It’s getting hard out there for at least one driven tea partier. She can’t even draw a crowd for a protest of, um, women veterans.
Sure, three Democratic Congressmen will be there too. And usually, multiple incumbent Democrats in one place, talking about jobs and such, would be chum in the water for a massive turn out of angry tea party protesters. But ahead of this weekend’s joint public appearance by Reps. George Miller, Jerry McNerney and John Garamendi in Pittsburg, CA, Contra Costa County T.E.A. party organizer Jill Price says she’s having a tough time getting her fellow angry conservatives to sign up for her planned demonstration.
The reason is that the event Price is hell-bent on protesting is a “Women Veterans Fair,” where former servicewomen will hear briefly from the Representatives before fanning out to workshops on finding jobs, dealing with stress and “Navigating The VA.”
“Because the veterans are there, it’s turning a lot of people off,” Price told me Thursday. “I understand that, but it’s important that people know we support the veterans — and not the Congressmen.”
Price says she has about 20 die-hard followers who will make it out to the event Saturday, despite the reservations of some. She says they’ll hold signs praising the veterans, slamming the Democrats and — of course — calling on the gathered women vets to join the Oathkeepers, whose membership of uniformed soldiers and police take an oath to refuse orders they see as unconstitutional.
“We are there to say the last people we want influencing our veterans are these people who don’t uphold the constitution,” Price said. The Oath Keepers — which she described as “this great organization” — are exactly the kind of people Price and her friends do want influencing vets, namely by keeping them on the right side of things when the government call for repression comes.
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“When you have people in power who will not abide by the law, we believe we are heading toward tyranny,” Price said, referring to Miller, McNerney and Garamendi, incumbent Dems from relatively safe districts. She said that events like tomorrow’s protest are part of her side-project to keep those tyrannical leaders from gaining the control over military forces and police they need to mount their bloodthirsty dictatorial power grab. Whenever Price sees a veteran or an active-duty member of the military and police, she steers them toward the group that calls on cops and servicemembers to refuse any orders that they think violate the constitution.
“I turn them toward the Oath Keepers,” she said. “If you study history, you see that governments who have turned on the people have needed the police and military on their side to get to tyranny. We need to make sure those people stay on our side.”
Despite her benevolent intentions, Price recognizes that some people — even fellow tea partiers — think that standing outside a gathering of women veterans protesting tyranny could appear a little, well, unseemly. That’s why Price says she’s done all she can to allay the concerns of nervous tea partiers in Contra Costa, sending multiple emails to her group’s listserv reminding people that she realizes it might look like she’s protesting the military.
But in the end, facts are facts — and tyranny must be met with the protestations of an angry populace, Price says.
“Anytime I hear of a Congressman or woman coming out, I’m there,” she says. “Sometimes there are 30 people, and sometimes there are just five of us. But every time I hear people are coming out, I show up.”