It was a beautiful day in Philadelphia today. The temperature was in the mid 70's with low humidity. It was my first trip to actual downtown Philadelphia. My impression is that Philly is just like every other large city in America, the traffic, the crowds and the smells.
But protests don't begin at the event. So I'm going to give you a little inside look at how this one was put together.
Contacting People And Rallying Support
Ruth of Illegal protest has been spreading the word for more than a week and I have since I decided I was coming to Philadelphia. The fact is that rousing Americans out of their slumber and getting them to actually participate in person at a rally is nearly impossible. Everyone has their life and other obligations. Also the fact that the groups in Pennsylvania are fragmented and a lot are inactive or nearly so.
Out of all of the responses I received that they would be attending only two showed up, Harold and Ceil Poole of Americans for Comprehensive Government Reform (ACGR) and their blog On The Edge, who came all the way in from Maryland. Ruth faired better in responses having held rallies here before, but last minute cancellations and family emergencies reduced the number that showed up to only one.
Before I get ahead of myself though on the protest itself, there is the preparation work. Ruth and I made a bunch of signs for the rally and spent a lot of time on them.
Ruth and Digger making their rally signs
Ruth is exhausted after a long night
Let me assure you that we are in no way masters at this. Just like many reading this we are just everyday Americans who have work, family and other obligations. In other words, you too
can do this inexpensively. It doesn't take a rocket scientist or a computer specialist.
Ruth came up with a handout on the Ramos and Compean case and we hit Staples to print out a bunch of them.
I, of course, had to go overboard and print out photos and do some fancy art work. It was fun though, both coming up with the concept and putting it together.
Heading To The Rally
OK, so from the preparation the night before, we loaded the car and headed downtown. We met up with Ruth's friend Ray who carpooled with us.
Then it was on to the protest. We hit the streets in front of the Mexican Consulate, which happens to be in the same building as a shopping center. This location is ironically located just a block or so from Independence Hall. There was a good amount of foot traffic since it was a Saturday.
The Rally Begins
Ruth took to the bullhorn, while Ray and I handed out the fliers and discussed Border Patrol Agent Ramos and Compean's case with those that passed by. We urged them to contact their representatives and the president and demand a pardon for the two agents. I also spread the word about Gary Brugman, Noe Aleman and Gilmer Hernandez in addition to Mexico's role in undermining our immigration laws and pushing for prosecutions against our law enforcement agents.
Harold and Ceil arrived after hitting some heavy traffic and took up signs and started distributing fliers. A group of interested people quickly came around us. I'd say the number was about 40 or so. Many of them agreed with us and thanked us. However, one of our first experiences as I took up the bullhorn - for the first time that day and in my life - was a group of students who started booing Ruth's "Deport All Illegals" sign that she was holding up. That didn't deter us though.
As far as taking up the bullhorn, I guess I have a knack for it. The fact that I've been covering the Ramos and Compean case for a few years helped. I didn't need notes or any help on what to say. I did get some correction from Ruth that I wasn't speaking into the mic close enough, which I promptly ignored and repeatedly did time and time again for the first 5 minutes ;) I also received feedback from Ray that I was sounding too hostile. I guess the passion I have for this issue is just too great to restrain myself. After all, I did lose my voice for 5-6 days by screaming at the White House to free Ramos and Compean back in April.
Me and Ruth traded off on the bullhorn and I think got pretty good at it. The best thing though is that both Ruth and myself have different styles on the bullhorn, so there was a bit of a variety to it.
Ray did triple duty, holding the flag, wearing a sign and taking video. He also had numerous discussions with citizens about the case and illegal immigration. Ray is a good guy and great to talk to.
A Citizen Joins Us
We had one citizen who was passing by decide to come and join us. Joe read the flier and talked to Ruth for a bit, while I was on the bullhorn, and the next time I turned around he was approaching citizens himself and handing them out.
Many people had heard about the case through Lou Dobbs and in those cases I gave them a flier that had contact information on it for Congress. I asked them if they had actually acted on the case and urged them to contact their leaders in Washington because the only way anything will get done is if US citizens get together in numbers and demand action on behalf of our law enforcement agents.
Another thing that I noticed is that the majority of the people we handed the fliers to as they were going in, had them when they were coming out. They weren't simply being thrown away at the first opportunity. I feel that this was an extremely good sign that citizens in this country do care about the issue. Hopefully they will act on it.
Opposition Voices Their Hatred
* WARNING OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE *
We did have some quite hateful things directed at us. A number of women approached Ruth or Ceil and called them Fucking bitches.
I had someone walk past me and call me a bigot and that he didn't want any information on the Border Agents because he was in an interracial relationship.
A young Italian guy approached me and pointed out that his friend - who had now conveniently vanished - was an Italian illegal alien. I told him I was Italian as well and that it didn't make a difference what race you were. We discussed illegal immigration for a while and he became quite hostile. Then I told him to just put the immigration issue aside for a moment and talk about the Ramos and Compean case and the injustice against them. I suppose he didn't agree with me on that either as he called me a fucking ignorant asshole and then walked away pretty angry.
