When the brat patrol invaded the mayor's property . . .

Why didn't he listen to them?

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By Jim Bowman


Such a bad happening the other night, when the brat patrol invaded the Abu-Taleb homestead after losing the vote over something dear to their hearts. How could they? How dare they? the invaders asked themselves, referring to duly elected trustees acting according their best assessment of the measure before them.


How could they not listen to us, come out on their porches and soothe our aching social justice pangs and yearnings? How could the mayor himself not leave his computer screen, come out and spend quality time with these one hundred teen-agers, this mob arrogating to itself the processes of government?


Why does he not, once he has heard them out, return to report their yearnings and burnings to the trustees? Even bringing one or two of them with him to let them make their case?


They showed up, didn't they? Thereby buying protester privilege for the night, if not for the week?


No. The mean old mayor went ahead by the mean old rules that require him to state the question, listen to written comments, manage live comments of the mostly mean old trustees, call the vote. And we don't like that and figuratively stamp our feet at it. HE NEVER ASKED US.


Instead, before he and four others voted against a poorly crafted resolution, he had spoken words of apology and openness to change but not in favor of the poorly crafted resolution. At which point, as reported in this newspaper, "noise from the protestors outside his home appeared to have caused Abu-Taleb to lose his train of thought slightly while delivering the rest of his comments"!


They were on the sidewalk, his lawn, his front porch! They broke up the meeting. Protester privilege won the day.


Police? "There was minimal police presence . . . Oak Park Police Chief LaDon Reynolds arrived later in the evening and Commander Shatonya Johnson, in plain clothes, spent time speaking with protesters."


On the man's front porch! Uninvited! Unwanted! She chatted. Officer Friendly time. Social-work policing!


Who had decided on that crowd-control strategy?


And the parents? Next-door Austin, from which comes much Oak Park crime, has its missing-father problem. What's Oak Park's problem?

Email: jimbowman7@aol.com Twitter: @BlitheSp

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