When 81-year-old Ruth Tatlock spoke before the Herndon Town Council last month, she wanted to confront council members who protested Governor Tim Kaine's recent visit.
But just a few minutes into her remarks, as shown on the video, Tatlock was silenced.
"May I continue please?" she asked the council.
"No, you may not!" Councilman Dennis Husch replied.
In the video that's posted online, Husch says his constituents don't have the right to comment on what he does on his own time.
That, he says, would be the equivalent of slavery.
"And while I work for the citizens of this community," he tells the audience, "You don't own me. The 13th amendment [to the U.S. Constitution] made that clear."
Before returning to the Herndon Town Council last night, Ruth Tatlock challenged Husch's assertions. "When somebody chooses to run for office and is elected," she says, "He becomes a representative for all of the residents of this town."
The Herndon Town Attorney did send a memo to the council concerning last month's incident. But the town has decided against releasing it to the public, citing attorney-client privilege.
A video was released this week where female sports journalists were read abusive online comments to their face. It's an issue that reaches far beyond that group, and The Guardian is taking it on in a series called "The Web We Want." NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with series editor Becky Gardiner and writer Nesrine Malik, who receives a lot of online abuse.
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