Standing Witness to the Tea Party Rally – San Diego Style

by on February 25, 2010 · 54 comments

in Media, Organizing, Popular, San Diego, War and Peace

Peace March & Rally, San Diego, March 21, 2009This Saturday, February 27th, a group of local Tea Party groups are sponsoring a rally downtown along San Diego Harbor. And San Diego progressives will be there to stand witness to this rally of tea baggers.

Nearly one hundred San Diego progressives have committed to being present at this non-violent counter-demonstration.  The counter protest – really more of a show of strength than an actual protest or counter-demonstration – has been organized solely via emails and word of mouth.

This blog website the OB RAG, in conjunction with a number of other San Diego progressive and peace groups have put out the call for the counter effort; we went to cyberspace for the medium of our message.  And just over a week’s time, San Diego progressives have stepped up to be witnesses to our local movement of reaction – even if it rains.  We’ll be gathering at the corner of Grape Street and Harbor Drive, from 11am to 1pm. Join us. (In fact, let me know if you’d like to attend with a comment or an email to the blog.)

Why Demonstrate Against the Tea Partiers?

The counter rally is being organized by people tired of all the attention that the Tea Baggers are getting. We no longer want to give Tea Partiers a pass and now will let them know that they can no longer monopolize the grassroots political landscape.

We want the Tea Partiers to know they aren’t the only ones angry at what’s going on in this country.  Yet even while some of us somewhat sympathize with them – or with at least some of their gripes, others of us see them as part of the problem.

For many of us, we believe it is very important to stand up to the Tea Baggers – not in violent or confrontational terms – but to bear witness to them and what they do and say.   Some of us want to educate them, while others have given up in trying to convince them they are misguided. That they are misdirecting their anger and energy.

Many of us see dangerous elements within the Tea Party umbrella. Their leaders harbor, condone and allow racist signs, symbols, and speeches.  Not all of them are racist, but the movement as a whole – disparate as it is – has allowed itself to be the incubator for public displays of racism – the white faced Obama, the Birthers, those who can’t accept a Black man as President.

It is important not to allow racists to gather anywhere in San Diego without some show of opposition. That’s why we will be there Saturday.  Again, some of us want to talk to them, and not all of them are racists.

Yet, within the Tea Party movement there are some frightening elements. There’s the underlying threats of violence, the aggressiveness, the confrontational nature of their movement.  The anger that comes out at their events – is directed at favorite targets and scapegoats.

There’s the lies and deceptions – the lies about Obama, liberals, czars, Death Panels, socialist health care, and its enabling deceptions.  And there’s the manipulations, intentionally confusing symbols of “evil” and equating them with the White House, Congress and their policies, taxes, … screams about government-take over of health care while not acknowledging their reliance on Medical, Veterans  benefits, Social Security ….

There’s the corporate media support – FOX news loves them, and look at what the Union-Tribune did just last weekend: it reported that the El Cajon Tea Party event was attended by a 1,000 people, whereas Tea party  blogs and other media reported much lower numbers, like 500, 300, even just “dozens.”

Plus there’s clear ties to large corporations or other organizers from the ruling elites.  Factions within their movement deny this, but it’s well documented the bankroll from FreedomWorks, the oil baron Koch brothers.

There’s the connections to an established electoral party and its machinery – the Republicans. At any one time, it seems the GOP is trying to capture the Tea Party activists, and at other times, it looks like Tea Baggers are attempting to take over the Republican Party at its ground level. Each is trying to take over the other. Again, other libertarian factions abhor these ties.

But, together these factions can draw upon hundreds and potentially thousands of supporters.  There definitely is a mass element to the Tea Party movement.

(Anna Daniels in a recent post broke down the factions of the local Tea Baggers.)

Throw all this together, the threats of violence and open aggression, the lies, deception, and manipulation, the scapegoating, the mainstream media support, the corporate money and connections (and control), the Republican Party interlocking relations, the “mass” aspect of their movement, – then throw in the racist elements, the Birthers, those who will not accept a Black man as President – and you have an extremely dangerous political development – the development of an American brand of fascism.

Whether people accept this analysis or not, and whether progressives agree about the racist nature of at least part of the Tea Party movement or not, enough San Diegans feel it is important to come out and witness their rally on the 27th.

The counter to the Tea Party event that is being organized is totally non-violent, non -confrontational, there will be no provoking the other side from our side, no scenario of shouting and yelling.  We will have our signs, our banners, graphs, flags, and… we will be singing.

Come join us.

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie February 25, 2010 at 9:35 pm

We have commitments from 92 people and a list of maybes up to 18/


overtly normal guy February 25, 2010 at 10:13 pm

“And San Diego progressives will be there to stand witness to this rally of tea baggers.”

