Group Plans to 'Occupy' City Hall, Protest Troy Mayor
A new event listing on Facebook urges residents to demonstrate before Monday's City Council meeting.
Less than a day after news of new Troy Mayor Janice Daniel's controversial anti-gay Facebook post made local and national headlines, a group opposing Daniels is already planning to protest outside City Hall on Monday.
On the Protest at City Hall Facebook event page, event organizer and Troy High School senior Zach Kilgore expressed outrage over Daniels' comment.
"In light of Mayor Daniels' status update regarding the 'queers' in New York, we have decided to 'occupy' City Hall during the City Council meeting on Monday, December 5th through the meeting, and we will return until she resigns," he wrote in the event's description.
The event page links to the original story on Troy Patch, which has drawn dozens of comments from outraged readers since Friday afternoon, as well as a letter to the editor written by Troy High School senior Xinxin Zhou, a member of the school's Gay-Straight Alliance.
"If you're enraged, invite your friends and spread the word. We'll have a huge turnout," Kilgore wrote in the event description.
Kilgore said he created the event after several students who were hurt by Daniels' words, including members of the Troy High School Gay-Straight Alliance, decided to show up early to the City Council meeting to protest.
"Chances are we'll come back again and again," Kilgore said in a written statement sent to Patch.
"I'd like to stress that this is meant to be completely peaceful and respectful," he added. "We aren't showing up at City Hall to take over the building, we're showing up to demonstrate that bigotry is not a true representation of Troy."
Kilgore said his first reaction upon hearing about the status up date was disbelief. "Then I let it sink in," he wrote.
"Although I'm not gay, I do have friends (who) are open about it, and at first I felt for them. To have the mayor of your own city be against you personally, well, that's going to hurt more than just superficially.
"It might make you feel unwanted, disrespected, and angry. It might make you want to leave or to fight. No matter what, though, it divides us further, turns people against their government, and in turn, puts neighbors against neighbors. Our city is divided enough as it is. We don't need these ignorant, self-righteous slurs, and we definitely don't need them from our mayor."
The protest is scheduled to take place 3-11:30 p.m. at Troy City Hall, according to the event page.
Calls and emails to Daniels seeking comment on Friday and Saturday were not returned.