Protesters Rally Against Suburban Trustee's ‘Hate Speech' Against Muslims

The rally cries were clear Monday night as dozens called for the resignation of a suburban village trustee who they say is racist and offensive. But the trustee isn't backing down.

"Hate speech can eventually lead to hate crimes," a woman outside of the meeting said.

Angry about the Palos Township Trustee's social media posts, protesters called for Trustee Sharon Brannigan to step down.

The Arab American Action Network was one of several groups organizing the rally ahead of the meeting, upset about several Facebook posts from Brannigan, in particular one where she wrote:

"What's Palos doing? Why are all of our schools filling with Middle East students without documentation?"

"I have three kids in school here and it upset me that an elected official would say this and have so much hate towards us," said protester Manal Arman.

Most of the protesters couldn't fit in the small meeting room, where Brannigan called the posts her First Amendment right.

"The point of my statements criticizes the federal government's poor immigration controls including an almost negligible visa tracking system," Brannigan said. "I am fully supportive of inviting all hard working immigrants who contribute their fair share to our society and township. Anything else would be un-American."

Even as her fellow trustees denounced hate speech tonight, Brannigan refused to step down.

Those calling for her resignation say they will rally again at the next meeting as long she continues what they call her racist attitude toward Muslims.

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