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Greenfield Police Explain Arrests at Paul Ryan Luncheon

Attendees were given ample warnings regarding the result of an outburst during the lunch, according to the interim chief.

The three protesters arrested yesterday at the Whitnall Park Rotary Club's luncheon featuring U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan were warned in advance what would happen if spoke out, according to the .

"The event was a private function, held on private property," Greenfield Interim Police Chief Brad Wentlandt said. "The Whitnall Rotary was the host and in control of the banquet hall, thereby having the right to allow entry, refuse entry or demand that anyone be removed who they did not want there."

According to Wentlandt, all attendees were provided with a statement on the standards of conduct for those attending the luncheon. The statement stated anyone would be asked to leave the event, and if they failed to do so would face arrest.

and given municipal citations for trespassing. One of those arrested also received a citation for resisting arrest.

"We had a procedure in place where a member of the rotary — the property 'owners' for the event — would ask the unruly person to sit down and be quiet," Wentlandt said. "If the person refused, then law enforcement would step in and make the same request. If the person continued to refuse, they were escorted out. If they did not resist, they were escorted to the doors and off the property. If they continued their behavior or resisted, they were arrested."

Terry Burkett September 07, 2011 at 07:30 PM
As somone who doesn't agree with the policies of Mr Ryan, I agree with how this was handled. It's a private affair they have the right to enforce the rules they care to. No I do think Mr Ryan needs to hold true town hall hearings where he has an any question is allowed policy. I'm not sure he allows that during his open office hours or not. This tacic in politics is getting old and it further bogs down the political system. We need more orderly and civil discussion to fix the big issues that face us.
John Q Public September 07, 2011 at 10:19 PM
Ryan forces the people's hand in this matter by denying them public fora. The town-hall meeting dates to the Pilgrims and has been one of the cornerstones of American democracy. Now it has been privatized and twisted by a cabal of radical corporatist thugs.
The Big Cat September 08, 2011 at 03:31 AM
Union goons as usual try to shout down anyone who does not follow their twisted thinking. Grow up. Only 7% of the US workforce is unionized. We're sick and tired of your whining. Get a job...if you can in Obama's economy.
John Q Public September 08, 2011 at 03:58 AM
@Tony: Do you even read what you write? You attack those who spoke up at the town-hall for being unionized (despite the fact that the article never states that they are) then you admonish them to get jobs?
Tom September 09, 2011 at 03:06 PM
Everyone has the right to be heard, but no one [or group] has the right to be unruly as a means to control the event and/or surpress the rights of those who remain in order.

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