At tonight’s meeting of the Buffalo Board of Education, dozens of demonstrators shut down the proceedings with singing and chanting, demanding the removal of Park District member Carl Paladino, whose most recent racist rant published in Artvoice in December galvanized his long-simmering opposition.
The demonstrators expressed their intention to continue to disrupt board proceedings so long as Paladino remains a member—a tactic that seems intended to speak to Mary Ellen Elia, the state education commissioner, who has been asked by a majority of the board to consider removing Paladino. While Paladino’s racist remarks may not by themselves offer Elia cause to remove him from his elected post, a board member who creates an obstacle to the completion of board business is susceptible to removal.
The demonstrators also singled out Paladino’s two allies on the board, at-large members Patti Pierce and Larry Quinn. Bizarrely, Pierce took a bow as demonstrators sang “Which side are you on, Patti” and chanted “Shame.”
The meeting, held in Common Council chambers, was shut down by the protest. The board repaired to their eighth floor offices, and demonstrators followed, continuing their singing and chanting.
Here’s more video: