performance artist candidate for mayor, Chris Young, has finally incurred a legal penalty.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A District Court judge Tuesday ordered perennial political candidate Christopher F. Young to perform 25 hours of community service for resisting arrest during an altercation at the State House on June 29.
Judge Anthony Capraro Jr. found Young guilty of resisting a deputy sheriff’s attempts to remove him from the Senate gallery, where he and his fiancée, Kara D. Russo, had been protesting the same-sex civil union bill. The judge, however, acquitted Young of disorderly conduct saying videotape and photographs clearly showed the couple “minding their own business” while quietly holding signs opposing the bill along the back wall.
This is after years of stunts like this…
Young showed up at a debate for Providence mayoral candidates at the Providence Career & Technical Academy on Wednesday. The mayor’s race is his race of choice this year.
He showed up carrying a three-foot statue of the Virgin Mary. And what happens when a man walks into a debate carrying a statue of the Virgin Mary? You guessed it. People noticed.
People, specifically the debate organizers, also told him that the statue violated a ban on signs or props among candidates and he would have to remove it.
Young argued that the statue represents his faith and is a matter of free speech.
His standoff over the statue left people who wanted to attend the debate waiting outside in a hallway.
The debate was delayed for more than an hour. Young got in the way.
That was in July, 2010, and in my opinion was obstruction. We have a lively tradition of free speech. Misusing that right to drown out others is abuse. Civility has its uses, especially in civil life. I don’t like the ‘glitter bomb’ or pie-throwing pranks we’ve been seeing lately, because it’s intended to humiliate a human being, and conveys a message that their security allows things to be thrown at them. I still remember Chris Young and Kara Russo, howling at James Langevin as he tried to conduct a Town Hall in Warwick during the health care reform debates. I think they should have been kicked out, not politely told to tone it down.
Providence has a wealth of performance spaces where they could do their thing. They, and all the people who use a public hearing to take more than the reasonable time to speak their mind while others wait their turn should be made to follow the rules. General Assembly– buy an egg timer, I’ll donate the funds.