Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sooner Tea Party, Aug. 22, 2009

I decided to attend my first T.E.A Party. It was sponsored by the The Sooner Tea Party . With my new Flip camcorder Ultra in hand I collected over an hour and a half of the event. As I go through and edit the footage I will post what I saw.

Also quite visible at the event were folks from the OKC 912 Project and the local chapter of AFP, Americans For Prosperity. It appearred to me that the OKC 912 Project were in the yellow shirts and were managing the event. The AFP was collecting signatures for the Patient's Bill of Rights.

I was offered a button saying 'I am AFP' by two young people. I really didn't know who they were but she did tell me they were a grassroots organized so I held up their button and said 'grassroots?' kidding her. I asked them if they'd like to explain what their organization is and they obliged to let me video a short explanation of their group:

Some of the first attendees I encountered were these two ladies.

They were upset because the organizers had made them cover a tee-shirt one was wearing. I was not sure but I think it was for a gubernatorial candidate that was not the one the organizers supported. They apparently wanted to keep control of the message. Nice ladies.

I moved through the crowd getting shots of signs. I got a chuckle out of this one:

By the time the speeches began I would estimate about three hundred people scattered across the expanse of the plaza. Here is a link of speakers and the transcripts.

I was listening to a speech by Cindy Crenshaw who had lost her legs in a terrorist attack during Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany that killed 11 and wounded 200. Though she claimed she was not a public speaker she gave a good 'rally the troops' speech. I moved up to the side of the steps to get a better shot and filmed most of her speech. I moved back to the base of the steps to get a better shot and had no sooner reached a point to film her when I heard a disturbance behind me. This is what happened:


nanc said...


great job, iopian - now, why haven't you crossposted this at TPP?!?

wonder when the INSURANCE LOBBYISTS are going to start funding our events? there are two or three of us who have receipts for things we've bought out of our own pockets - hehehe!

IOpian said...

Hopefully you watched the video of the nimrod with the sign about the lobbyist paying for the party.

*whine* *sniff* I had to go to the hospital and now my credit is hurt.
Life can suck, learn it, live it.

Then again I think the vets over reacted. The old man was shouting to the lord to save this wayward son.

I became a little disillusioned on all fronts. The guy had a right to carry the sign. All had a right to express themselves and the right to speech in no way assure that speech to be true. If it were so Congress, lawyers and media pundits would have been out of business long ago.

The main goal here was to rally the troops for the march on Washington.

But I left there with the view that nobody's right when everyone is wrong. Those that organize become zealots at controlling the imagery. I have nothing but constructive criticism. But they put the stage so far up those steps you could not distinguish facial features. Had they put it on that first landing it would have naturally drawn the people closer. I could barely tell that the speaker with her legs blown off by terrorist had her legs blown off. It would have made one hell of an impression when she arose to approach the podium if the people could have seen her. Her speech actually had the folks worked up. Boilerplate stuff but it was the only one that made me stop, get closer and listen.

Then there were some people that tried to make me be quite when I struck up a conversation with someone standing with a sign 20 feet away from the person asking us to listen to the speaker. Particularly this odd looking women painted blue and red. Then the organizers wanted the old man to be quite with his religious dialog. He was living and I encountered him as I came back from the back having called a friend. He was full of the spirit and his word were also boilerplate old time religion. So I gracefully heard him out, took his literature and nodded in approval. The guy was a vet, 82 years old, just lost his wife of 57 years so he deserved a hearing. Then one of the organizers became nervous and told us we need to be listening to the speaker. I had moved to the back to make the call because I found her speech a little too dramatic and a bit boring.

Not to mention the guy from AFP kept saying Warshinton in his speech.

I just am not a follower of men.

I did find it inspirational that there were young people with enthusiasm there. Even the preteens.

Additionally I find TPP as much of a dead end as this blog. I just don't have your energy and spunk. Look up lazy in the dictionary... yep that's my picture.

I may attempt to copy and paste the whole thing over there but that would be hot-linking all the pics and vids from blogger. Least I think it would be. May try it.

nanc said...

my spunk goes in spurts! then i need a nap...

you SHOULD link it over there - it takes awhile to become familiar with certain folks, but worth it if for nothing more than the resources they lend.

Anonymous said...

Hey, great job here with the blog.

This wasn't a 9-12 event, it was put on by the Sooner Tea Party, the people in the yellow shirts.
The AFP was invited to speak since they had a nationwide effort on this weekend. The 9-12 people were invited to sell their T shirts and to help us collect donations for the March on D.C. Neither group contributed to the expense although a lot of the 9-12 people are also STP members. Many helped organize and staff the event on an individual level.

The nimrod with the sign wasn't treated well, then again he was slandering all of us. He had no proof that any insurance company paid for anything cause the several thousand dollars it takes to put on this event came from T shirt sales and donations from members and the public. We have the freedom to speak, but not the freedom to lie, that will get your nose punched here in Oklahoma.

