News Analysis

Barre pro-lifer threatened with mute button by Diversity & Equity chair

City Council to weigh in a week from today

Pro-life Barre Diversity and Equity Committee member William Toborg has been told he will henceforth be silenced by the chair. At right, sculpture in Barre City Hall park.

by Guy Page 

At the September 27 meeting of the Barre City Council, the future of our Republic will be on the line.

A bit grandiose, you say? Sure – but it’s fair to say the local application of the principle on which the Republic’s future rests is very much at stake.

That principle is government support for free speech. “Congress shall make no law….abridging the freedom of speech,” says the First Amendment. But when government bodies – from our exalted Congress to the lowly Barre City Diversity and Equity Committee – cease to practice the principle of free speech, they become mere authoritarians unworthy of citizen respect. The Republic is crippled. 

Only the mutual, free, safe exchange of views can save our national marriage. Muzzling free speech ends any hope of healing our agonizing schism over issues like abortion, immigration, gun rights, gender, education and racism. 

On August 9, Toborg was pushed up against a fence by an angry pro-choice driver who didn’t like the pro-life sign on his minivan outside the Barre Primary Day polls. August 14, a fellow committee member asked Toborg what happened at the polls. Toborg answered. No videotape or minutes of the meeting exist, but those who know the soft-spoken, affable Toborg think it unlikely that the tone and content of his response merited this written reprimand from Mulvaney: 

“I am very concerned about you bringing up your anti-women activism last evening. Why would you do that? It begs the question about how you could be serving on an equity committee and support such a misogynist perspective?,” she wrote to Toborg. “I will be muting you during the meetings as a result. I have warned you more than once. The only words I will accept from you are, “I resign from the committee”, otherwise you can communicate with the committee through me via email.”

Mulvaney, a government appointee, explicitly threatened to silence fellow appointee Toborg.

Mulvaney’s censure of Toborg was all the more tone deaf because her committee’s job is to defend victims of intolerance. Indisputably Toborg was victimized by an angry driver. He had the marks on his legs to prove it. (He declined a precautionary trip to the hospital.) Furthermore the Barre City Council knew longtime Barre resident was an outspoken pro-lifer when he was appointed earlier this year. Perhaps that was even considered a plus by some.

But obviously not by Mulvaney, who groused in an email to Vermont Daily Chronicle that she had been given no say in who sat with her on the board.

Mulvaney chairs a committee that says it “embraces diversity and provides a safe and unconditional sense of belonging.” Yet she chose to deny speech to someone physically victimized for exercising a constitutional right.

Vermont Daily Chronicle has it on good authority that the Barre City Council will address Mulvaney’s censorship of Toborg at the next Council meeting September 27.

What we don’t know is whose knuckles, if any, get rapped by the Council. Mulvaney, for threatening a fellow board member with cancellation via mute button? Or Toborg, for daring to speak of his pro-life activism?

Which brings us back to government protecting the right to free speech. At least one city councilor seems concerned the city’s Diversity Committee hasn’t lived up to its ideals. 

Barre residents “have a right to be concerned about the actions of the chair and committee. A committee that is based on diversity and seeing the value in everyone’s opinion is not what we are seeing through their actions,” Councilor Michael Deering told Vermont Daily Chronicle Monday. 

The agenda for the 7 pm, Tuesday September 27 City Council meeting at 6 North Main Street, Barre has yet to be posted on the city website. What is available are the council’s official city business email addresses:

Mayor Jake Hemmerick – j.hemmerick@barrecity.org

Thom Lauzon – t.lauzon@barrecity.org

Emel Cambel – E.cambel@barrecity.org

Michael Boutin – M.boutin@barrecity.org

Teddy Waszazak – twaszazak@barrecity.org

Michael Deering – m.deering@barrecity.org

Samn Stockwell – s.stockwell@barrecity.org

This isn’t Progressive Vs. Republican, Liberal Vs. Conservative, Pro-Life Vs. Pro-Choice. The urge to oppress speech is sadly universal. This is American Freedom vs. Authoritarian Government. Which will win?

Categories: News Analysis

14 replies »

  1. Isaiah 49

    24 Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?

    25 But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.

    26 And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

  2. Oh she found the recorded meeting video. Accidentally saved to her personal server
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=1671&fbclid=IwAR2XsLf9i0Zi120235YhoyDMee2sq8mt9AjqTu6n9l5Bey9ZLf_AYvAtMws&v=F1Nn4WnhUTQ&feature=youtu.be

    Utmost importance to show up at the BC Council meeting in support of William and our first amendment. The left can get 60+ to show up in a snap about anything they are emotional about so it’s time to step up and support our Constitution.

    • You shouldn’t be concealing your identity. That being said, you are quite accurate in stating that the only way to counter such mobs are vigorous tactics. I also believe that lawsuits are absolutely necessary. I’ve been saying that here for a couple of years now.

  3. I hope there will be a growing escort of Patriots who will stand with Tolberg and hold signs saying – what gives you the right to remove anyone’s 1st ammendment rights?

  4. Jaw-dropping story and thank you to the Vermont Daily Chronicle for publishing it. The right to Free Speech is at risk and all should be concerned. Thank you to Anonymous for posting the video of the meeting at issue. I would like to applaud one of the committee’s member, Mr. Greg Quetel, who disagreed with the suggestion from other board members that Mr. Toborg should be ousted from the committee because of his point of view. Mr. Quetel said, “We all belong here [on the committee].” And, “We can’t say somebody does not belong here because of their position on any particular issue.” Well said, Mr. Quetel.

  5. I watched the meeting. Many in the Barre community must be embarrassed by the way two or three of the committee members behaved and treated Mr. Tolberg. Talking down, condescending. Haughty. Their main point….to not believe that abortion in all circumstances is just fine, just fine……is to not quality for membership on their equity committee. It was like listening to snowflakes being interviewed on a college campus. Utterly sophomoric, self-absorbed woke-ism. Tolberg’s demeanor and words were reasoned, calm and respectful. If he is muted, or worse, hope these self-righteous

    • As a Barre City resident, I am not embarrassed by the buffoons running this City or the bigger buffoons selected for these councils and boards. I am thoroughly disgusted! As a taxpayer, I want my money back because it was used for fraud and corrupt criminal activity (i.e. unconstitutional laws and violations of civil rights) My hope is they are run out of town as the Truth will come out about their Masters, where all the money came from, and where it all went…their days of power tripping are absolutely numbered!

  6. What does this mean?….. “On August 9, Toborg was pushed up against a fence by an angry pro-choice driver who didn’t like the pro-life sign on his minivan outside the Barre Primary Day polls.”

    Was Toborg assaulted? Was this reported to police?

    I hope thinking people are connecting the dots that as leftists push their dehumanizing narrative that anyone who disagrees with their authoritarian deserves punishment, political violence is increasing. Thanks Joe.

    • Watch out for the “peace and Justice Party”, formerly “Liberty Union Party”.
      As I’ve continually warned, former close friends of mine, have advanced violent agendas. “Defensive violence” means the right to violently attack dissent. “Transphobia” means objecting to the drugging and mutilation of children.
      Language is infinitely interpretable. Actions speak louder than words.

      • It is so sad that after 38 years of friendship you had to start a harrassment and smear campaign after we called it quits.

        An honorable person would not do this.

      • The truth about us is that we are an elderly couple who rarely leave our little run down farm other than to walk.

        We get along great with our neighbors regardless of political inclinations.

        We mean you peace and wellness but we cannot deal with you in our lives any more. Stop trying to intrude on us with internet harassment.

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