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Spokane City Council adjourns meeting after sparring with pro-Palestinian speakers

August Patton Scruggs speaks during the open forum portion of the Spokane City Council's November 6 meeting.
Cable 5 screenshot
August Patton Scruggs speaks during the open forum portion of the Spokane City Council's November 6 meeting.

Monday night’s Spokane City Council meeting ended early after a small group of audience members chastised the council for approving a resolution on October 9 that condemned the Hamas attack against Israel.

“Due to your refusal to retract your racist statement in support of Israel made on October 9, I am standing here today with nothing but disgust for my city," said August Patton Scruggs during the meeting's public forum. "Over 10,000 Palestinians have been murdered in Gaza within the span of a single month. That number has increased by 2,000 since I wrote this testimony to read to you last week.”

Several speakers singled out Councilmen Michael Cathcart and Jonathan Bingle for criticism. Council President Lori Kinnear repeatedly reminded them that council rules forbid mentioning individual council members by name.

A speaker named Justice for All challenged the rule and a frustrated Kinnear responded.

“Can you sit down please? We’ve had enough of this," she said.

“We have a right to criticize our public officials. I still have time. We have a right to free speech and accountability. How can we hold our public officials accountable if we cannot name them?” said Justice For All to applause from the gallery.

“Thank you. Sit down," Kinnear said.

“How much time is left on my clock? How much time do I have left? I have one minute left," Justice For All said.

Kinnear then gaveled the meeting into a break as several audience members chanted "Free Palestine."

The councilmembers retreated to a conference room adjacent to their chambers. Twenty minutes later, Kinnear announced, via loudspeaker, that the meeting would be adjourned for the night.

See the meeting here.

Doug Nadvornick has spent most of his 30+-year radio career at Spokane Public Radio and filled a variety of positions. He is currently the program director and news director. Through the years, he has also been the local Morning Edition and All Things Considered host (not at the same time). He served as the Inland Northwest correspondent for the Northwest News Network, based in Coeur d’Alene. He created the original program grid for KSFC. He has also served for several years as a board member for Public Media Journalists Association. During his years away from SPR, he worked at The Pacific Northwest Inlander, Washington State University in Spokane and KXLY Radio.