Monday, April 27, 2009

Looking for trouble

The Post:
It was either a frightening confrontation or a misunderstanding, depending on who's talking.

State GOP aide Matt Milner dialed 911 because he said union organizers blocked his exit and demanded he erase a video recording of Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet on Saturday afternoon following a townhall meeting sponsored by the AFL-CIO.

Mike Cerbo, executive director of Colorado AFL-CIO, said Milner came looking for trouble, but he wasn't forced to erase the tape or barred from leaving. It's now a matter for the Adams County Sheriff's Office, where authorities Sunday confirmed that they received a complaint from Milner. Police also confirmed his Saturday emergency call.

"I feared for my safety. Period," the 25-year-old Milner said Sunday. . . .

There was no reason to think Saturday's gathering at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers' Local 68 union hall — billed as an "everyone's welcome" affair on the invitation — would vary from the typically uneventful routine. And for several hours it didn't, Milner said.

But Milner, with his tripod and video camera, garnered the attention of event organizers just as Bennet bid his adieu to hundreds of audience members, some of whom had grown passionate over politically tricky labor issues, such as the Employee Free Choice Act. . . .

The 5-foot-6-inch Milner found himself surrounded as the event wound down, he said.

"This hulking guy comes flying at me, and he's yelling 'Who are you with?' There's a flurry of F-words," Milner said. "They circled around me. I'd try to move, and they'd move to block my path."

Cerbo, one of the five men who spoke to Milner after Bennet's speech, disputed that version of events Sunday. He said the young interloper was aggressive and tried to provoke a confrontation, though he declined to say how.

"He came in uninvited. . . . I'd call him a trespasser," Cerbo said. "He didn't get the incident he wanted, so he's clearly lying about what happened."
"Yeah, sure" of the month:
By Cerbo's recollection, Milner offered to erase his tape because he hadn't been invited to the event. Milner says he was barred from leaving until he agreed to erase the recording and that one of the men briefly took his camera to make sure it was.
Jeez, who'd have thought union officials could sink lower than ethnic studies scholars (scare quotes superfluous) in trying to silence their enemies?

Update: Speaking of Ward Churchill, Idaho law prof Angelique EagleWoman has some choice words for ol' Kennebunkport:
If you choose to view this as only an “academic freedom” issue, do so knowing that you are ignoring Native Americans in the process. That you would be turning a blind eye to our on-going struggle to be represented in the academy, to our on-going struggle that state educational institutions follow tribal membership standards for counting and reporting Native Americans, to our on-going struggle to represent ourselves accurately in historical respects, political respects and as academics. His reinstatement would be a further slap in the face to the Native community showing that our concerns are still not legitimized in our own homelands.
The pirate whose parrot never cuts his toenails (I'm sick of hearing about it) has more.

Update II: Never seen it spelled, as EagleWoman does in this fine takedown, "Kootewah" before. Googling raised only three instances, one of them a link to the same piece at, the other two mentioning the town of Kootaweh in, natch, Idaho. In contrast, "Keetoowah" resulted in 37,700 hits, while even "Keetowah" got 3000-odd. No point, just curious.

No comments: