Day of Resistance Rally (VIDEOS)
While the Anchorage Legislative Caucus was hearing citizens’ testimony at the library, another group was meeting at the Park Strip downtown. Coordinating with demonstrations across the nation, Anchorage held a “Day of Resistance” rally. There were about a hundred attendees, with numerous flags of the American, Alaskan, and Snake variety.
I doubted I’d see many progressive Democrats here, so I thought to myself, “You’ve got the House. You’ve got the Senate. You’ve got the Governor… What the hell are you resisting? You should be embracing, I should be resisting!” But there is one thing they do not have.
A small glossy flyer advertising the event attempted to explain the purpose of the rally.
“In response to these unconstitutional acts by the President, on .223, February 23, 2013, the American people will stand together in defiance to protect the right that protects ALL of our rights, the 2nd Amendment!”
It still didn’t explain which “unconstitutional acts” were to be defied, but the national organizers website pointed to the President’s 23 executive orders dealing with gun control measures, in the wake of the Sandy Hook mass shooting in Connecticut.
For those unfamiliar, “.223″ refers to a caliber of ammunition familiar to most gun owners. In addition to matching up with the date 2/23, and the 23 gun control measures, it also happens to be the type of ammunition used in both the Sandy Hook, and Aurora, Colorado, shootings. I expected rally goers to be representing conservatives, Christians, Republicans, sovereign citizens, 2nd Amendment enthusiasts, and various combinations of these groups.
At a breezy 18 degrees, Mother Nature was not friendly to an outdoor rally, but the intrepid resistors braved the elements to hear several scheduled speakers including former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman, Assemblyman Adam Trombley, and former Libertarian candidate for governor Bob Bird.
There were rallies across the state from Fairbanks to Wasilla, to Juneau. Several sitting legislators attended the Juneau rally, hosted by the Alaszka Citizens Militia, unfazed by publicly pallin’ around with the militia. This is the group on the Kenai Peninsula, headed by Norm Olson co-founder of the Michigan Militia who has since relocated to Nikiski. Sens. Lesil McGuire, John Coghill, Fred Dyson, and Pete Kelly attended and spoke to the crowd. Currently, Schaeffer Cox and leaders of his Fairbanks militia are serving jail time for conspiracy to murder federal agents and officers of the court, and illegal weapons charges. Even in the wake of these recent events, the Senators were not gun shy (if you will) about associating with militia organizations on the steps of the capitol.
As I crossed the snowy park, organizer Kathleen Tonn was offering a prayer, and a couple Kindergarten-aged children recited the Pledge of Allegiance in the typical sing-songy way kids do. The resistors numbered about a hundred. A group from Grace Christian School sang the Star Spangled Banner as I unpacked my gear. Event organizer Kathleen Tonn announced that each speaker had five minutes, and that we were going to go “fast, furious and passionately.” Alright. Fast and furious it is! (Am I the only one who caught that?)
I often find at these events that the organizer who does the introduction is often the most animated, and passionate speaker, and best encapsulates the spirit of the event.
“What does “liberty” really really mean? We are entertaining the notion of freedom as a free people. We can only be free when we understand that there are duties, obligations, and responsibilities that come along with freedom. And in keeping with that, there are duties, obligations, and responsibilities as citizens of the United States of America in order to maintain our liberty. And that question today we are discussing is the issue of the 2nd Amendment, and the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with hunting, per se. It has everything to do with national defense and protection of our families and of our individual person. And we know that presently, the federal government, and even some state governments are trying to impose regulations that would limit our ability to bear, and bear arms.
And I’m thinking about Todd Evans who was injured in the Columbine shooting back in 1999. Even with his injuries, and even at the loss of so many young people in that shooting, he recognizes that gun laws are not going to stop violence. In fact, gun laws actually are advantageous to those who are bent on destruction, and violence. And gun laws hurt the individual citizens, and so today when I’m thinking about freedom, and you’re thinking about freedom, and you’re thinking about liberty, and I’m thinking about liberty, I say that every one of us – every American citizen has to put their foot down on over-reaching acts of the federal government that want to hinder the second amendment.
And I’m just wanting every American citizen to realize that it doesn’t take long for encroachment to come in, and snatch our very rights. And what motivates me to even be at this rally is the fact that our kids, and our little kids… could suffer dire in the future if we as adults are not doing what we’re supposed to do to safeguard their future, and our Bill of Rights, and our Constitution. Those little children who did the Pledge of Allegiance are leaders, even at age 4 and 5, and they need to be knowledgeable that there are rights in this country, and there are responsibilities that they are going to have to pay attention to, and also step into leadership roles and monitor those rights. No child should be held in a vacuum! We are supposed to be role models for them, and we’re supposed to protect their future, and that’s basically all I have to say.”
