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Washington Municipal Gathering Disrupted by Anti-Jewish Hecklers

Tuesday night’s (Feb. 27, 2024) SeaTac City Council meeting was hijacked via Zoom by a group of mostly anonymous callers hurling racist and antisemitic comments to the City Council and those in attendance.

The SeaTac City Council Meeting on Tuesday night began like any other – the Council rose to salute the flag and Mayor Mohamed Egal opened the floor to public comments.

After several public comments in-chambers, a remote caller was given the floor. The caller did not show their face and had a picture of the Christian cross as their caller image.

The caller verified with Mayor Egal how much time they would have for their comment. After being told they would have 3 minutes, the caller launched into a diatribe against immigration, citing that state and local policies about inclusion were anti-white and that White people were being subjected to violence, terror and harassment as a result. 

The Council Chambers filled with a moment of uncomfortable silence once the caller’s tirade was finished, and Mayor Egal attempted to move the meeting forward to address the next item of business – a Black History Month Proclamation. 

As soon as Mayor Egal uttered the words “Black History Month,” a different caller with a female voice broke in and said, “I have something to say about Black History Month!”

This unleashed a host of additional caller voices chaotically calling out insulting rhetoric about Black people and Jews overtop of one another.

Among the verbal abuse being spouted were calls of “Heil Hitler!” and “Your Mayor is a n*gger!”

All was shock and confusion for several moments before Councilmember Jake Simpson broke in to urge the Mayor to call a recess.

The tirade continued as attempts were made to shut the intruders out of the meeting. Success was finally achieved, and the Council took a 10-minute recess before Council Meeting resumed.

The virtual attack mirrors several others that have happened in California in the past two weeks. La Mesa, California and Laguna Beach have had similar incidents of “Zoombombing” during their city council meetings. 

SeaTac Councilmember Peter Kwon commented on the incident saying:

“The City of SeaTac always welcomes public comments. We encourage people to provide public comments.” 

Councilmember Kwon went on to explain that in order to make a public comment, you have to follow a certain process.

“You either sign up when you’re in person or if you want to send an email, you can send an email,” Councilmember Kwon said. “Or, if you want to provide virtual, remote public comments, then you’ll have to fill out a form and the City will provide the link to the meeting via email so that you can join. The issue that occurred tonight was because anybody with that link can also join the meeting, even if they hadn’t signed in. So, moving forward it is my understanding that the City will solve this technological issue by either providing unique links for people or by providing a lobby waiting area for people to join so that they can then be admitted from the lobby. So I think moving forward this will not be an issue. I’m very disappointed that [the incident] occurred tonight and I’m also very disappointed in the people who were responsible for this. If they wanted to convey a message it is always welcome, they just have to follow the procedure.”

As Councilmembers concluded the meeting with their comments, Mayor Egal stated:

“No matter what you say or what you do, I love America. I choose love over hate. I chose to become an American. And no one, no one can take that away from me.”