You do have to have a thick skin when dealing with this issue.
For every 1 hateful and aggressive opponent to our position though there were 4 or more supporters who came up to us and shook our hands and thanked us. Big broad smiles were flashed and compliments came forth. We also had a few veterans that I met who were more than grateful that someone was speaking out for law enforcement.
We even had some students coming up for more information and background on the agents. This was what I considered the best part of the rally. Talking to young people and seeing in their eyes the disbelief at a lot that is going on that they haven't heard about.
Wrapping The Rally/h4>
After the rally we headed back to the car and dropped our signs and other stuff off and headed out for a bite to eat. We discussed issues and the immigration groups in the area and how we could best band together. We also discussed politics and how the rally went.
I had the waitress take a picture of us all.
L-R: Ruth, Digger, Harold, Ceil and Ray
Final Thoughts On The Rally
My final thoughts on this rally are both positive and negative.
The number one negative was the number of people that attended this rally. I consider it a disgrace that more Americans are not involved in actively participating. Even more disappointing is that the groups in this area are simply abysmal at participating in actual activities.
I've heard of groups here that hold weekly meetings... amongst themselves! What the hell good does that do? Sitting around in a room talking about illegal immigration, but not actually telling anyone else? These people are invited to the rallies that have been held in the area, but they never show up. Maybe instead of spending 2 hours chatting in a room with others they could spend that two hours at a rally?
As for the positives, well there are too many to name.
Getting the word out to people who weren't familiar with the Ramos and Compean case - and what they can do to help - is the number one positive. Seeing Americans that do actually care was also very positive. Looking out and seeing that people were actually listening to what you were saying because you were providing information they cared about was positive. And finally, being able to stand with great patriots like Ruth, Harold, Ceil and Ray. The day wouldn't have been as enjoyable without them.
Be sure to visit Ruth's entry where she has her own pictures and a roundup of our protest in her own words.
She also has this little story I forgot about...
We kept the “Kick Me I’m a Citizen” stickers on our backs even after the rally and at one point, a pedestrian behind us decided to test that out and lightly kicked Digger. Well he had forgotten that he had that sticker on his back so he didn’t react until he heard her say “I kicked him and he didn’t even seem to notice”.
She also has some video she is editing that should be up sometime soon.
Ruth got the video up, you can see it below.
We need more like you and the one's who showed up Digger. A lot of people still fear the aggression of the illegal alien invaders. The invaders act without fear because they know they have our corrupt government on their side. They can not silence us by intimidation.
The Philadelphia rally for Ramos and Compean in front of the Mexican Consulate drew few people from the many groups in Philly. We have many people who will write their congress officials and do other things "behind the scenes" but we must have more people with the courage to help those of us who are willing to put our names and faces up for public ridicule and assault by anti American criminal illegal alien invaders. That is one of the cheapest prices for freedom we can have. The bullets are not flying yet.
Too many people have other critical things they report they must do when it comes to a demonstration and fail to show after they promised they would.
America is returning to Bondage: From bondage to spiritual faith;
from spiritual faith to great courage;
from courage to liberty;
from liberty to abundance;
from abundance to selfishness;
from selfishness to complacency;
from complacency to apathy;
from apathy to dependency;
from dependency back again to bondage.
If you don't stand up now while you can peacefully protest the destruction of American Sovereignty you will soon have to fight for your freedom with guns.
Charles Eliot Norton "The voice of protest, of warning, of appeal is never more needed than when the clamor of fife and drum, echoed by the press and too often by the pulpit, is bidding all men fall in and keep step and obey in silence the tyrannous word of command. Then, more than ever, it is the duty of the good citizen not to be silent."
· John Adams said, in 1787 "The people in America have now the best opportunity and the greatest trust in their hands that Providence ever committed to so small a number…if they betray their trust, their guilt will merit even greater punishment than other nations have suffered, and the indignation of Heaven…"
· Margaret Mead "Never believe that a small group of people can't change the world…indeed, they are the only ones who do."
· Samuel Adams power of one "The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men." Samuel Adams - (1722-1803), was known as the "Father of the American Revolution."
· Winston Churchill "Never give in. Never, never, never, never! Never yield in any way, great or small, large or petty, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force and the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."
Mark W Lowry "Herd members gather out of fear because no individual wants to be culled by predators. American citizens are not a defenseless herd huddling together out of fear. We are a predatory pack on the hunt for freedom and those who would invade our territory to steal it from us. The bigger the pack the stronger we each are but even the least of us is a formidable foe. We join the pack out of courage and a shared desire for freedom, the prey we eternally seek."
Mark Twain "In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
Thomas Paine "These are the times that try men's souls: the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly…"
Don't cower behind the cover of anonymity, don't let someone else shoulder the burden of your part of the battle. Join the fight full force on even the little issues. You must protest with every means possible.
Posted by: markwlowry on July 23, 2007 08:45 AM