Video: Rivera’s wild meeting as Assembly chair has man cuffed and tossed over shutdown objections

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“He needs to be removed,” said Assembly member Chris Constant.

“He needs to be 86’d,” said Assembly member Pete Petersen, evidently wanting to get rid of the man for good. The Urban Dictionary says that this means he needs to be killed.

Neither Assembly member realized their mics were still hot.

And so he was removed. Dustin Darden, activist and frequent candidate for office, was ejected from the Loussac Library’s Assembly Chambers.

Darden was not only removed, he was taken away in handcuffs by armed police after an outburst at the public podium, in which he blasted the Anchorage Assembly for not honoring the wishes of the public concerning economic sanctions on businesses.

Darden has been a participant at Assembly meetings for many years. He has never cussed while at the podium. He has never gotten violent. When the mask requirement was enacted in the chambers, he simply wore a cardboard box over his head in protest.

Darden is active as a sponsor of two petitions to recall members of the Assembly.

No one ever remembers him being kicked out, much less in handcuffs. Former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz used to take a time-out and chat with Darden in the back of the room, man-to-man.

But during the dire shutdowns and the new behavior rules the mayor and Assembly have imposed in recent months due to its fear of the COVID virus, Darden has become more strident at times.

On Wednesday night, he was agitated because of the way the Assembly had treated a previous member of the public, who had yielded a portion of her three-minute time to Darden.

Assembly Chair Felix Rivera had lectured the woman about being respectful. Here’s the tape:

Rivera shut the mic off immediately after Darden started yelling from behind the Plexiglas screen that has recently been installed to protect the assembly from the spittle of the public. That triggered Darden.

Darden raised his voice louder. He was shouting, pounding the podium and demanding the Assembly reverse the crushing shutdown orders against the Anchorage business community.

Rivera called security to have Darden removed. And then, as if by magic, the police arrived. They approached Darden, who had taken his seat, and they talked to him. Then Darden rose, put his hands behind his back, and was escorted out the side door.

The government-controlled audio of the meeting was shut off for several minutes while the incident took place. There is no question that Darden was out of order for a public meeting, but did they need to call the police, the members of the audience wondered.

After all, Rivera this summer allowed two men to lie in front of him during an entire meeting. The men were protesting. And Rivera allowed a Black Lives Matter protester to yell profanities at the Assembly in a loud voice this summer, and only thanked the man for his testimony.

But Darden is someone Chair Rivera has no tolerance for.

“Every business owner in Anchorage owes Dustin Darden a thank you. He consistently shows up every single meeting fighting for them when they won’t even show up for themselves,” said Bernadette Wilson, a civic activist who also shows up at meetings and who has organized rallies, and who has also pointed at the Assembly members and yelled at them without being called out of order.

Darden was never booked, and it appears he was not charged either. But the speed that police showed up to haul him out of the Assembly Chambers was impressive to those witnessing the spectacle.

During another section of testimony by the public, Assemblyman Chris Constant also objected to citizen Tim Rooney, who was making fun of the Assembly, as he described the types of themed sandwiches that local restaurants have made in honor of them, such as “Recall Rivera Sandwiches,” and “Curmudgeon Constant Croissants.”

47 COMMENTS

    • How can an assembly member call for a resident to be killed & not face criminal charges for terroristic threats? They dragged away the wrong person in handcuffs.

      • That slimeball Rivera is nothing but a coward and a bully. Well, also an arrogant and intolerant POS and a tyrant. And a despicable and contemptible sorry excuse for a human being. Also, just another California cockroach bringing his toxic nannystate radical leftism to infect Alaska, strip us of our (remaining) freedoms, and generally turn society upside-down.
        .
        Aside from that, he is probably a nice guy.

  1. Wow…so Anchorage is under a dictatorship government huh? Oh Anchorage…how are you going to afford all those lawsuits that will be heading your way because of your autocratic, heavy handed mismanagement?

  2. Escalations are likely to occur when the citizens feel they are being deliberately ignored, patronized and flagrantly unrepresented.

    As a rule I am against uncivil discourse – the first one to shout or call names typically loses – however, I do hope that these power-hungry, tyrannical Assembly members are becoming very uncomfortable. And I do hope that the Anchorage residents continue a steady stream of lawful, well-reasoned, and righteously indignant testimonies and presentations while embracing civil disobedience as much as they are individually able to sustain.

    The Rights protected by the Constitution are not given by government, they are protected from government. Exercise your rights.

