Facebook in Alaska erupted on Wednesday afternoon following the arrest of Nome resident Brenda Evak on Disorderly Conduct charges after she expressed dismay to Governor Dunleavy upon his arrival to the northwest Alaska city. Within an hour of her arrest, hundreds of comments lit up Facebook largely supporting Evak and critical of the governor.
She was placed under arrest on the charges by Nome police as an Alaska State Trooper stood by.
Her arrest came days after Senator Donny Olson offered to pay for space for the town hall meeting in that community rather than the venue Dunleavy had set up to be hosted by the Koch Brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity and one day after 300 protesters gathered outside of Dunleavy’s private town hall in Anchorage.
Senator Donny Olson (D-Golovin) provided the following statement following Evak’s arrest:
“This afternoon, I was notified that Nome resident Brenda Evak was arrested today for using her First Amendment rights to voice her concerns to Governor Dunleavy at the Nome airport.
“Last Week, I made an offer to Governor Dunleavy to personally pay for the space in Nome for his town hall so rural Alaskans could have the ability to speak and converse with him freely and without restrictions that Americans for Prosperity placed on them. Unfortunately, Governor Dunleavy ignored that request, just like he has ignored the voice of thousands of Alaskans.
“All Alaskans and Americans have the right to free speech. It is outrageous that an Alaskan expressing an opinion to the Governor is treated this way. Alaskans are angry, and they feel like their voice is not heard. I hope Governor Dunleavy takes the experience from this event to understand the impact his budget is having on all Alaskans and uses it to finally start governing this state on behalf of its people.”