Glen Beck might have called his followers "peaceful" as they made their way to his bullshit 9-12 project in Washington DC on Saturday, but maybe he didn't see what happened in Scranton two days earlier as the Teabag Express rolled into that Pennsylvania city.
We had a small, but mighty contingent there, posted under a tent with petitions and handouts to represent the 'other side' in this debate. A handful of our group picked up signs and headed over into teabag land. A brave bunch, don't you think? I stayed behind at the tent to gather signatures on petitions.
When the brave bunch arrived on the other side of the block, they were mobbed. Pinned up against the Teabag Express bus, they were surrounded as angry teabaggers came nose-to-nose with frightening intimidation. The healthcare reform supporters stood their ground, but as they returned to our information tent, you could see they were physically drained and exhausted from the aggression they'd encountered.
There was not one police officer at that rally that any of us could see. No one. No police. No security. No sheriff. Not even a boy scout. We were on our own.
It's not every day you have an angry mob screaming in your face as you are pinned up against the Teabag Express, and it's not every day a television camera is there to film it.
We had hoped to represent "the other side" at the teabag rally last Thursday in Scranton PA as busses shipped in out-of-towners hell bent on demanding that our "commie" President be impeached.
Apparently, many of them wanted to kill something. First it was those "communist bastards." You know, like this guy in the sign with the joker face.
Yea. That's what they said.
As Ms. Cummings suggested Mr. Obama's support of living wills amounted to allowing people to die rather than resuscitating them, Tom Zenker barked "Kill them!" and "Get your guns out" and "Communist bastards" while standing unknowingly next to a Times-Tribune reporter.
Then well, it seemed maybe they'd kill us.
Our small, but mighty contingent of healthcare reform supporters held our ground as they were pinned up against the Teabag Express bus by a pretty pissed-off mob. (It totally sucks that I spent the afternoon trying to imbed this and can't make it work).
CNN calls it a shoving "match." No, there was no "match." The woman pushed up against the bus by the man screaming "Kill the Bill" into her face was defending herself from his aggressive approach. If you watch closely, he raised his hand to her first, swiping it just in front of her and she tapped him on the shoulder to defend herself. There was no "match." In fact, as the teabaggers would scream in their faces, our group would sing "God Bless America."
This guy wanted to kill something for sure.
Here is an eyewitness account of what happened posted on CNN Ireport.
The Tea Party Express rolled into Scranton today. Pro-healthcare reform and pro-education funding picketers stood in small groups on the sidewalk around the rally on Courthouse Square. When the rally ended, hundreds of angry teabaggers shouted at the small groups of picketers. One teabagger tore a pro-healthcare poster from a woman's hands. He was restrained by his fellow teabaggers and no injuries resulted.
Thank goodness. No one was injured. This time.
I saw that John Stewart featured this frothing teabagger on his show this week, to help contrast what Beck said about the baggers being "peaceful and just wanting to get along."
So Kossacks, if you go to any teabag demonstrations, bring your cell phones and be prepared to dial 9-1-1, and always make sure you have an escape route. Before you arrive, call the municipality and ask for police protection. Not one officer was visible anywhere in Scranton.
Be careful out there. Don't engage, don't try to talk sense into these people or go anywhere near these groups alone...unless of course, you have an escort like this guy did in Washington DC on Saturday...
P.S. If you want to see some of the signs and demonstrations of hate and ignorance on parade at Scranton's teabag rally, my diary from last week is here.