Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Vermont Public Forum Interrupted by Antisemitic Pranksters

Wednesday night’s City Council meeting was disrupted by a virtual participant who spewed a series of antisemitic comments — at least one of them laced with and expletive.

The man, who used the name “Ray Sizgoy” — a seeming play on the words “racist guy” — unmuted himself and interrupted the meeting and made several antisemitic and one racist comment over the course of the next minute.

City staff were able to mute him and suspend the meeting for several minutes while working to eject him from the meeting — an exercise that left all of the meeting’s remote participants in a virtual waiting room.

The episode prompted the council and city administrators to “strongly condemn” the comments on Thursday, while signaling the “honor system” that has been used with rare disruption since the start of the pandemic would likely change.

For more than three years, those attending what were first all-virtual meetings and have since morphed into hybrid sessions, have been free to unmute themselves to participate in the council’s discussion — a right that has been rarely abused.

That won’t be an option going forward. In order to prevent future disruptions, all Zoom participants will be muted when entering the meeting and only permitted to unmute when called on to speak. That will require using the “raised hand” function most already do.

City officials said the offensive segment would be removed from the ORCA Media recording that is posted online in order to comply with YouTube’s policy on hate speech. However, in order to comply with Vermont Public Records law, the full recording will be available upon request from ORCA Media.

Source: https://www.timesargus.com/news/local/anti-semitic-remarks-prompt-swift-response-in-montpelier/article_3cec6c58-eaec-58b3-9535-553a581a4637.html