‘We The People’ demonstrate at Council

‘We The People’ demonstrate at CouncilAs the Ridgecrest City Council met for their regular meeting on Wednesday night, Eric Bruen welcomed those seated in the chamber, noting that there were more in the audience than usual.

During the public comment session the reason for increased attendance became apparent. Lindsay Stevens, former councilwoman, now the leader of We the People of Ridgecrest, California organization, spoke. Several members of the group were present. Stevens requested that the council place a resolution for consideration at their next meeting. Specifically, to adopt a proposed resolution. Stevens also requested that the council recognize the group’s concern of over-dependency on Federal and State pandemic mandates. She believes citizens are being denied the freedom of personal choice regarding the wearing of masks and vaccinations. The group does commend the Ridgecrest Regional Hospital and Kern County Health Department for their diligence in ensuring that testing and vaccines are made available.

After the public comments session the organization met outside of City Hall and organized a parade in preparation to march single file through the council chambers. They were more than 200 strong and amidst the business session of the council meeting the group entered the chambers carrying American flags and signs reading such as “No Masks” and “Liberty for All.” They respectfully paraded across the back of the chambers and exited through the opposite door. Council members registered shock while viewing this; as if to say, “Now what?” Respectfully, Mayor Bruen paused the business session and responded to a small stir on the dais, “The doors are open.”

Included in the parade were various segments of the community including teachers, doctors, nurses, medical professionals, defense workers, men, women, and children off all ages.

In response to others speaking during public comment, Mike Neel pressed for a report from Scott Hayman regarding the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority (GA) decisions. At previous meetings Hayman had stated that he would not be reporting on GA decisions. Hayman assured Neel that he would give a GA report at future meetings.

Tom Wiknichs, also a former councilman, requested that the board respond in a two-way communication with community members who requested information during public comment. He reminded the council that according to the Brown Act only legal issues were exempt from public discussion.

Laura Austin photo: More than 250 local citizens of ‘We the People of Ridgecrest,’ organized a demonstration that was held in front of City Hall Wednesday night. During the regular City council meeting the group did a walk through at the City Council’s regular meeting.

Story First Published: 2021-08-20