Petitioner and protesters clash at Fred Meyer

Protestors+and+petitioners+are+allowed+at+Fred+Meyer+as+the+outside+parking+lot+are+is+declared+a+public+space+according+to+law.
Protestors and petitioners are allowed at Fred Meyer as the outside parking lot are is declared a public space according to law.

Protestors and petitioners are allowed at Fred Meyer as the outside parking lot are is declared a public space according to law.

Courtesy of Dave Crosby / Flickr

Courtesy of Dave Crosby / Flickr

Protestors and petitioners are allowed at Fred Meyer as the outside parking lot are is declared a public space according to law.

Racquel Rollins, Senior News Reporter

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Anyone who went to Fred Meyer early last week  likely saw petition signatures being gathered for Initiative 1522, as well as people peacefully protesting the petition gathering.

 
A man, Larry Bradshaw, according to the Daily Record, was gathering signatures for Initiative 1522, which would essentially repeal the 2015 Bathroom Bill. The signatures were to get the petition onto the next ballot.

 

Several members of Kittitas County’s Safety and Access For Everyone (SAFE) Alliance decided to peacefully protest the incident with signs that read messages such as, “I choose love over hate. Washington State does not discriminate.”

 

SAFE Alliance is a statewide coalition which aims to defend anti-discrimination laws, especially those having to do with transgender rights.

 

Bradshaw was displeased with this and called the cops.

 

The cops came and told him that they had the same right to protest as he did to get his petition signed, said Maddie Crisman, a protester and CWU special education major.

 

Later that day Crisman went back to Fred Meyer where encouraging words were exchanged with various community members looking to do their shopping. Bradshaw hurled insults at her and threatened to have her arrested, Crisman said.

 

“He slammed his clipboard on the ground, flicked a cigarette at me and threw his pen at me,” Crisman said.

 

The pen hit her in the face according to Crisman, so she proceeded to file a police report. However, this was not the worst thing he did, Crisman claimed.

 

“The thing that angered me the most was when he called this community ‘bottom of the barrel,” Crisman said. “The best part of it all was the community members that would come over and hug me and shake my hand and tell me what I was doing was right.”

 

She wasn’t the only one who had words with Bradshaw that day.

 

Devin Beach, member of Kittitas County’s SAFE Alliance, also spoke with him. She let him know that she was for transgender rights.

 

“He was pretty aggressive,” Beach said.

 

In regards to the incident with Crisman, while it was a sad occurrence, Beach is hopeful.

 

“Something good can come out of this: Awareness,” Beach said. “I know there are good people in Ellensburg, I just hope that the good outweighs the bad.”

 

Beach also pointed out that because of state and city laws, there was not much that could be done about Bradshaw from Fred Meyer’s end.

 

Chuck Reasons, law and justice professor, verified that there was not much Fred Meyer can do.

 

“There is little that they can do if he is being lawful,” Reasons said. “It’s unfortunate because [the petition] promotes hate and fear.”

 

While they are a private entity, they are open to the public, so as long as neither the petition gatherer nor the protestors are impeding the flow of traffic, Fred Meyer cannot really do much.

 

Reasons also points out that it was both the protesters and Bradshaw’s First Amendment right to act as they did.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Petitioner and protesters clash at Fred Meyer”

  1. Devin F Beach on May 11th, 2017 9:56 pm

    I was impressed with the Observer’s compassion and sensitivity concerning this topic as this has the potential to get very heated, very quickly. Raquel and Observer Faculty Advisor Cynthia Mitchell both asked first and foremost how the person who was assaulted was doing and even mentioned that if the person assaulted was not ready to discuss this matter, they would respect their decision. Thank you Observer!

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Petitioner and protesters clash at Fred Meyer