Nemeth
16 days ago

Cheap shot, and cowardly.

Someone disagrees with you about a societal matter, and has the guts to do so publicly; so you run down their personal health history, anonymously, in a public forum?

Shame on you.

Edited: I think you just helped prove the point of people who fear a mandate like this will pit neighbors against neighbors.

Last edited 16 days ago by Matt Nemeth
Evan S Singh
15 days ago
Reply to  Matt Nemeth

Thanks for calling out Father’s third grade bullying.