San Diego Progressives Sing at Tea Party Counter Rally

by on February 27, 2010 · 24 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Election, Organizing, San Diego, War and Peace


San Diego progressives stand witness to the Tea party rally, 2/27/10. Most photos by Jon Christensen.

Between cloud bursts, sixty San Diego progressives sang songs during the counter rally to the Tea Party gathering today near the Star of India.

Activists with the OB Rag and other local groups had tried to mobilize one hundred progressives to stand witness to the rally of Tea Party factions.  But Mother Nature decided to drench the county and undoubtedly many stayed away due to the rain. Still, many stubborn people showed up today between 10:30 and noon just west of the County Administration building to show opposition.


The Tea Party rally.

Meanwhile, approximately 320 Tea partiers gathered across Harbor Drive. A half dozen canopies sheltered their display tables from the elements.  They had expected one thousand, with right-wing radio personality Roger Hedgecock as their principal speaker.

From the progressive side, lyrics from “This Land Is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie, “We Shall Overcome”, “Imagine”, and “America the Beautiful” rang out, at times drawing the attention of the Tea Party activists away from their own thing.


Singing in the rain.

A few progressives crossed the street and talked to some of their counter parts.  And at one point, a woman organizer from the Tea Party side came over to the progressive side to explain her own particular orientation.  She added that she had been attempting to get rid of some of their more offensive signs.  “Most of us are really into smaller government,” she said, “and want to be able to work together with people like you for the good of us all.”


Anna Daniels from the OB Rag. Photo by Mike Copass

While we were talking a woman standing in the median was screaming at us to “Love it or leave it, get out out of the United States now!” Patty turned to the woman who was talking to us and said, “so you don’t feel like the woman in the street who wants us to get out?” “No,” she answered.

Patty replied, “It’s too bad the screamers are drowning out the people who really want to talk.”

Organizers of the counter rally felt pleased with the turn-out, as their efforts had been accomplished all by emails and internet and word of mouth. A network has been established that hopefully will meet again and display its strength once more, at least.  And who knows? Next time these progressives get together they may  very well be the San Diego Coffee Party movement.

Video by shizzyfinn! Thank you!

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Patty Jones February 27, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Check out shizzyfinn’s video of today’s counter rally! The woman in the white coat screaming at us is the one mentioned in the post telling us to get out of the U.S.


annagrace February 27, 2010 at 8:16 pm

shizzyfin- great video! Said it all! It was great meeting so many of you today, standing beside you. The messages of health care for all, ending the wars, creating jobs, & equitable taxation were displayed as we sang “This land is your land, this land is my land.”
As for the Tea Partiers themselves, they seem most willing to confer an “I am a Tea Party leader” status on anyone standing on that side of the street. The GOP candidate. Libertarians. The folks with Blackwater sweatshirts. The guy with the sign saying “It is time to water the tree of liberty,” or a sign equating a hammer and cycle with health care reform. Yes, it does indeed appear that anyone can be a leader in the Tea party movement.

I did somehow miss the 12 socialist protesters that were cited on a Tea Party blog. I’m sure the U-T will give us an accurate count tomorrow.


Patty Jones February 27, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Anna, I left a comment on that tea party blog, pointing them to photographic and video evidence of the turn out (a link to this post), but it only stayed up a couple of minutes before they deleted it. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t offensive…. oh well.


annagrace February 27, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Guess you didn’t make the cut as a Tea Party leader. You must have been beat out by “Don’t tax me bro'”


Patty Jones February 27, 2010 at 8:51 pm



Dave Sparling February 27, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Shizzy– Peg and I think you are getting to be one heck of a good videographer.


Carol February 28, 2010 at 12:36 am

Thank you for the video! I could not come to the rally, and, I saw nothing on TV about it.
No big Surprised there.

Your video and photos and writings was great to see and read. Keep Up the GREAT OB RAG! I love it! Thank You ~ Frank Gormlie & everyone of you who went out in the rain!
Terrific Job. You lifted up my spirits!

Howard Dean would be so proud of you all, if he knew. Frank is it okay if I sent your OB RAG to National DFA HQs?

I will see if I can get it on our website.

