A city in Rep. Ilhan Omar's (D-MN) district recently voted to ban the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of city council meetings in order to be more welcoming to an increasingly "diverse community." In response, citizens have mounted a forceful protest.
According to Fox News, as the city council held a meeting this week on whether or not to reconsider the ban, over 100 protesters were seen waving American flags while chanting "USA!"
"Protesters were out in force in a Minnesota city this week, upset over the city council's decision to stop reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of their meetings," reports the outlet. "The council's meeting to reconsider the controversial change was held on Monday, as nearly 100 citizens waved American flags and chanted 'USA!' in a bid to convince the council to reverse course before the change goes into effect next week."
As The Daily Wire's Ryan Saavedra reported last week, the St. Louis Park, Minnesota City Council voted unanimously (5-0) mid-June to stop saying the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of sessions to make it a more "welcoming environment" for non-citizens who do business with the city.
"We concluded that in order to create a more welcoming environment to a diverse community we’re going to forgo saying the Pledge of Allegiance before every meeting," Council member Tim Brausen said at the time.
Council member Anne Mavity told KARE 11 that the Pledge of Allegiance will not be necessary when it comes to doing city business. "Not everyone who does business with the city or has a conversation is a citizen," she said. "They certainly don't need to come into city council chambers and pledge their allegiance to our country in order to tell us what their input is about a sidewalk in front of their home.”
According to the Star Tribune, St. Louis Park Mayor Jake Spano has called for the Council to reconsider its decision or, at the very least, research the policy more thoroughly. "I think it's mainly planted or maybe cultivated in some people's minds, the idea that somehow, people who are new to America don't appreciate these things," he said.
Despite Spano's call for protesters to keep quiet, citizens enthusiastically let their voices be heard and even booed Council member Anne Mavity when she began to speak. "We have an opportunity and the responsibility to use this moment to start a conversation in St. Louis Park, on what it means for our residents in our community to be patriotic, and to live out our community values and principles," she said.
At Monday night's meeting, two proposals were introduced on whether or not to continue the policy; no vote was taken. Minnesota GOP chairperson Jennifer Carnahan told "Fox & Friends First" on Wednesday that many members of the city council were heard making "disturbing" statements.
"One of the gentlemen, Tim Brausen, said evidently Minnesotans are upset because we are playing with their hallowed traditions. So it was just this air of superiority and very disturbing all around," she recalled.