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Activist or troublemaker? Two years later, Nydia Tisdale still being told to shut off video camera



nydia_in_cumming
Nydia Tisdale on April 17, 2012 being told not to record the Cumming city meeting.
April 18, 2014
CUMMING, Ga. — Nydia Tisdale set up her camera April 17, 2012, at the Cumming City Council chambers only to be told by longtime Mayor H. Ford Gravitt she could no longer videotape the city's meeting.

Tisdale sued the mayor and city for infringing on the state's open meetings law and her rights as a citizen.

While the federal and state lawsuits are still entangled in the courts, the camera-wielding activist continues to be booted from meetings.

The latest was Wednesday, April 16, nearly two years to the day after her initial encounter in Cumming.

This time, Tisdale was told to shut off her camera at an event held by the Republican Women of Forsyth County.

Peggy Green, secretary for the Republican Women of Forsyth County, said she didn't want to have Tisdale record the event because she's a "troublemaker." The Forsyth Herald and Forsyth County News were represented at this event.

"We did not want the controversy," Green said. "I don't think she has the credentials of a journalist."

The luncheon event was at Norman's Landing restaurant in Cumming, and featured speakers included Forsyth County District 3 Commission candidate David Hole and solicitor's general candidate Susan Zereini.

A number of other candidates also showed up and were given a few minutes to introduce themselves, including school board candidates Amanda Nixon and Mark Weiss; District 3 County Commissioner Todd Levent; state Senate candidates Sen. Jack Murphy, Lauren McDonald III; and Georgia House District 24 candidate Sheri Gilligan and District 26 Rep. Geoff Duncan.

Tisdale is a blogger for AboutForsyth.com, where she accepts donations for her work videotaping meetings throughout the community. She has dubbed her work "Nydeos."

"I consider myself part of the press," Tisdale said after the event. "Non-traditional press."

Tisdale, a resident of Roswell, got involved in Forsyth County in 2009 when she was then a property manager for a 90-acre tract off Old Atlanta Road. She and others were adamantly opposed to a landfill development off Ronald Reagan Boulevard.

Ever since, Tisdale has continued to be active in politics both in Forsyth and Fulton counties.

The latest incident, according to Tisdale, was "unnecessary."

Green was captured on camera saying "You're not welcomed here."

Tisdale said. "It was very rude and disrespectful."

Tisdale said she had helped to promote the event on several Facebook private groups, and many in attendance later said they were there because they heard about the event from her.

"I am not going to be idle; I will take some action," Tisdale said.

On April 17, Tisdale filed an incident report with the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office. When asked why she took so long to file the report, she claimed "she was waiting on an apology from Ms. Green."

Although no warrants were issued, the case remains active with the sheriff's office.

Green said even if the event was marked as open to the public, they have the right to ask people to leave. In the past, the group has asked unwanted guests to leave without incident, she said. She recalled a recent meeting where Democrats, who showed up to film candidates for U.S. Senate, were asked to leave.

"I wasn't aware that Nydia was coming," Green said. "We just didn't need the distraction. And of course, she made a big to-do about it.

"It was definitely not a necessary incident and I for sure wanted a peaceful resolution," Green said. "It is my fervent hope and desire that this event not be blown out of proportion and made into something more than it was. Actually, it was for that exact reason that we did not want Nydia to be there."

This latest incident marks the third time in the past two years that Tisdale has been told not to video record a meeting.

In February, during a Roswell Saturday public meeting on the Unified Development Code, she was told to turn her camera off after some members of the City Council left, losing a quorum (the minimum number of councilmembers present to make it a majority and thus fall under public meeting statutes).

Tisdale says Roswell City Manager Kay Love told her to turn her camera off because it was "now a staff meeting, not an open meeting."

"That's another instance where the city manager for the city of Roswell asked me to turn my camera off," Tisdale said. "I was there all day for six hours and you're not going to let me film the ending of it?"

Tisdale likes to film everything, and she says she enjoys staying until the end.

"I watch movies until the end of the credits. It drives my husband crazy," she said.

Tisdale supporters have come to her defense online. Many say they get an unfiltered look from her videos.

"That's a shame," said Mo O'Neill Delhey, a South Forsyth resident. "I would have liked to have seen the Nydeo.

"I have never seen David Hole, nor heard him speak or heard his voice," she said. "I do live in District 3, so I will be casting a vote. I loved my Mystery Date game growing up, but it's not that appealing in an election."