San Diego DFA Meetup


guapobill February 28, 2010 at 6:51 am

Hi Anti Teabaggers
We had a good wet time at the counter protest today. I feel we behaved like good 2010 Democrats, afraid of making anyone mad. The 15 foot center of the road was available to anyone who would take it. Only a couple of us ventured into the center, including Barbara Cummings. The rest of us stood on the curb and sang songs and chanted. It was very difficult to hear our songs or chants from the teabagger side, although it was difficult for us to hear the teabaggers also. Eventually the teabaggers took over the center of the road and yelled and taunted us. Why are we afraid to be aggresive? Our signs are nice we are nice, and like our fellow Democrats in Congress we don’t want to hurt anybody’s feeling or take any action that might be considered unladylike. I think we need a leader like Anthony Weiner to take these nuts on. By the way don’t call them teabaggers. It’s like saying the N word at a NAACP meeting. I found out!!!
See you next time.
peace bill


Goatskull February 28, 2010 at 8:46 am

The funny thing is, all the baggers that scream “stop smoking pot” have done or do that themselves.


nunya February 28, 2010 at 11:19 am

Listening to the tea bagger idiots scream incoherently is why I avoid the counter protests.

I choose not to expose myself to that these days.


obDaDa February 28, 2010 at 12:38 pm

VerY niCe ViDeo!!
AmeriCa iS stiLL
thE saMe aS iT waS iN thE ’60’s
[ wheN i DroPPeD AciD aNd suBsequentLy__droPPeD ouT ]]
onLy iT seeMs iT iS diFFereNT aS MucH aS iT iS thE saMe//
TrY thiS:
Formally, suppose that X is a set and that (ak)k ? K is a sequence in X, where K = {1,2,3,…,n} if (ak) is a finite sequence and K = N if (ak) is an infinite sequence. Then, a subsequence of (ak) is a sequence of the form where (nr) is a strictly increasing sequence in the index set K.
BLacK iS NoW WhiTe\\\
HaTe iS aLiVe aNd WeLL..
{{JESUS stiLL SaVeS..~~uS aS IndiViduaLs}
PeopLe gO on SuFFerinG
{{iT’s aLL Bushe’s FauLt}}
oH WeLL,,,,
HaVe a GooD DaY==


PSD February 28, 2010 at 10:13 pm

I’ll try to answer for some segment of young people, as I’m often absent from events like this though I’d like to be there more often – I’ve got a grade-school daughter and a commission-only job that I’ve got to get off the ground before my severance checks run out. Before that, I was working 60 hours or so a week at an overtime-exempt position. I made a lot of mistakes with money when I was young and the economy was booming, I need to work a lot to pay for those mistakes and keep making rent. Aside from that, whenever I’ve got a chance to spend time with my kid, if I’m not working that’s likely what I’m going to do. Child or no, and trying to pay off debts or not, lots of us are busy just trying to stay afloat.


Gary Ghirardi February 28, 2010 at 10:25 pm

PSD – Here is Mike Davis talking about this issue, in part, from last year in an article called, “Why We Need Rebels” He addresses his own 15 year old son and the challenges his generation will face to turn around the political climate –


PSD March 1, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Good article, and good points to make to teenagers and young adults in general. But as a rebuttal to my admittedly lame personal cop-out I don’t think it works – my dad started getting me active in politics when I was 10 or 11, which I certainly intend to do with my own child. But she’s not 10 or 11, or even 15 like the kid the message is aimed at – she’s 6, and bringing her along to protests or petition drives or rallies is going to be taxing and unpleasant for both of us. Right now ‘quality time’ is doing homework, playing Connect 4, or going on scooter rides.


chrstsldr March 1, 2010 at 10:53 am

You buried the lead.

“Most of us are really into smaller government,” she said, “and want to be able to work together with people like you for the good of us all.”

Missed opportunity?

Did you get her name?


Patty Jones March 8, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Not a missed opportunity, she’s welcome here anytime. I got her name. Not yours though…

I applaud her for coming over to talk to us and doing so in a civil manner. I’ve seen some of the Tea Party sites that have linked to our articles. Some want to know why we would even consider countering their rallies, like we are anti-freedom, or don’t want accountability in government… I don’t know about them but in the last year my income taxes have GONE DOWN. Look at your check stub, pay attention to your 1040…

We are countering the screaming, yelling, hateful voices, not the sane ones. We were told to go get jobs and pay our taxes by some of the people on the other side of the street. The percentage of us that have jobs and pay taxes is no different than it is for them. And for the people who look at the photos and all they see is the word Socialist, the word right next to that one is WORKER!


