‘Change The Locks’: Glenn Beck Gets A Key To The City

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Conservative commentator Glenn Beck received a plaque-mounted key to his hometown of Mount Vernon, WA (60 miles north of Seattle) on Saturday, September 26, 2009. The event was part of the official “Glenn Beck Day” organized by Mayor Bud Norris and opposed by many residents — including the city council.

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Protesters started waiting outside McIntyre Hall two hours before Beck arrived. According to KATU.com, there were more than 800 people by the time the ceremony started.

CC:Erna Louisa

“Now, I would give my right arm to live in a town like Mount Vernon. And I discovered today that there are a ton of people ready to cut it off,” Beck said Saturday, referring to protesters. “It doesn’t bother me, because I have the key to their house now.”

CC:Erna Louisa

During the event, an airplane circled overhead with a banner saying, “Change the Locks.”

CC:Erna Louisa

Protest planners said they were angry about Beck’s stance on immigration, 9/11 victims and for calling Obama a racist. A few protesters held signs like this one, referring to Beck’s stunt of boiling frogs alive on TV last week.

CC:Erna Louisa

On Wednesday, September 23, the Mount Vernon City Council passed a resolution saying, “Mount Vernon City Council is in no way sponsoring the mayor’s event on Sept. 26, 2009, and is not connected to the Glenn Beck event in any manner.”

CC:Erna Louisa

Before heading to Mount Vernon, Beck held an event at Safeco Field in Seattle, where fans paid up to $500 to take a picture with the Fox News personality.

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Mayor Bud Norris walks past protesters wearing shirts that say “Hate Is Not A Mount Vernon Value” outside the City Council meeting Wednesday. He said he simply wanted to honor someone who grew up in Mount Vernon and now is on the national stage. Norris seemingly tried to downplay the city’s gift to Beck, saying, “It’s a key that fits nothing.”

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Beck supporters (with a few protesters mixed in — most were gathered in another area) line the street in front of McIntyre Hall. According to News Hounds, one anti-Beck protester said about the event: “It is just wrong that someone can be given the key to the city at a closed event where citizens are not allowed to attend, take pictures or be heard.”

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