Last Night’s Debate
Local political activist Keith Ivey put together a cool Storify for last night's At-Large D.C. Council candidate debate at the Black Cat—useful for those of you who missed it, and those of us who may have imbibed a bit too much to remember what happened. Sekou Biddle, the Rev. E. Gail Anderson Holness, Vincent Orange, and Peter Shapiro were largely civil and good-humored, though there were a couple of flare-ups between Orange and Biddle, and Orange and Shapiro.
At DCist, City Paper contributor Benjamin R. Freed notes that Occupy D.C. warmed up elsewhere before stopping by the Black Cat to Mic Check the event. First, they stopped at a silent march that was intended to protest the recent violence against LGBT residents:
The march last night was meant to be a mostly quiet affair, with some participants taping over their mouths as a way of expressing the silence they feel when a member of their community is attacked. The marchers who didn't seal their mouths spoke quietly, save a few quick speeches by the organizers and some District officials.
But the 50 or so members of Occupy D.C. who joined up couldn't stick to the script. They mic-checked, chanted and lingered in busy intersections as police officers escorting the march reopened the streets after rolling closures. Some said they were part of a "radical queer bloc" that was enjoined by members of Occupy D.C., but with the "mic checks" and chants that wouldn't be out of place at an Occupy rally, the distinction was unclear.
Then the Occupiers headed to the Black Cat, where they interrupted the debate:
"Mic check!" a loud voice in the back of the room exclaimed. A rabble of occupiers—not more than 20—started to issue their demands that the debate cover issues such as Walmart and corporate campaign contributions, and their apparent frustration that all three moderators—the City Paper's Alan Suderman, WPFW's Chuck Thies and NBC4's Tom Sherwood—were white men.
It went on for a while, and was kind of difficult to hear. The candidates just looked confused—well, Holness looked irritated. And by the time the debate got to questions about Walmart and campaign donations, the occupiers were nowhere to be found.
Photo by Mike Madden