Out-of-towner crashes Madison City Council meeting

MADISON (WKOW) -- A woman attending Madison's Common Council meeting Tuesday night became angry at alders after the council denied a motion to reconsider its previous decision to remove a monument dedicated to Confederate soldiers buried in Forest Hill Cemetery.

Jenna Bernstein, who traveled from Tampa, Florida, made a passionate plea before the common council Tuesday night.

"Do not desecrate the dead, I'm here for the silent majority in America that are in defiance of what you're doing," Bernstein told alders during her speech. 

Bernstein, who claimed she is Jewish, said thousands of Jewish soldiers served in the Confederacy. She also said the men memorialized at Forest Hill Cemetery were American veterans.

After the council voted against the motion, Bernstein shouted and interrupted alders.

"You're a disgrace, they're dead, how about I kick your great grandfather's headstone over?" she yelled at alders. "God help your souls!"

Bernstein continued her outburst by saying she would "restore the headstones" and "dignity" of those buried at the cemetery.

Alder Shiva Bidar-Sielaff told 27 News that she found Bernstein's outburst "very unsettling".

 "For the first time ever, in my [10] years in city council, I felt personally unsafe," said Alder Bidar-Sielaff, who talked with other alders and the Mayor's office Wednesday about potentially new security measures.

Bernstein has made similar displays in other cities that are debating taking down Confederate monuments.

According to local newspapers and news stations, she has attended meetings in Tampa, New Orleans, and Richmond, Virginia.   

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