Ruth March 2, 2010 at 5:38 pm

To comment on the last post, I started bringing my daughter to protests when she was only two. She is now 23, finishing up her poli sci degree at ucsb. She has grown into a thoughtful, ethical person who is comfortable standing up for herself and others. It is never too early to teach and model taking a stand. Good luck with your little one!


JPinSD March 3, 2010 at 9:28 am

I was at the Tea Party rally as well. It’s funny, I didn’t see any racist, bigoted, anti gay activity. What I saw was a group of people upset at what this country has/will become. There were Whites, Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics joined together.

Don’t Tread On Me.


Joe Ryan March 11, 2010 at 8:06 am

66 from the left and 300 from the right all wasting your time. Standing on street corners and attending tea party rally’s does not threaten the elite. They love it when we waste our time like that. Meanwhile they will be meeting at some plush restaurant plotting their next theft of government funds or private wealth; thankful all the while that hardly anybody challenges their power in a meaningful way. At least you didn’t do street theater. That really scares em@. Let’s see 66 x 3 hours gone. That’s 198 hours gone. You could have all had meetings and prepared 526a injunction motions against government waste and actually accomplished something that would matter. How about spending 198 hours on a federal pleading challenging some NWO civil rights abuse. That might have made a difference. Standing on corners with signs is relatively pointless. Why doesn’t someone look up Duncan Hunter’s candidate statement and sue him for lying on it? That would scare the gang. How about challenging Dumanis’s candidacy based upon her criminal behavior. Do something that matters.


Shane Finneran March 11, 2010 at 8:29 am

Would of been nice to have heard from you prior to the event, Joe!

I’d love to help prepare 526a injunctions, challenge NWO civil rights abuses, or sue Duncan Hunter – if I knew how.


Frank Gormlie March 11, 2010 at 10:26 am

Joe, you’re misplacing your frustration. (BTW what did you do during those same 3 hours?) And just for the record, the rain prevented us from hanging there for that long, was more like 2 hours.

If it wasn’t for the bad weather and tsunami, the tea partiers probably would have had close to a thousand and we were aiming towards one hundred progressives. It’s not a waste of time to stand witness to racists and their movement. Granted, not all tea partiers are racists, but we maintain that the leaders of their movement, fractured as they are, condone, support and allow racist signs, slogans and speeches.

In the past, the tea partiers were allowed to rally without much opposition in our town. But no more. San Diegans are standing up to them. Such as we did that day.

Plus, there is an alternative to them, growing rapidly: the Coffee Party movement and we will be having our first meeting this Sat March 13th.

It’s pretty tough to sue a politician for lying. I mean, how do you single him or her out? And it’s sad about no one running against Dumanis, have to agree wid ya there.

But as far as “do[ing] something that matters”, it does matter when progressives stand up to those who wish to bring an authoritarian, even totalitarian government to our country like many of the tea party people. There were reports that at least a couple of these guys packed guns at this rally. They do hide behind their “government is small” slogans but they also rail against immigrants, forgetting their own immigrant past, they don’t support women’s right of choice – so they want government to step in and tell women what to do with their bodies, they use threats of violence against those who disagree with them, they accept corporate media support like FOX news, and they allow groups like FreedomWorks to head them up, they rail against Obama while accepting his tax cuts, they scream against government health care while accepting their Medical, medicaid, social security, vets’ benefits.

American history is replete with stories of how small groups – at first – stand witness to the slavery laws, stand witness to the then lack of public education, to laws against women voting, to Jim Crow segregation, to the war in Vietnam, to the plight of farmworkers, to police abuse, to the causes of global warming and climate change.

The first small groups of people who protested the Vietnam war back in the early sixties were told to go home and do something that mattered. Every movement starts somewhere with small groups of people who are fed up with the status quo.


Joe Ryan March 11, 2010 at 11:08 am

Hi Frank. You’re no doubt right about some of the attendees, but I’m positive their are many reasonable non-racist people in the group too. We need to find them and work with them. Like the lady that crossed the street. Of course the lady that spazzed has to be written off. Personally, I can work with someone who calls themselves a liberal or a conservative. I’ve met many and I swear I never hear racist stuff from them. Honestly. I talked to 2 or 3k people in the East County over the last two years as I ride around in my campaign van, and only one guy made racist remark that I can recall (he said he hated Mexicans). I understand your frustration with the loons, but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. A lot of them are disgusted that the Republicans are co-opting the group. They are real independents and never wanted to join a GOP group. They’re floating away now that the GOP is taking over. The GOP is not allowing freedom fighters to speak. Just hacks like Hunter and Joel Anderson. There’s a freedom fighting group in LA that is going to a liberal war protest to educate them about how the fed is funding wars. The conservatives oppose the fed, the people they are going to discuss with they refer to as marxist. But they are going in peace with the hope of finding common ground. That’s where we all need to be. The left and right has a lot of common ground. No reason we can’t move forward where we agree. I don’t hear anyone on either side supporting the wall street ripoffs. Bang, common ground found. We can move together on that. Dems, GOP, and Independents.

