Friday, May 1, 2009

Pasadena "May Day! May Day!" Anti-Socialism Rally

Roughly 100 demonstrators turned out this afternoon in Pasadena for a "May Day! May Day" anti-socialism protest against the Barack Obama administration. Gathering at the City Hall in Pasadena's majestic civic center, the event was a follow-up to the Pasadena Patriots' Tea Party held on April 11. Former Saturday Night Live star Victoria Jackson gave the keynote speech. She was preceded by Big Hollywood's Andrew Breitbart.

Here's Victoria Jackson a few minutes before the first speakers took the podium:

One of the most enjoyable moments of the day was listening to "Patrick Henry" give his speech, a patriotic reenactment of Henry's "give me liberty or give me death" rallying cry from Richmond, Virginia, in 1775. This gentleman was quite talented, and his costume seemed quite authentic.

The pot of revolutionary tea boiled over bit when Andrew Breitbart took the stage. About 5 minutes into his talk, a local Barack Obama supporter, who had heard the loudspeakers from his apartment across the street, joined the crowd and began yelling at Breitbart: "Hey, he's our president," and "I came over here because I heard all this hatred." According to the Pasadena Star-News:

One man, Matt Clark, a 69-year-old Pasadena resident heard the protest from his nearby apartment. He yelled back at protestors to stop criticizing President Obama, and was briefly allowed to take the stage.

He was quickly booed off.

"I kept hearing derogatory things about the president from up in my apartment," said Clark after his short-lived appearance on stage. "I don't really know what they are protesting about, but what I heard was not right."
Breitbart had made no derogatory remarks, so I think Mr. Clark was offended that demonstrators referred to President Obama as "socialist." As seen in the photograph below, both Breitbart and Clark became animated. After this scene, Mr. Clark threw up his hands of left the protest.

The disruption distracted a bit from what Breitbart had to say: "The Repubican Party is dysfuncational and embarrassing," he exclaimed. Then, extolling the grassroots anti-tax protests, Breitbart announced, "There isn't another movement that has the best interests of this country in mind." The reference to "another movement" was to
today's International ANSWER demonstration in downtown Los Angeles, where protesters marched for a blanket amnesty for the untold millions of illegal aliens in the country. Noting the relatively sparse crowd in Pasadena, Breitbart warned, "We better learn how to protest" if conservatives are going to match the activism of the radical left:

This woman shown below was hanging out with the event organizers. She's holding an outstanding poster, "Socialism is Not the Answer":

Here's the crowd after Victoria Jackson finished speaking. I counted over 100 people in attendence before Andrew Breitbart began speaking, and probably a dozen or so people trailed away by the time Ms. Jackson was finished:

I asked this woman below if I could get her picture just before I left. She was very gracious, and happy I'd taken interest in her poster:

I'll be writing more about the Tea Party protests as things on the conservative side move forward.

Nothwithstanding Mr. Clark's one-man counter-demonstration, today's event felt dramatically subued compared to the April 15th Tax Day Rallies that swept the nation last month. Politically, for me, the Pasadena rally showed that movement organizers need to realize that angry protesters denouncing the Democrats in Washington as "socialist" isn't enough. Frankly, today's event was something of a rehash of the "Orange County Tax Day Tea Party." I certainly don't want to demean the Pasadena rally. I love the Tea Parties. I love to see conservatives gettting out to champion the cause of freedom and to protest the unbelievable incompetence and hubris that is the Barack Obama administration.

However, Californians will vote on a slew of state tax measures in less than three weeks. Today's theme should not have been Obama's socialism (which is an old story, and likely to get more painful for Joe Sixpacks in neighborhoods around the country, and not to mention the unborn); organizers should have instead focused on the conservative movement's proactive agenda to take back the country. You've got to hammer a positive message if folks are going to listen. The talk has got to be about action and not plain grievance. Why didn't event planners hoist an effigy of "Benedict" Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Polls show the Propostion 1A ballot package trailing badly in public opinion. That's a message that the media should be picking up on, not just some cranky Obama-backer rousted from his barcalounger by the loudspeakers. A defeat for 1A will deliver a powerful anti-tax message to the nation, not unlike the popular tax revolt that followed California's Proposition 13 in 1978.

There's still time, and today was something of tough day for counteracting left-wing media bias in any case (with the local media covering the socialist May Day events around the clock). But event planners need to keep their eyes on the ball, and they'll need even better planning and coordination. Victoria Jackson's passionate, but she didn't even mention the national political promise in repudiatng Arnold Schwarzengger's tax hikes at the polls on May 19th. The Tea Party planners must realize and exploit the possibilities of federalism in the U.S. system, which in the case of a new Golden State tax revolt, will be perfectly tuned to the national message of restoring liberty in the age of Obamessianism.

I'll have more reporting and analysis on these developments in the weeks ahead.


The Griper said...

being pro-negative in your message worked for the libs the past 8 years.

but, like you, i'd prefer seeing a pro-postive message.

the tea parties themselves are a postive and the fact there were done without any central organizing says more than anything about the atmosphere in this nation.

AmPowerBlog said...

Thanks Griper!

prying1 said...

Sometimes I think all is lost re: this country turning socialistic and at other times I have high hopes for a turnaround. Sort of like being on a roller coaster.

AmPowerBlog said...

We're going to turn it around, Paul!

Righty64 said...

UGH! I could not be there because I had an accident on my bike! I was hoping to see you and maybe some other bloggers. Believe me, I was there in spirit. One other point is that the story in today's Pasadena Star-News was the banner stpry on page one. It was a good story, no real spin. We can count on the very, very local media to have these kind of stories rather than depending on the DDBMSOWM media.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

All nascent movements make mistakes, the trick is to learn from them and move forward.

Tim said...

Maybe the "socialist" thing is getting played out. I do love how, with nothing like that actually taking place, protesters are screaming for their "liberty" as if it actually went away.

Where? In your taxes? Nope...

Maybe in 4-8 years this will take off. But it ain't really happenin' yet.

Dave said...


It appears one of us is completely ignorant as to what a socialist actually is, and I do not think it is me.

Then again, I didn't attend government school, and we got the straight, unvarnished truth about the evils of socialism.

BTW, I considered GWB to be a socialist, as well.


Dave said...

I view the Tea Party movement as meaning that productive Americans (net tax payers) are getting ready to rise up and take this country back from the non-productive (net tax consumers).

I sincerely hope this movement begins to grow exponentially very soon, as I believe we are much further along the curve to financial oblivion than most people realize.

Should we manage to actually get our country back (and make no mistake, we are facing a hideously steep, uphill battle), we need to work on preventing this situation from ever happening again.

That will only be accomplished by permanently removing the societal dregs from this nation's voting rolls.

If we fail to do so, your children will find themselves right back where we are now.