Bernadette Wilson, an Anchorage political activist, was sitting at home, monitoring the Anchorage Assembly meeting online, when she noticed two individuals lying on the floor directly in front of the Assembly panel.
Just lying there.
Earlier, the two had been doing pushups in the space between the podium for public testimony and the Assembly. But for most of the meeting, they just were prone, gazing up at the ceiling.
No one on the Assembly asked them to leave. No one in the audience knew what to make of it, but finally when it was time for public testimony, Dave Bronson scolded the Assembly Chair Felix Rivera for turning the proceedings into a circus.
“Dick Traini would never have allowed this,” Bronson said, referring to former assemblyman. Bronson told Must Read Alaska that for the Assembly to allow the antics in front of them shows disrespect for the institution of lawmaking.
“They need to stop with their virtue signaling and start treating this with respect,” Bronson said today.
Meanwhile, Wilson, watching the meeting from home, also decided that enough was enough. She grabbed a white plastic bucket and wrote “TIPS” on it, and drove to the Loussac Library, where the Assembly meets.
Without announcing anything in advance, Wilson strode to the front of the chambers and set the “tip bucket” down by the protesters. Then she walked out.
One of the protesters is known as MoHagani Magnetek, who is a transgender activist and performer who occasionally runs for office, most recently against Austin Quinn-Davidson. Born a man, Magnetek is in the process of living as a woman, although he has the burly body of a man and did pushups before the meeting, as captured in the video:
The other protester calls him/herself Dana Dardis, a person who is also involved in the petition to take down the statue of Captain James Cook at Resolution Park in Anchorage.
Dardis said on Facebook that the protest was because of racism, sexism, COVID-19, intersectionality, incarceration, children in cages, LGBTQ, and the “whiteness of the Assembly,” among other complaints. Dardis claimed that people of color are being attacked by design.
It wasn’t long before the tip bucket was removed to the hallway by a municipal staff member, but the protesters were able to continue on with their antics and eventually they testified.