St. Louis Park City Council reviewed a controversial June decision to eliminate the Pledge of Allegiance from meetings Monday, drawing protesters and inducing a comment from President Donald Trump.
The 5-0 decision, which council members said would make meetings more welcoming to noncitizens, was first called into question when Mayor Jake Spano noted that he, along with another council member, were not present for the vote. Spano stated on Twitter that he was “not a fan” of the new policy.
As the council reviewed the move at a Monday study session, dozens of protesters showed up outside city hall and inside the meeting, at one point breaking out into the Pledge.
Now the incident is gaining national attention, as the President Trump took to Twitter to show his disapproval of the policy after seeing it discussed on Fox and Friends Tuesday morning.
Since the president brought the situation into the national spotlight, Twitter users have chimed in on both sides.
Some users noted the decision was not an outright ban on the Pledge. The council had still intended to recite it at special occasions, and the decision does not override 1st Amendment rights.
St. Louis Park is not the only Twin Cities municipality to refrain from reciting the Pledge at council meetings. It joins the Minneapolis and Edina city councils in doing so. But Blaine, Burnsville, Eden Prairie, St. Paul and Wayzata do recite the Pledge, according to the Star Tribune.
Monday night’s meeting brought out protesters from across the state far beyond St. Louis Park. An MPR article highlights protesters from places like Wayzata and Rochester.
According to meeting documents, the council will consider a proposal by Spano to reinstate the Pledge at meetings at a future study session, which comes after Spano noted the city had received a lot of negative feedback to the initial proposals, much of which came from outside the city.