Mayor David Bieter adjourned Tuesday's City Council meeting without getting through most of the night's business when it became clear that the protesters weren't going to leave voluntarily.
The demonstration was an obvious response to the city of Boise's operation over the weekend to sweep more than 100 homeless people out of Cooper Court, a homeless camp in the alleys between River Street, Americana Boulevard and the I-184 Connector. Protesters also made an appearance during a Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce event Tuesday at Boise Centre.
Some of the protesters at the council meeting carried signs with messages like "Evict Bieter" and "Homeless displaced, Boise disgraced." They shouted angry and derisive comments as Elaine Clegg, the City Council's second-in-command, tried to get through the first part of the meeting for Bieter, who missed the first few minutes. They chanted “Shame” and “Let him speak” after a man asked to address the council but was denied.
The half-dozen or so Boy Scouts who opened the meeting by leading the Pledge of Allegiance looked a little freaked out but very entertained.
When Clegg called a recess due to the disruption, city staff members briefly evacuated council members.
Bieter returned and called the meeting back to order after a few minutes, but the crowd remained unruly. They became especially angry when Bieter told them they couldn't be heard at that meeting because their issue wasn't on the agenda.
Bieter offered to meet with each one personally, but they weren't placated.
Bieter called another recess and spoke to city attorneys. He adjourned the meeting when he returned and repeated his invitation to meet with the protesters.
City spokesman Mike Journee said the meetings are scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. The meetings, whose format wasn’t set Tuesday night, will be open to the public, Journee said.