Board of Health denies access
And the hits just keep on comin’…literally. Once again, I was at Town Hall again prior to and during the meeting of the Board of Health held on Wednesday the 14th. Once again, my intention was to have a peaceful demonstration to bring attention to the Recall effort now underway to oust from office now former Chairman Peter DeTerra and Board member Michael Ristuccia. Once again, I faced harassment and intimidation tactics from Wendy Graves and Mr. DeTerra.
One would think that after six months of my presence during the BOH meetings they might have learned by now that those tactics don’t work with me as I thrive on being a successful social justice activist and vocal agitator. You might remember my November encounter with former Board Member Geoffrey Haworth (see the archived November 19th issue of this fine newspaper) that, contrary to the rantings of Selectboard Chairman Daniel Freitas, 100s of people read weekly.
After mulling it over for a few days of that incident I filed with the Fairhaven Police Department a complaint against Mr. Haworth because I wanted to have a public record of the intimidation I faced.
Last Wednesday I sat silently in the hall outside of the banquet room holding a protest sign, a legal activity that Police Chief Myers assured me was my right, until the offices closed at 4:30. I had done this on a previous day prior to a BOH meeting. During both of these peaceful protests I was harassed by Wendy Graves who threatened to “call the cops because” she falsely claimed that I was “not allowed to be in the building.”
At 4:30 I exited the building and took to the sidewalk to continue my demonstration by chanting “Hey Hey Ho Ho DeTerra and Ristuccia have got to go!” When newly elected Board Member Kevin Gallagher arrived, I asked him if the public was allowed in the building as per Governors Baker’s March 18, 2021 order allowing up to 100 people at indoor gatherings in public spaces and because #10 on the meeting agenda was a Public Hearing to which he replied, “That’s my intent.”
With that, I followed him up the steps, with the intention of sitting silently in the hall until I might be allowed in the meeting room to make a comment on the issue at hand.
Arriving at the front door of our public space, we found it locked. In short order Mr. DeTerra arrived and unlocked the door. He allowed Mr. Gallagher in, then proceeded to shove the heavy on me as I entered the threshold stating “You need to leave or I’ll call the cops.”
I attempted to talk with him about being in the hall during the meeting, reminding him that a Public Hearing was on the agenda, but he kept applying pressure on the door while my right arm was still in the doorway while loudly proclaiming that “It’s a Zoom meeting only. Now leave or I’m calling the cops” (all of this occurring 6 inches from my face and not wearing a mask).
I pried myself loose and he locked the door again. Not to be deterred, I began knocking and caught the attention of Wendy Graves who yelled through the locked door, “you can’t come in here it’s a Zoom meeting only” and repeated the threat of calling the police. I replied that the Selectboard had, after receiving a letter of approval from the Health Agent/BOH, voted the previous Monday to allow ten members of the public into meetings being held in that very same room. I returned to the sidewalk to continue my vocal protest. The next day I once again went to the police station and lodged a complaint.
I don’t know about you but I am sick of the bullying, harassment, intimidation, disrespect and disregard of the civil rights afforded to the citizens of Fairhaven.
If you are fed up too, SIGN THE RECALL PETITIONS to oust DeTerra and Ristuccia so we can return integrity and respect to the Board of Health!! Contact me and I will bring, in a COVID safe manner, the petitions to you. Diane Hahn 508-525-0936 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dian Hahn, Fairhaven
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Click here to download the entire 4/22/21 issue: 04-22-21 OxfordSchoolDemo