Tensions rose at a Cedar Park City Council meeting Thursday night when members of a progressive group said a council member has been posting statements mischaracterizing them on social media.
Members of the group Indivisible said Thursday that Council member Dorian Chavez has wrongly called them a hate group on social media posts. “You (Chavez) have done this for almost two years and you need to stop,” said Michelle Thompson, a group member. `”We are not a hate group … nor have we participated in hate groups or violence,” she said.
Chavez- who some residents have criticized at previous city council meetings for joining protestors at an LGBTQ event in June at the Leander library -was not at the council meeting but was shown watching the council meeting Thursday from a remote feed.
READ: LGBTQ story hour at Leander library draws 200 protestors-supporters
Chavez replied Thursday -via the remote feed- that his social media posts would remain the same. “If I’m being attacked in a racist way by a racist hatred group I will let people know,” he said.
He also said he joined the protestors who appeared outside a Pride festival event at the Leander library on June 15 because he was there only to pray for the children. The event was originally scheduled to be a Drag Queen story hour where a drag queen was going to read stories to children but it ended up being a festival with no drag queens present.
Chavez previously said during an interview with Infowars in early July that he was attacked by the “local hate group Indivisible” after going to the protest at the Leander library. At least one of his posts on his Facebook page also called Indivisible a hate group.
Two other members of the Cedar Park City Council – Tim Kelly and Rodney Robinson – have also been criticized for joining protestors at the Leander library event. Robinson has since apologized for attending the event, residents said at a previous council meeting.
The president of Indivisible in Cedar Park, Melissa Crijns, said at the council meeting Thursday that the group’s mission was to educate and register voters. “Just because some of our values may be different from others does not mean we are terrorists or a hate group,” she said.
“We agree Cedar Park is a great place to live and we want to see Cedar Park continue to grow and thrive for everyone.”
Another resident, Lynn Marks, defended Chavez saying he was a good person who only went to the protest at the Leander library to pray for children because he didn’t think the Drag Queen Story Hour should have been a children’s event.
Mayor Corbin Van Arsdale said Thursday that the council couldn’t restrain anyone’s speech unless they were doing something “crazy” like starting a riot.
He also said he wanted residents of Cedar Park to feel like the city was a safe place to live, “free of discrimination, free of attackers and free of worry.”