Protesters demonstrate outside home of Carl Paladino

January 12, 2017 - 3:05 pm
By: Mike Baggerman (Twitter: @MikeBaggerman)

Last Updated: January 12, 2017 | 8:12 p.m.

CAZENOVIA PARK, N.Y. (WBEN) – About 40 protesters gathered at Cazenovia Park and walked to the home of Buffalo School Board member Carl Paladino Thursday evening to protest Paladino’s position on the Buffalo School Board.

The “March on Paladino” was organized by Paladino’s former opponent Austin Harig.

“This rally was meant for a march,” Harig told WBEN. “We weren’t meant to go screaming. We’re not going to go tar and feather Carl. We’re here to make a statement.”

Chants of “Hey hey, ho ho, Carl Paladino’s got to go” and “Can Carl” filled the streets during the 6:00 p.m. hour. While outside Paladino’s home, Harig read a resignation letter intended for Paladino which he asked the former gubernatorial candidate to sign. This protest is one of several other demonstrations already against Paladino following his controversial comments in the alternative newspaper Artvoice in December where Paladino said inflammatory statements against the Obama family. In early January, the Buffalo School Board held a special meeting where they passed a resolution asking Paladino to resign from the school board.

Paladino refused to resign following the resolution. Since then, the school board is seeking outside counsel in their fight to remove Paladino from the board.

Immediately after the protesters dispersed from outside his home, Paladino called into WBEN’s Bauerle & Bellavia.

“It’s been hell to pay for me personally and my family to put up with this nonsense,” Paladino said to Bauerle and Bellavia. “Now, here they are, 24 of them outside my house acting like fools. But they have the right to do that. Nevertheless, the seriousness of what’s wrong with our Buffalo education system is still there and it has to be dealt with.”

Paladino added the protesters expressed their right to free speech by protesting, yet attacked him for his right to speak freely.

“Carl has as much a right to be an idiot or a bimbo or offend as many people as he wants to do,” Harig said. “That’s Carl’s full right as an American. As long as he’s not threatening someone or doing something like that he has the right to do that. However, Freedom of Speech does not mean you’re not free of consequence. As an elected official, Carl simply just goes and squanders the views of his constituents. That’s not fair.”
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