Fear & Intimidation: Tea Party's Newest Assault on Democracy

Notified that there was an Anti-Immigrant/ Anti-Health Care Reform Tea Party protest scheduled to occur in front of US Congressman Christopher Murphy's Main Street office in Danbury, CT. CTBlogger www.hatcityblog.com covered the small crowd of 18 people by video, interviewing attendees, taking pictures, recording remarks etc... CTBlogger returned to his car to find a crude note left by a Teabagger:

"Hi-Asshole, Your days are numbered. You nigger faggot"

This is a citizen journalist receiving threats; CTBlogger like many in the media, regularly follows Connecticut politics, the Democrats, the Republicans...and the Tea Party.

Danbury is a small manufacturing & chemical based city, positioned aside the New York State border. With a passionate political climate, becoming increasingly hostile; especially against immigrants (see ACLU) when Danbury City Council was set to approve 278 (g), partnering local police with ICE, permitting them to stop suspected immigrants and allow ICE agents to raid homes. Anyone who appeared Hispanic was fair game. Since CTBlogger arrived in Danbury in 1987, he has noticed recently a new harsh level of intimidation, harassment and violence towards immigrants after the election of Mayor Mark Boughton, (Republican Candidate for Governor) an outspoken anti-immigrant crusader in the State of Connecticut for the past decade.

CTBlogger usually does not receive threats to his life while covering the news. Chronicling political events began to changed once Obama became President, with the rise of the Tea Party, gone was the civility, replaced by the shrill, the loud and sometimes crude, or as my late mother would say; "crass" attempts to hijack discussions, garner media attention and disrupt meetings.

Well documented are the members of Congress walking into the Capital to begin the historic Health Care Reform voting, Tea Party Patriots crossed the line from wearing crazy hats, holding homemade signs to spitting on or hurling insults such as Nigger & Faggot at members of Congress. Hate mongering has spread far wider than the US Capital.

With numerous occurrences of vandalism and death threats across the country, this appears to be another page in the Tea Party playbook. CTBlogger rightly filed a police report, for what it is worth. Maybe each case of hate crime needs to be taken more seriously.

Right Principle's memo: game plan for disrupting Town Halls and other meetings: Inside the Hall

- Spread out in the hall and try to be in the front half. The objective is to put the Rep on the defensive with your questions and follow-up. The Rep should be made to feel that a majority, and if not, a significant portion of at least the audience, opposes the socialist agenda of Washington. They need to leave the hall with some doubts about their agenda. The other objective is to illustrate for the balance of the audience that the national leadership is acting against our founders' principles which are on the other side of the debate - and show them that there are a lot of solid citizens in the district who oppose the socialist approach to the nation's challenges. We want the independent thinkers to leave the hall with doubts about the Democrat solutions continually proposed by the national leadership.

- You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep's presentation. Watch for an opportunity to yell out and challenge the Rep's statements early. If he blames Bush for something or offers other excuses - call him on it, yell back and have someone else follow-up with a shout-out. Don't carry on and make a scene - just short intermittent shout outs. The purpose is to make him uneasy early on and set the tone for the hall as clearly informal, and free-wheeling. It will also embolden others who agree with us to call out and challenge with tough questions. The goal is to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda. If he says something outrageous, stand up and shout out and sit right down. Look for these opportunities before he even takes questions.

- When the formal Q&A session begins get all your hands up and keep them up - be persistent throughout the entire session. Keep body language neutral and look positive to improve chances of being selected. When called on, ask a specific prepared question that puts the onus on him to answer. It can be a long question including lots of statistics/facts. You will not be interrupted from reading a solid question. If you ramble on too long without a focus, you will be stopped. After the Rep answers, or more likely diverts or dodges, be prepared with a follow-up - take the initiative and you will be able to follow-up. The balance of the group should applaud when the question is asked, further putting the Rep on the defensive. If the Rep tries a particularly odious diversion, someone from the group should yell out to answer the question. These tactics will clearly rattle the Rep and illustrate some degree of his ineptness to the balance of the audience.

And so the riff continues...