While silent protesters are a regular feature at City Council meetings, it’s rare that they’re anything more than that: silent. In fact, the Worcester retirees who have become more regular guests than some politicians at City Hall generally do no more than hold signs calling for passage of Section 19, or something of that nature. At Tuesday night’s meeting, they took it to the next level. A group of retirees, some draped in Worcester trash bags (they’ve been treated like trash…get it?) sat in the balcony, waiting for their moment. As Councilor Michael Germain rose to discuss merging the school and city HR offices, a shouted call-and-response went up. “What do we want? Section 19! When do we want it? Now!” Mayor Konnie Lukes tried banging the crowd into silence, but they refused. Detail Officer Tom Hurley tried quieting the protests, and quickly escorted the retirees from the room.
After being led to the hallway, several retirees reportedly chowed down on sandwiches left for councilors in the secondary council chamber down the hall.