Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tea Party Censorship

From Americans for Limited Government:
Sometimes it requires a focused, local eye to get the big picture.

In this telling scenario, the big picture has come into clear focus in the small town of Danville, Virginia, where the local Tea Party movement has become the scorn of the politics-as-usual liberal leadership—specifically freshman Representative Tom Perriello, a Democrat “representing” the 5th District of his state.

As chronicled extensively by the ALG News Bureau, the Tea Party movement is a nationwide, patriotic grassroots effort aiming to beat back the tide of liberal policies that seek to grow government and simultaneously squelch individual freedom. Nigel Coleman of Danville is one of those patriots spearheading the movement.

Eager to participate in the American right of public discourse, Mr. Coleman and other concerned Tea-Partiers attended a local town-hall forum on environmental issues hosted by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and Representative Perriello. Rather than having their questions answered, Mr. Perriello ignored Mr. Coleman’s group and called upon big business owners, familiar faces, and those in “reserved seats”. Some of those questioned even admitted to having been contacted earlier and informed that they would be called upon to ask their so-called “real questions.”

Clearly upset at being ignored, the patriotic crew retrieved some signs from their cars and began to protest outside of the farcical town-hall meeting. Mr. Coleman and his group were immediacy confronted by law enforcement and ordered to leave the public meeting—to which they politely complied.

After leaving, the group met up at a nearby restaurant to discuss the situation and decide how they should proceed. As they soon noticed, an unmarked police car was spotted in the parking lot and an officer was recording and calling in Mr. Coleman’s and the others’ license plate numbers.

Shifting from merely upset to outright livid at what was intimidation tactics plain and simple, the Danville Tea Party issued a press release voicing their disgust. And they have a right to be disgusted.

Not only has Representative Perriello displayed his disdain for free speech and opposing voices, he has gone a step further and aggressively sought to punish it. It is a tried-and-true despotic practice that has no place in America.

More at the link.

This is the most egregious harrassment I've heard about.

Recall the Democratic reaction to last Friday's tea parties, which included Senator Claire McCaskill's staff calling the police. I reported on this for Pajamas Media. See, "
ObamaCare and the Tea Party Effect."

See also my earlier post, "
'Blame Bush Not Obama' (For Our Healthcare Crisis?)."

And, no wonder Democrats want to censor the tea parties. See Rasmussen Reports, "
53% Now Oppose Congressional Health Care Reform" (via Memeorandum), and Gallup, "More Disapprove Than Approve of Obama on Healthcare."

Related: Red State, "Bad Care After Good: Obama Seeks to Trade the U.S.’s Health Care Problems for Britain’s Health Care Catastrophe." Plus, at National Review, "Doctor Kevorkian, Call Your Office."


Snooper said...

Welcome back.


That was for me.

shoprat said...

The Obamaniacs know that their messiah is sinking and they will soon need their jackbooted thugs to prop him up.

Anonymous said...

For Immediate Release: 7/22/09
Contact: Nigel Coleman 434-549-2853

Danville TEA Party leaders ask Attorney General to investigate use
of state police, county sheriff's deputies to harass Perriello critics

DANVILLE, Va. – Rep. Tom Perriello, D-Va., may be using the state police and local law enforcement to harass and intimidate citizens who have publicly expressed opposition to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trillion-dollar health care reform legislation, a local TEA Party leader charged Tuesday in a letter urging state Attorney General Bill Mims to conduct a formal investigation.

Danville TEA Party chairman Nigel Coleman told Mims that Virginia State Police officers Monday came unannounced to the home of another member of the group to question him about attending a town hall meeting Saturday in Blairs which featured Perriello and two Obama cabinet secretaries.

“All Americans should be concerned when a congressman uses the state police to intimidate citizens and suppress dissent against a government takeover of our health care.," Coleman said. "No American should have to fear that the police will show up at his door because he's dared publicly disagree with some politician's political agenda."

Saturday, Coleman and other TEA Party leaders were refused an opportunity to ask Perriello a question during the event, and then were instructed by a plainclothes police officer to leave the property when they attempted to display signs urging the congressman to follow the Constitution and oppose Pelosi's "socialized medicine scheme." Coleman said he and the others peacefully complied, but were followed to a restaurant by an officer in an unmarked car, who then exited his vehicle, walked over to the activists' cars, and called in their license plate numbers over the phone.

Coleman said he contacted Perriello's Danville office Monday to request a meeting with the congressman to protest the police intimidation tactics used at the event and to ask why he and other TEA Party activists were told to leave.

Perriello's staff refused the request for a meeting, Coleman said, while assuring him that the office understood that he and other local TEA Party activists pose no threat to the congressman.

"First, I was disappointed at Saturday's event that Congressman Perriello refused to take hard questions from his constituents about where he stands on Nancy Pelosi's trillion-dollar socialized medicine scheme," Coleman said. "But I am outraged by the police intimidation tactics that have only escalated since."

"Now, as of Monday, Rep. Perriello refuses to even meet with us, while the police treat constituents who are simply exercising our Constitutional free speech rights as if we're terrorists," Coleman said.

“Citizens have the right to schedule a meeting with our elected officials whose salary we pay. Rep. Perriello needs to stop refusing to meet with us to answer the tough questions, and help us stop local and state police from suppressing our First Amendment free speech rights," he said.

Coleman organized two recent TEA party rallies, one on July 4th and another on July 17th at Perriello’s Danville office to protest the upcoming socialized healthcare bill.

Coleman noted that at a similar TEA Party protest outside Perriello's Charlottesville office Friday, police appeared to order an estimated 60 local taxpayers to leave the parking lot. As reported Friday on the blog of The Schilling Show, a Charlottesville talk radio program:

"Approximately forty minutes into the event, Charlottesville police were called to the parking lot area. Unconfirmed reports from the scene tie at least one of the complaining phone calls directly to Congressman Tom Perriello’s office staff. While the attending police officers (professionally and politely) compelled the gathered crowd to disperse, rally attendees grumbled at the prospect of their own congressman’s office terminating their First Amendment free speech protest."

Dave said...

Just keep sharpening those pitchforks, folks.