Representatives of Macedonia Baptist Church and their supporters in the community got another rude reception at yesterday's meeting of the Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission. There to protest the HOC's plan to construct a parking garage on top of a historic African-American cemetery behind Westwood Tower in Bethesda, they found that HOC continues to aggressively defend its plans to build atop the cemetery, and avoid the mediation sessions with the church arranged for by Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. The continued impasse - and the growing realization that HOC is a primary actor in the conspiracy to cover-up the cemetery's existence - inspired yesterday's protest, which was organized by Showing Up for Racial Justice - Montgomery County.
Coleman-Adebayo said the church has informed Spann in writing that it will make any accommodation for his schedule, including holding sessions on weekends or holidays, if necessary, in an attempt to bring a rapid closure to the cemetery dispute. Spann has refused to respond to the church's offer, she said. "In fact, he's ducking from us, and he's hiding behind..." "Let's not have characterizations," Simon interrupted. "Whatever you want to call it, he is not available," Coleman-Adebayo replied, "I call it ducking and hiding."
"We're moving on. We're moving on, sir," Spann said. "The chair has been very clear. We've heard the last item on this." "All I'd like to say is," Berends replied, "how about granting permission to Macedonia to investigate the cemetery delineation, because HOC, and HOC alone, has the control over whether that can be granted. So, all we're asking is, would you please vote on that as to whether or not..."
"Let him speak!" protesters chanted from the audience. "You gotta leave if you're going to make noise," Spann warned. "This is a public meeting. You'll have to go outside''
"You can't disrupt our meeting," Simon echoed.