p.s. I believe in the 2nd amendment, but nobody needs to pack at a political rally. That’s just dumb, and dangerous, since people mishandle guns frequently, dropping them and causing deadly accidents. The left and right will not agree on the 2nd, so I think we need to push that issue to the side, and concentrate together – supporters and detractors of the 2nd – to solve the looting of our economy by robber barons.


Joe Ryan March 11, 2010 at 11:15 am

p.s. When I discuss suing politicians for lying, I’m just referring to challenging their ballot statement. They give you from the 12th to about the 24th to make a challenge if the candidate is lying. Then they have to change their ballot statement to reflect the truth, or show up and explain why they aren’t lying. Hunter is going to BS the public and claim he was a businessman. There is no evidence of any fictitious statement to back up his claims; so he may have some explaining or changing to do. I’m going to check the statement out Friday, and see if it needs to be corrected. Hate to embarrass little dunc, but I need to keep him really upset with me@. Mad people make mistakes.


Joe Ryan March 11, 2010 at 11:36 am

Hi Shane. You can do it. Anyone can. I can teach people how to do 526a motions in a bout an hour if anyone is interested. They’re great for attacking abuses. I was thinking of doing a government doc request (another tactic that scares them because they usually have to break the law to hide docs from the inquirer or give up the goods) asking the county supervisors how much cash they are funnelling to the Chamber of Commrece. Then armed with the info, and other evidence they are a partisan business lobby, I would argue it is a waste of government funds to give our taxpayer money to the Chamber. Some declarations from people who do not support Chamber policies would help. That’s an example of what can be done.

Hey Shane. If you are an Independent, you can take on Issa without ever leaving OB. The Democrats and libertarians may take a pass on the race. If they do, an independent with the right theme could take him down easy in a one on one race. You need 10k in signatures in 3 months starting April 24th. You don’t have to live in the district. If you are a bit left of Issa (who isn’t) and not too far left (where IND are turned off) the Independents and democrats will vote for you. It’s a 2 against one anywhere the dems take a pass on the race because they think the GOP candidate is too strong. GOP candidates that look unbeatable, can be beat. You don’t need much name recognition or money. Just the IND behind your name, a ballot statement that holds the IND vote, and voila. People are ready to walk in and choose the IND over the R or the D if given the chance. The 100 people who were going to the rally downtown, would only have to get 100 signatures a piece for you and your in! What do you have to lose. They may hassle you the way they do me, but I’m still livin free and enjoying myself no matter what they throw at me. Last month they tried to mack me by fabricating service of process. I won 6 cases in a row, so they don’t want me to show up now. I fired together a default set-aside motion, won anyways, and now I’ve got the sleazy attorney running for cover. But sooner or later they’ll probably get me. I figure they’ll pull me over and plant something on me if all else fails. They sent some lady from the IDF and the Israeli embassy after me last week. So be careful, but go for it! There’s no happiness in being afraid. Just bury your fears and move on them hard by running for congress as an independent. Independents might even win a three way race these days. The incubent will suffer for being the incubent, so an opening may exist that has never existed before, and may not again. By 2012 the major parties will be running fake Independents to split any Independent vote if at looks like we are trying for a particular ballot spot. That’s our weakness. You need to run before running as an Independent catches on with too many people. The time is now. If not you, talk someone else in to it.
I’m married and faithful to my wife, but if I wasn’t married, I would do it just to meet girls@. That’s obviously not the point, but it’s not a bad bonus if your single.
Anybody wants to do 526a motions, we could have a meeting about it, and put one together as a bunch so everybody could see how it’s done. It’s a fact intensive motion, so once the law is in a pleading template, any of us could stop waste using 526a motions. Frank might be knowledgable about how to do it. You can’t be sued if you lose, because malicious prosecution doesn’t lie against the state or with restraining order actions. Hope that helped. Joe

Joe Ryan


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