The urban dictionary defines a “tea bagger” as:
1. teabagger
multiple meanings.
1) one who carries large bags of packaged tea for shipment.
2) a man that squats on top of a womens face and lowers his genitals into her mouth during sex, known as “teabagging”
3) one who has a job or talent that is low in social status
4) a person who is unaware that they have said or done something foolish, childlike, noobish, lame, or inconvenient.
5) also see “fagbag”, “lamer”, “noob”

Tea baggers? Now, is that really necessary? We can have social discussions without stooping to name calling, can’t we? Or is the goal to incite disdain? I would think that for an organization who promotes tolerance and understanding, the OB Rag would have some editorial responsibility to prevent such ludicrous statements and inflammatory prose. It doesn’t promote the healing or closing of the divide to call other groups names that are derogatory, it simply continues to widen the divide.

If you really stand for social commentary, and call yourselves progressives, what progress does this name calling provide?

This doesn’t help your cause any more than the idiots that


PSD February 26, 2010 at 8:56 am

Definition 4 seems rather compassionate – maybe the teabaggers don’t know they’re saying and doing foolish, childlike, and lame things. They just need a time out and a nap.


Ian Rammelkamp February 26, 2010 at 10:38 am

Why is it okay to lambaste people for calling the vagrant youth of OB “trolls”, post an article that compares that moniker to the use of the “n” word, and at the same time call advocates of limited government “teabaggers”?


Abby February 26, 2010 at 11:45 am

Perhaps because that was a label they gave themselves? It wasn’t the left who coined the term.


Ian Rammelkamp February 26, 2010 at 11:52 am

More misinformation…. It is called the Tea Party.

It was the liberal media that started with the “teabagger” moniker because of the negative and sexual connotations.


Overtly Normal Guy February 26, 2010 at 11:55 am

Regardless of what media gave the moniker, it stuck because of the bathroom humor. Aren’t we better than this?


Abby February 26, 2010 at 1:19 pm


And if the left had done something as silly I’d be laughing just as hard!


Jon February 26, 2010 at 12:31 pm

They hang teabags from their hats, they mail teabags to government reps, they call themselves the tea party. So…..I think teabaggers is absolutely appropriate. The sexual connotation is just a boner, oops, I mean bonus for those that think they are ridiculous.


Abby February 26, 2010 at 1:18 pm

The first time I heard the term was on Fox News, not exactly a hot bed of liberalism.


Ian Rammelkamp February 26, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Nor is it a hot bed of Libertarianism, or level headed discourse.


Jon February 26, 2010 at 1:37 pm

True dat!


Audrey February 27, 2010 at 1:24 pm



Joe Wilson February 27, 2010 at 3:52 pm

You Lie!


PSD February 26, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Ian, I think the issue we all take with the tebagging menagerie is that the “limited government” folks are overshadowed by the racists, the bigots, the birthers, the religious fundamentalists, et al. Limited government is an concept worthy of debate, but waving racist signs and refusing to acknowledge a president because of his ethnicity is not a form of debate.


JPinSD February 26, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Sweet! I’m going with defintion #2. Maybe I’ll find some progressive chick down there.


overtly normal guy February 25, 2010 at 10:14 pm

infiltrate the Tea Party groups and take away the focus from the real issues. Taxation without Representation.

Please, clean up your act.


Frank Gormlie February 26, 2010 at 7:53 am

Overtly – did you even read my post? If you did, it’s funny that you focused on the “tea bagger” moniker, and not on the fact that I called their movement racist and said that elements within it are developing an American brand of fascism.

I’ll clean up my act after they – the tea partiers, the tea baggers – clean up their act.


Overtly Normal Guy February 26, 2010 at 11:54 am

I did read your post.

The fact that you are using derogatory terms to describe a movement that was started by the Libertarian party, (, and are now making claims that this is a racist and fascist movement means that you don’t want the same things.

The Libertarian party wants to provide the same level of social services and more, but not at the federal level. If you want to help, please stop lumping the Right Wing idiots who have infiltrated this movement in with the actual Tea Party movement. I find it disturbing that no one has seen fit to do their homework on what the Tea Party movement is, and no matter what the right wing morons call their gatherings, it’s not the Tea Party movement as it was originally started.

Perhaps you can call them Fake Tea Partiers? If the GOP is funding it, it’s not a Tea Party rally. Libertarians don’t play that game. At least this one doesn’t.

This is an opportunity for the OB Rag to take the Higher Ground, and help the Libertarians and all of the Left who want more services to get them. The libertarian agenda is more left leaning than right, in my opinion. How about some help?


