Street Corner "Tea Party" - Studio City, CA on April 11, 2009
This past Saturday, while driving to the bookstore with my wife and daughter, I came across a street corner protest at the intersection of Ventura Blvd. and Laurel Canyon in the part of Los Angeles known as Studio City.
And so while my wife and daughter were in the shop, I grabbed my camera and walked over to have a closer look.
Sure enough, it was a "Tea Party"…albeit, a small one. I counted 28 people.
I’ve been hearing a lot about these "Tea Parties" lately. Ideally, they are gatherings of ordinary Americans coming together to protest against the massive deficit spending in President Barack Obama’s so called "Stimulus Package" and Federal Budget, as well as the various government subsidized "bail-outs" of banks and other corporations deemed "too big to fail". I did not vote for Barack Obama, and I sympathize whole-heartedly with the intention of these protests, yet I also know from experience that street demonstrations are nearly always taken over by nuts and extremists, leaving ordinary people in the background…or worse, frightening them away entirely. And so, I was not surprised as I walked through this small street side demonstration to see that nearly everyone involved was what I would describe as a "kook".
The first thing I noticed was that at least half of the placards that the protestors were waving at the passing traffic were concerned, not with government spending, taxes or corporate bail-outs, but with conspiracy theories - most prominently, but not restricted to, Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
This woman stood at the center of the protest with a small megaphone in her hand ranting and raving endlessly at the passing traffic about Barack Obama’s "vaulted birth certificate".
Here is a small sample of her babbling insanity…
Unlike the leftwing moonbats that I usually photograph, these folks seemed a bit apprehensive and suspicious when I began taking pictures of them and their signs.
I noticed a few women with Hillary Clinton buttons on their shirts. According to their signs, they were PUMAS.
Obama’s "vaulted birth certificate" was not the only conspiracy represented…
There was this lady holding a sign about Poland and the Bird Flu.
And a couple of signs referencing "The Bilderberg Group"
A few folks wore Ron Paul buttons, although they seemed suspicious of me and turned away when I tried to photograph them.
The guy with the "Follow the Money" sign in the following picture was a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. I know this from eavesdropping on his conversation with the woman wearing the pink shirt in the photograph, not from any sign he was holding.
Here are a few more pictures of demonstrators and their signs. These pictures cover nearly everyone present at this small protest during the 30 minutes or so that I was there.
I offer these pictures as a warning to anyone considering joining a "Tea Party" demonstration. Be careful who you associate yourself with. During the Bush years, the media went out of their way to avoid showing the crazies and the extremists that made up a majority of the protestors at anti-war demonstrations. Today, at anti-Obama demonstrations, you can expect them to do exactly the opposite and shine a spotlight on the nuts, kooks and loonies that show up.
I’m not saying don’t participate, I’m just saying be wary.
America needs us to be sane in this increasingly insane world.
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