  3. Anchorage is the test bed. The citizens are being pushed hard by the politicians just to see how the citizens react. So far, the citizens have just bitched about the loss of liberty. If there was a place in the USA that citizens might remove politicians from their office by force, Alaska would be that place. We are showing the USA that our bark is a lot worse than our bite. We allow politicians to run as a Republican for office and then that Republican votes with the democrats their entire term and all we do is bitch. We allow politicians to steal our money and they don’t even try to hide the fact that they are stealing from us and all we do is bitch. We allow the politicians to change the voting rules during an election and all we do is bitch. Now they changed the way our vote counts so that people who lose elections can now win elections and all we do about it is bitch. When someone bitches too much they get ignored. Our politicians are ignoring us now. Time to stop bitching and figure out what needs to be done so that the politicians becomes OUR EMPLOYEES again.

    • Exactly. No one backed up Kriner when he stuck his neck out. A good start would be to get 500 or so folks guarding Kriner’s and Little Dipper so they could stay open and not get arrested. All that matters in America now is feet on the ground and who shows up and who acts and resists and doesn’t comply. Everything else is just empty talk and useless.

      • You pretty much nailed it. Lawless “lawmakers” don’t really leave much choice. Judges (as opposed to elected legislators) change the rules on elections. City clerks (un-elected) change the rules on recalls. The Assembly changes the rules on special elections. Elected officials change their affiliations and positions almost as soon as they are sworn in. Not a whole lot of recourse here. However, all of them definitely require a great deal of compliance from the governed to enforce their madness. I say we start to withhold it. And also do our business with other like-minded free citizens. For example, this is why I deleted my Facebook, switched to DuckDuckGo for search, and choose to shop local and smaller business whenever I have the opportunity. Every little bit helps.

    • Agree. Legless whining accomplishes nothing. At least half of Anchorage should be at these assembly meetings.

  4. I do not believe the august members of the Assembly understand how angry people are about the heavy-handed actions of the Assembly and the mayor, whoever that person is.

    Significant civil disobedience, protest and even active defiance can arise. The funny and fun parts of all of this have ended. Something to think about.

    • Significant civil disobedience, protests and active defiance need to begin NOW! But it cannot be one lone person, acting alone, as Mr. Darden essentially was, righteous as it was. How do we go about defying and disobeying en masse? THAT is what is necessary here. Anyone have any ideas? I mull this over more and more in recent days and weeks.

    • I don’t believe the citizens of Anchorage care. They have proven compliant sheep.

      I do believe the Assembly has a firm grasp on the feelings of the community. They just don’t care. At all.

      • I’m going to have to agree with you. If this were tried by the borough assembly here in the valley this would be a vastly different story. The consent of the governed would be rescinded by large enough groups of people to make the police very nervous to just start whipping out handcuffs. I could be wrong but I don’t think so

  5. Now I have a new goal. Disruption of the meeting equals less time they’ll have to make new laws and spend our money on things like parks and recs. Hats off to the guy who broke the code. I never have before, but now I do not like queers. Go back to the closet, you won’t get my congratulations.

    • Patriot, these assembly meetings are basically just like ‘show trials’ — virtually nothing of substance happens at them, as all the important decisions were made long before being officially announced and voiced at the assembly meetings. I have participated in this farce two or three times, and it becomes very obvious once one observes the process.

  6. 86’d doesn’t mean killed, it just means tossed out.

    Ever been asked to leave a bar? That’s the same thing though the process can range from being asked to leave up to an including a hands on departure. All are versions of being 86’d.

  7. These Assembly meetings have turned into exchanges of emotion rather than an exchange of ideas. That goof Darden either lost his composure or bumped up against the limits of his ability to communicate regardless, his behavior doesn’t merit a “thank you” from anyone. That clip was embarrassing to watch.

    All the same, the Anchorage Assembly is badly in need of a flush.

    • That clip was only embarrassing by virtue of the intolerance, arrogance and blatantly fascist attitude and behavior of that execrable excuse for a human being, Rivera.
      .
      People are fed-up. Fuses are blowing. Something has to give, as there are many of us who can NOT and will NOT tolerate this state of affairs!

    • I completely agree with you. I attended the assembly meeting last night and observed the entire ordeal close up. Darden was out of order, but Chris Constant, the wuss, was just about as offensive and very, very whiny.

      .

      But Pete Petersen was even more surprising. His hot mike comment about 86ing Darden was probably the first time Pete has spoken at an assembly meeting without somebody, like Forrest Dunbar, having given him some pre-ordained statements OR a text message telling Pete how to vote.

      .

      We in Anchorage deserve much better than this assembly. We must start reclaiming city government by recalling Felix Rivera. If you live in District 4, please sign the petition.

