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The State | IN BRIEF / FRESNO

Mayor Urges Suspension of City Hate-Crime Panel

September 16, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

Mayor Alan Autry said he wants to suspend a city committee that monitors discrimination and hate crimes after its chairwoman labeled a local organization a "hate group."

Autry was reacting to a news release Human Relations Commission Chairwoman Debbie Reyes issued Friday stating that "a rally is being organized by a hate group called 'The Free Republic.' " It was stamped with the city of Fresno's seal.

Reyes said she wrote the release because a link on the Web site "refers to this group as anti-gay and anti-immigration. When intolerance comes to the table, we need to answer that call."

The Free Republic is a Web site operated by Fresno resident Jim Robinson, who introduces it as "an online gathering place for independent, grass-roots conservatism on the Web."

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