Many folks will be joining Tea Party protests tomorrow. Up and down California, thousands will protest big government, excessive taxation and obscene federal powers.
There will likely be people in attendance who think that all of those things are perfectly acceptable - even preferrable. They've got a name: Crash The Tea Party.
I'm 100% behind their Constitutional right to protest. That's a cherished American right. What I have a problem with is their tactics.
Whenever possible, we will act on behalf of the Tea Party in ways which exaggerate their least appealing qualities (misspelled protest signs, wild claims in TV interviews, etc.) to further distance them from mainstream America and damage the public's opinion of them. We will also use the inside information that we have gained in order to disrupt and derail their plans.In short, don't fight the Tea Parties with facts, or even with differing opinions. Undercut the parties by using cowardly, underhanded tactics.
We recently saw this in action immediately after the passage of the health care bill. A number of Congressmen said that racial epithets were hurled at them as they passed from the Capital to their offices.
This was HEAVILY covered by the press. Tea Party members were all identified as hateful, angry racists. It was reported on the nightly news of every single national news network. It was reported in every major newspaper and magazine in the country.
It seems as though it never happened.
The Congressman who said he was called, "The N-Word" had more than 100 reporters, cameras and recording devices in the area, and not a single person or device was able to capture the supposed slur. Not a one.
In fact, Andrew Breitbart has offered up $100,000 for any verified account of it happening.
He still has his money. The only place you can find the story of the Congressman's lie is on blogs and a few web sites.
This will absolutely happen again. In fact, you should EXPECT it to happen, so be prepared.
If you attend a Tea Party event -
- Bring a recording device, video being preferrable. Use your phone camera or devices like the ultra-portable Flip cameras. Bring plenty of memory cards and batteries.
- Immediately after recording something, upload it to your email account or other site (Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, etc.). You need to expect your recording device to be stolen or destroyed.
- Ask questions of people that seem to be trying to engender a negative impression of the Tea Party. What is your name? What groups do you belong to? Where do you hold meetings? Do you have a web site I can view? How did you come to these opinions?
- If they are being interviewed by a news organization, record the interview so that you have an unedited version of what was asked and replied. Remember what CNN did with the Open Carry protest in Arizona? They showed video of a participant (never showing his face) with a rifle slung over his shoulder, and a handgun on his belt. They then mentioned that this was a racist protest. What they left out was that the protester was black.
Whatever your social and political leanings may be, fight to ensure that the opinions and beliefs of all groups are accurately reflected and reported. It's the only way we can make informed decisions, and THAT is what prepping is all about!
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