Then it was former Lt. Governor Loren Leman’s turn. He was Governor Frank Murkowski’s wingman. While Frank was busy lighting cigars for oil execs on his private jet, Leman was free to polish the state seal, and focus on matters of morality. He talked about the 2nd Amendment, and the immorality of debt, and the “burden of social dysfunction.” This included leading the nation in domestic violence, sexual abuse, and teen suicide. But wait, there’s more…
“And then there are the other dysfunctions that are tearing down the very moral fabric of our society – abortion on demand, the redefinition of marriage. These are things that are tearing down the very fabric of our society, and we need to fight that. What can you do? Stand up. Speak up. Assert your First Amendment rights like you are doing today.
“And we need to unelect those in office who holds these values and we need to elect people who will advance these values and do it well.”
Because what’s a pro-Second Amendment rally without abortion,and hatin’ on the gays a little bit?
Next up, Assemblyman Adam Trombley from the fairly Democratic East side of Anchorage. Looks like Mr. Trombley has been studying a little Ayn Randin his spare time, and after running it through in front of the mirror, is ready to read his term paper to the class.
It has been aptly said that what has made this state a hell on Earth is precisely the fact that man has tried to make it his heaven. When we are promised if we simply accept a new freedom – the freedom from necessity, and the equal outcome of results, that the world will soften and a brighter day is sure to come. We know where this road leads. It leads to bureaucracies being the owners of poverty, and the factors of production – where the masses value outcomes over opportunity, and where entrepreneurism is ostracized and criticized. And it’s simple, because the history of human civilization has been a never-ending battle between those who want to live their lives as independent of other men, and those who want to live their lives on the backs of other men. And it’s eternal that battle is woven into the very fabric of human existence. And because of that we have to remain vigilant.
Yes, you’re either a good Libertarian, or a complete parasite. There is no room in Adam Trombley’s world for those who want to live in community with others. So, we’ll be expecting Mr. Trombley to reconcile his life with his world vision, and start building his own roads and bridges, galloping his local mail via horseback, and signing over his permanent fund dividend checks to the oil companies. Next!
Gravel-voiced Libertarian History teacher, and former candidate Bob Bird always gets the crowd going by citing historical examples in an adrenaline-filled way. He’s like the Dead Poet’s Society professor only for the Tea Party. His cause of the moment is “nullification” getting rid of laws that violate the Constitution, or at least the right’s view of it.
He started off by talking about House Bill 69 which will exempt Alaska from any future federal gun legislation, and make it a crime for federal agents to enforce that law. Dragging the FBI to the clink. What could go wrong? This bill would pass on Monday, but Bird was talking it up at the weekend rally. He also talked about HB83 which is coming down the road shortly.
“House Speaker Mike Chenault changed it from a misdemeanor to a felony because people emailed him and said, ”put some teeth into that pit bull!” (HB69) and he did. What is HB83? It is sponsored by Wes Keller. He is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and Wes says that he can put together a legislative committee and look at ALL the unconstitutional things that need to be nullified. I’m afraid my list will be much longer than Wes’s, but it’s the beginning that we need to have right now…”
He did admit, though, that “when you look at American history you will see that nullification depends on what side of the issue you are on.”
After the scheduled speakers had their five minutes, the mic was opened up to anyone wanting to have a soap box moment. There were a few, including Peter Goldmam who I believe introduced himself as the new Vice Chair of the Republican Party in Alaska. This is quite possible, as a new Vice Chair was supposed to have been picked recently after the old guard of Corrupt Bastards ousted the new Tea Party president for supposedly not raising funds. He’s a retired Colonel who started off stating that he’d taken an oath:
“…to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and DO-MES-TIC… I think we’ve got a few domestic enemies we need to defend against. I found a lot of encouragement here today… I’m going to give you a little pitch. The Alaska Republican Party needs you too. We need your time, we need your money, we’ve got to keep the office open. Somebody’s got to pay us to send out those flyers and ballot applications. Be part of the solution if you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem.”
That was the first time I got the willies. It was a good time to pack up and head to my warm car. My fingers had gotten so cold by this point that I almost fumbled my video camera right into the snow. Back I trudged, past a few homemade signs, down the path that had been stomped to the parking area. Bob Bird was rolling up the Second Amendment banner he’d brought, and there was a folding table with a half dozen frozen donuts.
As I got ready to open the car, I could still hear the tinny, amplified voices floating over the snow, and got a parting view.
“Patriots and Americans have bled for this flag! We need to remember this. We need to negotiate as much as possible. We need to exercise restraint. And we need to pray. We need to pray that this country does not fall into anarchy. We need to pray that we do not fire the first shot, but if it comes down to it, we fire the last.”
And I heard them exclaim as I drove out of sight, “Merry Resistance to all, and to all a good fight.”