  8. You got what you voted for Anchorage. A tin pot dictator running a banana republic.

    Mr. Darden needs to get a good lawyer and sue the Assembly, the city, Rivera, Constant, and Petersen.

    Don’t think Petersen didn’t know what he was saying. Not for a moment.

  9. Dustin Darden had clearly lost control of himself. He was being very disruptive of the process. Notwithstanding that, he has been given every consideration and opportunity to express himself thus far at the podium in this civic forum (ANC Assembly) even though he has a recent history of pushing the limit of appropriate behavior. The odds were that he would repeat his disruptive behavior at this meeting. That’s why security was standing by to, appropriately, remove him from the chamber.
    Anyone who actively participates in dismantling the procedural process is engaging in the same process as the recent rampaging street protests throughout the nation.
    The next step would be chaos in the administration of law and order, i.e., civil insurrection. If you think that’s the only method of addressing your concerns, then call it for what it is so I can prepare to resist it.

  10. Anchorage is being systematically flushed down the crapper by the liberal assembly the former pervert in charge that was overwhelmed with “BS” overflowing out the 8th floor windows and now at the direction of the dictator ship and who’s to blame? The Anchorage citizens and businesses allowing it to continue.

  11. How about a taxpayer paid relocation to California or Cuba? And a million dollars if they agree? It would save us tenfold. They could start their own restaurant with that kind of money…or maybe a new religious cult. Don’t drink the Koolaid.

  12. On youtube (youtube is a propaganda company in league with leftist haters of freedom) the entire meeting is “Assembly Regular – December 8, 2020 – 2020-12-08 17:00:00”

    Starts around 46 minute mark Darden starts near 48:40. I recommend watching from the 41:42 minute mark. Go Tim Rooney!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Anchorage needs to be re-christened “San Francisco North”. Now that your betters have arrived and taken up residence as the city council, you WILL learn to obey. Close your business, put that face diaper on and go home. Your lordly masters of the council have spoken. You serfs need only to hear and obey.

  14. Its about time a man represented the anger from this community of Anchorage, Eagle River-Chugiak, Girdwood. The men here have been a little slow taking action while others’ actions are undermining and threatening the man’s sole abilities protecting and providing for his own family and neighbors. Dustin Darden represented what is happening behind closed doors for the men of the three communities.

  15. Anchorage, you got what you voted for.

    Enjoy being ruled – it’s what your votes said you wanted.

    Only sad part?

    That, at the earliest opportunity, you’ll vote for more of the same.

  16. Darden was clearly “agitated” and apparently out of control. He clearly needed to be removed. So should the guy who used profanity, once he had been warned not to do so. As far as the guys lying down, seemed pretty innocuous to me. Just lying there wasn’t disrupting anything. Not really a reason to have them removed.
    But Darden? Yeah, he needed to go. Once removed, if he got control of himself, he should be allowed back in. He certainly doesn’t have the right to insist a vote be taken. That’s the job for whoever is running the meeting.
    I hope it’s obvious that these meetings need to be kept under control. Imagine what would happen if you had a Darden and an anti-Darden at the same meeting, both acting out.

  17. Doesn’t it seem odd that Anchorage has at least three homosexuals on its municipal assembly? I mean, that is FAR out of proportion to the general population. What’s up with that, anyway?

    • Tell me about it, Jefferson! Every time Rivera or Dunbar speak or femininely gesture here or fro I feel like a tomboy again. At least the COVID “mayor” has some testosterone.

    • Yes, not a fair representation of the city at all. And what’s with leftists and the hyphenated names? Does it make them feel special? And Nero, I MEAN Rivera, sits in his chair, imperiously looking down on the riff raff who dare bring forth a complaint.

  18. Declaring opponents of the regime to be mentally ill is straight out of the Soviet Union handbook for dealing with dissidents. Then it was off to a “psychiatric” institution until you were “cured”.

  19. 86’d means kicked out, that is all.

    You get 86’d from the bar for having too much to drink and being a loudmouth.

    Urban dictionary is pretty clear on the whole origin of the term. Way to get your readers all worked up though, seems like that’s what this blog is all about.

  20. Also, even though he did sound pretty whiny about it, Constant was correct in calling the point of order. Meeting decorum is important. We can’t have citizens pointing at/addressing individuals behind the dais. There are more nuanced ways of getting the point across without breaking decorum, i.e. you can call someone out for some BS by saying “certain assembly members…”
    If people would just follow the golden rule it would improve things alot.

  21. There was a time not so long ago people who held these positions were considered public servants. Now in Anchorage there can be little doubt they are public enemies.

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