Jackie Weaver was assigned to hold a parish council meeting in Handforth, but was far from imagining the moments of confusion that awaited her. He kept himself calm, made anyone he wanted to talk to disappear, and now he is the “star” of the meeting.
It is not Netflix’s latest hit, but it quickly turned into one of the most famous videos of this imprisonment in Handforth, UK.
If, for many, local government meetings are nothing but long and sleepy dialogues, then this time, the situation was quite different. At the Zoom meeting of that English parish relating to Cheshire, held on 10 December, there was no shortage of insults, profanity, moments of frenzy and even “expulsion”. It goes without saying that the video quickly went viral, acting as a kind of metaphor for the time the world is passing, in the midst of an epidemic.
The start of the conversation was quickly disturbed, with one councilor – whose microphone was on, though the image still not revealed – whispering profanity, while Jackie Weaver tried to direct the session. The mood continued to increase with the exchange of charges and calls during the meeting.
Weaver’s call to remain calm was unnoticed by Internet users, who addressed him with high praise. Although, as he explained to the BBC, he was only called to “support” the councilors, he ended up being the “star” of the meeting, banning some members of the conversation.
One of them was the President himself, Brian Tollever, who stops talking to Jackie Weaver once upon a time. “They have no right to speak here,” he shot, promptly removed from the call and placed in the “virtual waiting room”.
In response to Tolver’s departure, Vice President Allred Braverton shouted with another contestant that he would assume responsibility for the meeting and also ended the “kick out” of the meeting.
However, another Counselwoman, Susan Moore, called her colleagues for “citizenship”, triggering a wave of laughter and derogatory remarks. Conclusion: Two more people sent to “Virtual Waiting Room”.
In fact, the rest of the members ended up voting against the three people returning to the conversation. Despite recognizing that most of the board meetings are not “so exciting”, Jackie Weaver looks forward to public backlash for her performance. Even the sweaters are, ironically, printed, with the phrase: “You have no rights here, Jackie Weaver”.
“There is an element of intimidation and bad behavior in local councils and we are working hard to combat it,” he explained.
Still, Bryan Tolver says he does not regret the way he addressed Jackie. “When invited, he had no position other than to speak,” he said, adding that he had “no memory of another meeting, anywhere, which was taken by an unqualified member of the public.”
It should be noted that the “council” is the lowest level of local government in England and can be compared to the parganas of Portugal. At the end of the meeting, the participants discussed whether a recording of the conversation should be released. “I think it’s going to go viral,” one of them bets. And got it right.