The bustling urban metropolis of Fresno, CA, became the scene of controversy and protest on February 14th. Lee Brand, the occasionally-maligned mayor of Fresno, simply intended to host the Fresno Chamber of Commerce and give a speech to a rapidly gathering crowd of businessmen. Instead, he found himself face to face with an extremely vocal crowd of protesters. Voices rang throughout the streets of downtown Fresno in protest of Brand, and his recent quote to the local news that Fresno was not a “sanctuary city” by any stretch of the imagination.
Shannon Kurtz is the name of the incensed citizen that organized the Tuesday protest with vindictive glee. Shouting traditional protester chants through a megaphone, Kurtz led a tight-knight, tenacious group of protesters in their extremely vocal effort to force the mayor to reassess his stance on immigration. The gathered businessmen, some of whom were due to be sworn in to the Chamber of Commerce that day, were forced to endure the valiant chanting of the assembled protest group, which lasted throughout the entire duration of the meeting.
Though the group eventually dispersed peacefully, Mayor Brand felt the eventual, eminent need to rebut his tenacious detractors. Speaking frankly to the assembly of somewhat distracted business figures, Brand attempted to further elaborate on the fateful statement that he gave to the Fresno Bee. Likening himself to “the captain of The Titanic”, struggling in vain to navigate between two particularly nasty, jagged blocks of ice, Brand clarified by stating that he was simply denying Fresno’s official label as a “sanctuary city”. Brand’s supposed aim, it seemed, was to avoid losing federal funding while reminding the citizens that the city of Fresno is not under obligation to follow federal immigration rulings should they displease citizenry.