The Boise City Council made it clear during its Tuesday meeting that there is no place for hate in the City of Trees. In a unanimous vote on Tuesday, Sept. 12, it passed a resolution declaring the brazen display of violence and hate in Charlottesville, Virginia, to be unacceptable and an affront to Idaho values.
"There's very little hate [in Boise]," said City Council Member Scot Ludwig, who brought the resolution before the council, explaining why he thought it was necessary. "We take that for granted. ...We won't tolerate those acts in this community."
Charlottesville became a byword for a resurgence of the extreme right in August after hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan and various neo-Nazi factions marched alongside other white nationalists, white supremacists and members of the so-called alt-right, allegedly to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. What followed was a weekend of violent protests and counter protests that left many injured and one person dead.
City of Boise
The Boise City Council voted unanimously at its Sept. 12 meeting to pass a resolution condemning violence and hate.
The home of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville is on the other side of the United States, but Idaho and Boise have likewise been touched by racism and white supremacy: Many early settlers in the Gem State were ex-Confederates, and several place names, like the Idaho County community of Dixie, come from the Old South. Later, Aryan Nations, a neo-Nazi white supremacist group, established a home base in north Idaho, only to dissolve in the 1990s after criminal convictions and civil suits forced the closure of the compound.
More recently, flyers for Hammerfest
, a neo-Nazi, skinhead music festival slated for an undisclosed location in the Boise area Saturday, Sept. 30, have circulated online.
Members of the council said it was important for the body to a take stand on social issues, something that it's done occasionally in the past. In February, the council voted unanimously to pass a "Welcoming City
" resolution aimed at anti-refugee and anti-immigrant sentiment in the shadow of local and national political events. In light of the terror, hate and violence on display in August, the time was ripe on Tuesday for it to once again take a stand for justice, civility and inclusion, council members said.
"It's important that the words be stated out loud, in this forum," said Boise Mayor Dave Bieter.