Saturday, October 25, 2008

Brave Anti-War Military Mom Attacked at Palin Rally

Wait, wait! By "attacked", I mean treated with steady hostility until "sheriffs" could whisk her out of the area as stealthily as possible - even though she had a ticket, and all she was doing was holding up a sign that said "Troops Home Now" and wearing a protest T-Shirt. But what's stunning in this story is the level of hostility towards free speech.

What constitution do these guys hold their alliegiance to? Blackwater USA?

Pat Alviso tells her story in her own words here, and the following is just an excerpt:

Today I decided that I needed to see the great communicator Sarah Palin in person at the giant Home Depot Stadium in Carson, and voice my opposition to the many public statements she has made recently about supporting the troops. The implication here is that she is, in effect, ready to abandon our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. In other words, supporting the troops means you leave them there. No need to have a reason. You see, my Marine son, Beto, has already done two tours in Iraq and is about to be deployed for his third. This is why I found it particularly offensive when she said at the debate that we just can't fly the "white flag of surrender".

And so I felt compelled to brave a sea of red, right-wing, Palin worshipping republicans who were sure to throw me out of the arena. I was able to get a ticket from a passerby who didn't want to use her ticket. I had not planned to get into the event, but it seemed that destiny was calling, so dutifully covered up my Military Families Speak Out T-shirt and joined the flag waving crowd entering the Home Depot Stadium. After all, if my son can just buck up and go out for another tour, I can do this.

While waiting for Sarah, she overheard some nasty conversations that set the tone:

A guy behind me was actually trying to impress his friends by joking that he tried to run over those Obama people on the way in, but didn't, and said if he had, he would have put the car in reverse and run over them twice. I cringed. Then I felt sad because a guy was sitting next to me with his two pre-teen girls. The girls looked at their daddy and waited for his response. The dad laughed at the car joke and so they echoed his laugh. They waited, but got the signal.

Once they catch sight of her sign and pink T-Shirt, the crowd gets ugly.

I couldn't stand it. I just couldn't let her use her son's name again to justify this war. She would be sure to mention that because her son got the orders to go to Iraq, just like mine did , that it's patriotic to keep sending them. That's it. That's the only reason to continue the war- because they are already there. The lesson for them is say nothing, let the senseless slaughter go on indefinitely or your don't support the troops.

That was it for me. The crowd got quiet. I held my sign up and took off my outer sweatshirt. I was surprised how long it took for them to catch up with me. About two applause lengths. My neighbors started asking me to put down the sign. I did off and on, but when others put their signs up, mine went up too. Then two staffers in the red shirts and brown khakis trod past the dear old lady and put their sign over mine and a man, also a staffer, sat in my seat. I couldn't sit back down. One person grabbed my "Troops Home Now" sign, and tore part of it. Then the crowd started turning on me like a McCarthy party on a commie. The rest of the sign got ripped out of my hands and someone hit me with a red pom pom! Two quite older men started yelling at me to leave. One kept screaming right in my ear , "USA", trying to hurt my ear. Then the seat stealing staffer asked me if I had a ticket. I told him I had one. When he asked me to give it to him, I went to get it from my purse and then thought better and said , " No, I have one all right, but you took my seat and they took my sign and you will take my ticket. Besides, I am not doing anything disruptive!"

This wasn't gonna be good.

More folks screamed for me to go, making more noise and fuss than I ever could. Even the sweet old lady turned on me. "Get her out of her. I don't want her here", she said in her new-found authoritative voice. Finally, Mutt , (or was if Jeff?) showed up asking me to leave or they would get the sheriffs. Once again I reminded them that I wasn't doing anything wrong. The man, the daddy of the pre-teens, told them to leave me alone and that I was entitled to my opinion and he just wanted to hear Palin. But no, the sheriffs came.

What is it about Republicans that makes them so angry about the First Amendment?

Then again, this is a "pep rally", as we used to say in the 60's. It's like cheerleading for the wrong team at a sports game. The response is the same. And protesting at a rally like that isn't going to change anyone's team - let alone their mind.


Anonymous said...

Man, this is insane. I don't want it to be true. I want it to be a plant like Joe the Plumber, or Ashley Todd, but I know deep down it isn't. Behavior like this, from either side, is simply unacceptable.

Omyma said...

True, and sad. It seems to be happening more at GOP rallies, esp. where Sarah Palin presides. Does the GOP really want to be recognized as the party of low-level meanness? Doesn't seem to bother them much. Maybe it will on election day. Thanks for your comment.

sallreen said...

As a Marine mom who both hails from and married into strong military families, but who protested the Iraq war from the beginning. the war collapsed under all the lies and as those same troops became bogged down and began dying in droves even as one beloved nephew deployed and her own son prepared.

Omyma said...

Thanks, Sally - it's just as important for the military to have a just and well-thought-out mission as to just "go and fight". Patriotism needs the mind, just like survival and everything else. All our hearts go out to your family, and let's pray Obama's leadership improves this situation.