EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) – More than 200 people packed the East Greenwich Town Council meeting Monday night, many of them in protest of a Tweet the council’s vice president made about the women’s marches that took place across the country Saturday.
The multiple events followed Friday’s inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump.
According to a screen grab provided by protest organizer Hilary Levey Friedman, Town Councilman Sean Todd’s original tweet read, “Definitely a guy came up wth [sic] the idea for the #womensmarch perfect way to get the wives outta the house.” It was followed by an emoji of a hand showing two fingers making a peace or victory sign.
The tweet has since been deleted.
In its place, Todd posted a string of tweets Sunday to apologize, writing “I’m deeply sorry for my [T]weet yesterday. Though it was meant as a joke, it was in poor taste, and understandably ended up offending many of the people that I’m honored to represent. Yesterday’s march was pretty awesome, and a perfect example of the peaceful expression that is a [sic] of our democracy. I support all of you who marched, and I saw a lot of my friends around the country out there.”
Todd, a Republican, has served on the town council since 2014, according to his re-election bid website.
Friedman, a Brown University professor, launched a Facebook event inviting those offended by the Tweet to gather in protest at the meeting and to speak during a public comment period.
“Please join us … to let him know that this is unacceptable language,” Friedman’s event description said in part.
Due to the number of people in attendance, the location of the meeting was moved from the town hall to Swift Gym, a larger venue.
At the meeting, Friedman said, “I did appreciate that there were multiple views that were expressed. This is the opportunity for people to express multiple views but especially hearing the youth voices and voices from multiple women and also men who are supporting women was extraordinary.”
Eyewitness News left messages Monday at phone numbers for Todd seeking comment. A woman who answered the phone at his home telephone number Monday morning said he was not there.