Political speech leads to pushing at forum

A political forum at Western Nevada College turned pushy Thursday night after an attendee allegedly pushed one of the speakers.According to the Carson City Sheriff’s Office, Clarence Southard, 69, of Carson City allegedly pushed the invited Democratic speaker, Martin Fischer. Southard, a local political activist, was cited for misdemeanor battery.Fischer was a third of the way through his talking points when Southard began moving toward the stage, according to Henry Weiner, organizer of the “Political Shout Night.”Weiner said the event was attended by 42 faculty, staff, students, guests and members of the public. After the pushing incident, Southard left and the forum continued.Southard was a member of a committee which, earlier this year, collected signatures to demand a vote to block the use of public money for the City Center Project. Besides the incident at the forum, Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong said the sheriff’s office has been receiving reports of stolen political signs.Although residents’ opinions may differ, the differences need to be reconciled politely and “not by stealing and violence,” Furlong said.Weiner said the event was the second he organized at the college. The part-time English professor said the sessions are needed because “colleges should have an open forum.”


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