Frank Gormlie February 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Both libertarians and lefties started various tea party groupings back during the dark ages of the Bush years. It’s true, more right-wing and racists captured the efforts, so today’s tea partiers are a mix. Ron Paul did get the most votes – 31% -the other day at the conservative confab in DC, and Sara Palin got like 7%.

Libertarians have been against the current wars, and do want to scale back government, except when it comes to a woman’s right to choose, and then they want to government to step in and prevent her choices.


Abby February 26, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Last I checked, real Libertarians wanted the government out of that issues as well.

Overtly Normal Guy is correct, the lunatic fringe is subverting the message of what the Tea Party was supposed to be about. But what are they going to do about it?


Brian February 26, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Ron Paul’s anti-abortion, but I don’t know that I’d say on the whole libertarians, or a majority of them, are.


Chris Moore February 28, 2010 at 11:55 am

Yeah Ron Paul (a Republican, not a member of the LP) is very anti-abortion, however the LP and most rank and file “big L” Libertarians tend to be strongly pro choice.

(Speaking as an ex-Libertarian here.)

Libertarianism has in recent years attracted a contingent of conservatives fed up with the GOP paying lip service to “small government” while at the same time spending money like there was no tomorrow. But the movement as founded in the early 70’s was a reaction in part to Nixonian authoritarianism and the draft – the John Birch Society they are certainly not.

On culture war issues, Libertarians traditionally tend to be closer to “progressives” than to “conservatives.”


annagrace February 28, 2010 at 12:21 pm

I also have the same understanding on many of your points Chris. Ron Paul, however, has been the Libertarian party candidate for president (1988) as well a Republican candidate in 2008.


bodysurferbob February 26, 2010 at 7:55 am

hey, i noticed that rain is still scheduled for tomorrow, saturday. are you guys still planning to do your thing even if it rains?


Jon February 26, 2010 at 8:16 am

Teabagging is for nuts.


Abby February 26, 2010 at 11:46 am

Fitting really, since the tea party movement, which was supposed to be a protest about taxes has been hijacked by the nuts!


Overtly Normal Guy February 26, 2010 at 11:56 am

So, how about the OB Rag, and all of it’s supporters call these people on their hijacking of the movement? How about a little help?


Frank Gormlie February 26, 2010 at 9:10 am

In my previous post about whether progressives should stand up to the Tea Party people, I called for the formation of a “coffee grounds” movement, and lo and behold, there is a coffee party movement forming. See here:!/coffeeparty?v=info&ref=search


Roger February 26, 2010 at 12:18 pm

I was at the Tea Party in El Cajon. The organizer, Barry, claimed 1,000 participants. NBC, which is not too friendly to the Tea Party movement, said “dozens” were there. The truth is that maybe 400-500 attended. I did look around and try to estimate the size of the crowd. I estimated 500, which is probably a little generous. Another organizer of another group that was there estimated 400. It was a very good crowd and there were definitely several hundred people there, but not not 1,000.


Roger February 26, 2010 at 12:21 pm

If you want to talk to us, I am the organizer of a Tea Party group in San Diego.


Frank Gormlie February 26, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Roger, a number of folks on this site have called for the ouster of racists from the tea party movement. Do you think racism is a problem in that movement?


Roger February 26, 2010 at 2:29 pm

I am not a Libertarian. I am registered as a Republican, but do not consider myself a Republican. It’s just so that I have a vote in the primaries. I think the word “racist” is much over-used these days. However, there are racists or people with racial attitudes on both sides of the political spectrum as well as that participate in Tea Parties. The doctrine of Obama’s former church in Chicago is extremely racist as will as seditious and bigoted against America and traditional Christianity. Why isn’t that an issue, among the people that are so concerned with racism? The Tea Party movement is not a formal organization. So you can not very well oust anyone from it. People with racial attitudes have just as much right to express themselves in public as anyone. That said, I do not see much of that. However, I am called a “racist” all the time. I think the word has become extremely devalued. If you mention a member of a minority in a critical way, it is likely that someone will call you a racist.


annagrace February 26, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Roger- I’d like to see a discussion between you and Libertarians Ian Rammelkamp and Jim Noble. They see the Tea Party as a Libertarian movement which is being usurped by other conservative groups ie you. They have posted here:

BTW, I was curious about your avatar, so I linked to it. I think our readers will also be interested:
Welcome Messiah Skeptics
This group has been formed to protest Obama and his corrupt cohorts in Congress and the media. The current primary emphasis of our group is to expose Obama’s racist and seditious religion. We call on the media and politicians to finally fully investigate and publicize what Obama’s church in Chicago is really about. The black supremacist doctrine of his church is very disturbing and he never repudiated this belief system, which teaches that the black race has a messianic, divine mission to subjugate America and destroy ’white society.’

