A recent gathering of International Socialist Organization members at Portland State University was labeled an open meeting. Judging from the reaction attendees had when a conservative blogger arrived to cover the event, however, makes one wonder if organizers completely understand the term.
When some in the crowd recognized Dan Sandini, Marxism professor Grant Booth was dispatched to find a police officer in hopes that he would escort the unwelcome visitor out of the room. Instead, Sgt. Robert McCleary had a brief conversation with Sandini, informing him he could absolutely attend provided he did not disrupt the proceedings.
When the self-proclaimed ‘citizen journalist’ returned, however, the mood grew even more hostile. An organizer asserted that the group doesn’t allow “known right-wing bloggers” to cover its events.
One voice complained, evidently to McCleary:
“We have a right to this space; and I think he’s a f—king piece of s—t!”
Another attendee placed his hand in front of the blogger’s camera and taunted, “I’m not touching your camera! I’m not touching your camera!”
Under the direction of a different organizer, members huddled together to form a human blockade preventing Sandini from seeing any of the meeting.
In the end, McCleary was the only voice of support for the lone conservative in the room. He ultimately shut down the meeting and, in a subsequent Facebook post, Sandini expressed his appreciation in a letter to the officer.
Photo Credit: Facebook/Dan Sandini