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Tags: Government & News & Crime

  1. report print email
    Shocking
    April 18, 2014 | 10:37 PM

    The apparent physical contact in this video is utterly shocking.

    Brant Meadows
    Cumming
  2. report print email
    Assault
    April 18, 2014 | 11:16 PM

    You talk about an outright assault! Can you believe the pure stupidity of having a camera capture a crime like this? And "this" woman is supposed to represent the Women's Republican Party???? Get outta here!

    If I had been a cop and had witnessed this crime somebody would have been in handcuffs forthwith. She belongs in jail.



    David Milum
    Cumming
  3. report print email
    Disturbing
    April 22, 2014 | 08:40 AM

    I find this video extremely disturbing. Mrs. Green, you should be ashamed of yourself. My question to Mrs. Green...Who is the troublemaker?

    Sarah
    Cumming
  4. report print email
    Mrs. Green SUCKS
    April 22, 2014 | 05:03 PM

    Sounds like our Mrs. Green has something to hide. One thing she isn't hiding though is the fact that she is the TROUBLE MAKER !!!

    Obama
    Cumming
  5. report print email
    Did she really slap her?!
    April 22, 2014 | 08:59 PM

    Wow. She slapped her arm and forcefully tried to take her camera. Seriously. This video is frustrating to watch. This is who the republican women want representing them?

    Mr Mister
    Canton
  6. report print email
    Has an assault charge been filed?
    April 24, 2014 | 12:11 PM

    The troublemaker is Peggy Green. She does not deserve the 'Ms' so I will not place it here. Ms. Tysdale should file an assault charge, and everyone under the good-ole-boy network should shut their mouths. The film is the proof.

    Why do movie stars get upset with camera/press and get sued? Because they get upset and cannot handle themselves -clearly, Peggy Green cannot handle her anger issues...AND she should not be a representative of any party as THE TROUBLEMAKER.

    This county is riddled with disgusting under-the-table dealings. It's time to nip them ALL and get it out.

    Elizabeth
    Cumming
  7. report print email
    Dishonoring the flag
    April 24, 2014 | 07:54 PM

    Having advertised the meeting as being open to the public, they probably should have been, uh, I don't know, open to the public. Ms. Green is clearly a troublemaker. She should resign as Secretary as she is harming her organization. Then she should get some remedial training in basic American history and Constitution 101 and for goodness sake, If she is going to behave that un-American, she should have the decency not to wear an American flag lapel pin while doing so.

    James Fannin
    Murrayville
  8. report print email
    GOP ALWAYS BULLIES
    April 24, 2014 | 10:20 PM

    The party That Talks A Big Game About Citizens Rights proves Once Again They Are Anything But... Government In Forsyth County continues To Grow...Spending still Goes Up...Yet Fox News Watchers continue To Vote In Big Spending Bullies. I Hope Assault charges Are Soon filed Against Green.

    dave
    cumming
  9. report print email
    Dave if you think only the GOP are bullies...
    April 27, 2014 | 12:56 PM

    ...then you clearly are only using half your brain and one eye. Because we've seen BULLYING by the Obama administration and DEMOCRATS for a LONG time now.

    Go back to watching your idiotic PMSNBC and reading your Huff

    Justin
    Cumming
  10. report print email
    Disgusted
    April 27, 2014 | 06:46 PM

    Peggy Green is a wonderful example of what is wrong with establishment politics in general. I believe the motives of her and a majority of the county party are purely self-serving. As always.

    Len
    Cumming
  11. report print email
    Inappropriate and Upsetting
    June 19, 2014 | 03:36 PM

    I am sorry that Ms. Green finds freedom of the press troubling. Asking Ms. Tysdale to leave is one thing, but the slapping and shoving was demeaning and shameful. Is she a bully or is Ms. Green attempting to hide something? As I read this article, it would appear there was nothing to hide. So why the physical assault and refusal to have this videoed? There is simply no justification, and I certainly hope action is taken against Ms. Green. If nothing else, I'm assuming she's a "Good Christian woman," and therefore will pray for help in controlling her actions and words, as well as the strength to admit her wrong doing and apologize.

    CQ
    Cumming
  12. report print email
    Green needs to go
    June 19, 2014 | 11:17 PM

    Time to let her go. She is not working for the public interest or else she would be willing to show it.

    John Little
    Dawsonville
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