Did you really just post elsewhere that you are offended by the image too, and just found it in some Obama campaign art? Roger- I’m not buying it.

Gentle readers, if you have the stomach, I encourage you to read more here:


Ian Rammelkamp February 26, 2010 at 4:56 pm


I don’t think that Roger is taking a very intelligent approach if his desire it to limit government.

The focus should not be on Obama his race or his religion.


PSD February 26, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Hey Roger, just a question – when you reference “America and traditional Christianity,” does it mean that you (or others in your group) are advocating for a government/society based on religious fundamentalism, kind of like a Christian version of the Middle East?


Jon February 27, 2010 at 10:52 am

I love it…the tea party is a formal movement/organization until someone says they are a bunch of racists. Then it’s no longer a formal organization and they are helpless from doing anything about it. good grief. Wake up and smell the coffee! I take mine black, like our president. ;)


Abby February 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I’d be interested to hear your views as well.


annagrace February 26, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Roger- are you a Libertarian?


Jeeni Criscenzo February 26, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I was vacillating on whether or not to attend the counter demonstration to the tea-baggers rally on Saturday morning (tomorrow) until I just read that a noose was found hanging on the seventh floor of the university library Thursday night at UCSD. This is the third racially charged incident involving the campus in the past two weeks.. Looks like I have to go to this demonstration – we must nip this slide back toward racism in the bud! I will be holding a big sign that quotes part of the Amikas Freedom Charter:
…I celebrate and respect every human being, of every race, gender, ethnicity, citizenship, language, education, religious belief or lack thereof, sexual preference, age, ability, or any other trait that distinguishes us all as unique and magnificent individuals…
If people want to object to taxes, they better not be using it as an excuse to be racists – not on my watch!


Roger February 26, 2010 at 2:41 pm

You don’t know who put the noose there or for what reason, so you seem to use that as a means to collectively characterize and demonize a movement of several million individuals? That would seem to be to be just a form of demogogery against a group of people whose politics you don’t like.


Frank Gormlie February 26, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Roger, I’m finding your avatar extremely offensive.


Roger February 26, 2010 at 2:58 pm

So do I, Frank, but it’s just from a piece of Obama campaign art. I am not sure why YOU would be offended. I wish I knew how to change it. I uploaded it to a profile somewhere and now it appears in many places were I write a message. I guess you will just have to get used to it, as I am trying to.


annagrace February 26, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Roger- is this you?


Frank Gormlie February 26, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Roger, I just went to your site: Here is what I found, just one juicy quote:

“The current primary emphasis of our group is to expose Obama’s racist and seditious religion.”


Abby February 26, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Um, yeah. It’s stuff like that that makes people want to distance themselves from the Tea Party movement. What does that statement have to do with the stated goal of protesting taxation?


annagrace February 26, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Someone, please tell Roger how to change his avatar.


Frank Gormlie February 26, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Just in general, in case you haven’t caught this yet, this blog website is NOT a forum for racists. If you come on here and spout racist garbage, you don’t get to play in our sandbox.


Monty Kroopkin February 26, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Free exchange of ideas? It ain’t “free” if the Koch brothers and their corporate ilk are paying Tea Bagger whores millions of dollars to say it (and to pretend it ain’t a crude “negative” political ad campaign to block every progressive reform that anybody can think of).


Roger February 26, 2010 at 8:52 pm

I’m a Tea Party organizer. Where do we apply to get some of these billions that are supposedly being paid out? I’m not getting my share!! Except for a few $5 donations that I have collected from my 300 members. :-)


jettyboy February 27, 2010 at 6:00 pm

If the tea party is so focused on taxes and not Obama why is it that you fail to understand, or even know that Obama has actually LOWERED taxes for all Americans making under $25000.00? So why are you so against him? Your site claims his religion is seditious, yet he’s a Christian. All you are is a racist movement cloaked as anti-tax. You actually believe Obama was set up 50 years ago by a tiny nation to subversively take over the United States, and that the entire US government intelligence services don’t have the capabilities to find this out, but your group does. You sir with all dis-respect intended are an asshole.


Brian February 27, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I think you change your avatar on


PSD February 27, 2010 at 1:08 pm

You want welfare, we want warfare! Go back to the USSR, you commie bastards!


barbara c February 27, 2010 at 6:38 pm

I’m sure PSD is making a joke. Even the most stupid of stupid surely know that there is no country anymore called USSR. As far as commie. Well, George Bush granted the biggest communist country of all, China, favored nation status. They are our biggest trading partner and freakin own the United States. The Chinese Communists are BFF with us. Besides, commie is so well, 60’s don’t you think?


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