DDN coverage of the Mask part deux

David Esrati wearing hood at Dayton City Commission meeting, Aug 15, 2007

City Commission critic dons mask to protest speaking rules
DAYTON: Wearing a Ninja-type mask to address the Dayton City Commission on Wednesday night didn’t have the same shock value for local activist David Esrati that it did in 1996.

Eleven years ago, he was placed under arrested for refusing to take off the hood.

The charge against him in 1996 was dismissed.

“To remind you how important citizen participation is, I thought I would bring this back out,” Esrati told the commissioners Wednesday, referring to the mask.

“Any restriction on citizen participation is a mistake.”

Esrati had hoped to address the commission two weeks ago regarding a proposed Kroger development at Wayne Avenue and Wyoming Street, but he submitted the request to speak after the business meeting started.

That’s against the rules of how the commission runs its meetings.

City Manager Rashad Young said Esrati has the right to wear whatever he wants to address the commission, as long as it is not offensive.

Please note: The 4 charges against me were dismissed in 1999 after 2.5 years of court battles. The city lost all 5 cases. Not what the DDN reported as a “Charge”- and the settlement was $100,000-a majority of it going to lawyers.

The hood- is technically called a “Balaclava” and is not really quite the same as what Ninjas wear- but, “Ninja” or “Terrorist” always sounds better- if I had been a Muslim woman- wearing a Burka, no one would have batted an eye.

The point is- if the Commission doesn’t want to hear or see the face of the public- for whom they work, maybe they should consider another line of work.

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