That said, one of our ladies intervened on his behalf, before the troopers could haul the guy off. There is a permit process for rallies at the capitol, once a permit is pulled, that group "owns" the area for the duration of the event, counter protesters are kept out of the permited zone.

Not sure if I like that law, but it is the law, and I guess that is the states way of keeping the groups from butting heads. In this case, the right thing was done, the sign wasn't that offensive, it was just a lie. One thing that freedom of speech does well is to expose liars and frauds. Let's not allow this guy a pass for having an opinion, this wasn't an opinion, he was simply lying.

The two ladies, well that was another story. Brogdon is looked upon as Oklahoma's ace in the hole, a potential governer that would stop the Feds at the border with a state militia if need be. Most of us are quite protective of his image. The lady in question carried a sign that basically called Obama the antichrist or something like that, pretty silly, and a personal attack as well. Offensive to some christians on top of everything else.

But, she was also wearing a Brogdon T shirt. She was asked if she would consider her message, how it looked to the public at large how it would look that a Brogdon supporter looked nutty, that it would be focused on by the media as proof that we were a bunch of right wing religious nuts. We even asked if she could change "hell" to Hawaii or put a Brogdon sign up on that side of her sign.

She got agitated way out of proportion to the request, made a scene, then tried to extort a free Sooner Tea Party T shirt in exchange for changing her sign. I nixed that, no one knew what she was up to, was she a plant there to damage Brogdon's image?

I think I got to her sense of civility when I asked her how she would feel if she put on an event for Brogdon and someone carried a sign that said "hang the liberals" or "Fallin is the antichrist", anything that made her bunch look bad.

She wound up taking the Brogdon T shirt off for the event. And sure enough, a TV camera zoomed in on her sign eventually.

Here is the thing, if we are to get something done, we all need to co operate with the other groups. This lady was not a team player, she harmed the public image of the majority of the people at the event with no gain for herself. Senseless... call it her right and I'll agree, but it was still senseless.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the constructive criticism. The stage was set where everyone sets the podium, last time we filled the plaza to overflowing, and like this time, the people stayed down on the plaza, didn't venture up on the first landing. Who knows why, we tend to be a polite bunch when left alone. Good point though, perhaps we should have invited the crowd closer.

I am guessing you aren't from Oklahoma from your comments on people asking you to be quiet during the speeches. Like I said, we tend to be polite around here, and one of our customs is to consider those around us, especially during a speech. We hold the door open for others a lot, say yes mamm and no sir a lot. And on occasion we do the road rage thing, go figure...

It was quite kind of you to listen to the old man, admirable in fact. One of those situations where politness may well require something other than the usual response.

I get your point on the way some things were handled, but we are not professionals at this sort of thing, the mood of our citizens is that they aren't going to trust the professionals for a while. We have jobs and family to attend to, aren't PR experts, and have a lot to worry about during these events. We simply don't need silly distactions, we are trying to put on an event, allow the speakers to get their message across, and see everyone leave safely.

I would guess you wouldn't be aware that one of the local Democrate groups were discussing bringing rifles and shotguns to the event to attempt to discredit our movement. The state looked into things, added some extra staff to the undercover troopers covering our event. Those troopers are professional all the way and are prepared for anything. Their intelligence pointed to some possible disruptions, so they were just keeping on top of the situation, keeping the peace. Good men and women just doing their job. The point being is that all of us had more to worry about and didn't need distractions.

It sounds like you were being respectful of others when you went to the back to make your call, thanks or that. You sound like a decent sort of guy, the kind that might march to a slightly different drummer. Anyway, excellent job on this blog. I enjoyed reading it.

IOpian said...

Hey anon... thanks for clearing the organization thing up. I wasn't too sure who was doing what.

I was born in God's country, bonafide/certified oilfield trash. Most likely have been here longer than half the folks I saw there. Being an 'oilie', I have lived all over Oklahoma for over half a century. I am fourth generation Irish-Okie and part Choctaw. Did most my growing up on the OKC South Side around Western and 89th. Chose Norman as my nest in my adult life. I now live a quite life in Tecumseh away from the constant din of traffic, a neighbor within spitting distance of me and the smell of exhaust fumes. Living my life out quietly and contently.

Only thing I would add is that I recorded that organizer talking to the disruptor. Though it can't be heard very well on the video the troopers were threatening to haul one of the vets out of there. The guy in the black shirt that made the remark about the guys wife was told by the lady OHCP to chill it or he would be charged with incitement. The extremely large OHCP trooper pulled the vet in the red shorts aside and explained to him that he appreciates his service but if he gets up in the officers face again he would be 'escorted out'. Those two troopers did a great job at being even-handed and taking no side in the matter. Had a very calming effect to those surrounding them. The disruptor was there for a purpose and wasn't going to be denied. I was so tempted to ask him if he was just there to listen then why the sign?