Saturday, April 24, 2010

Where do we go from Gravelly Point? Here's a hint: All civil war is local.

"All politics is local." -- Tip O'Neill, long-time Massachusetts Congressman and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

"All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war." -- Billy Beck, August 2009.

Both of the above statements are true. The fusion of these truths is also true:

"All civil war is local." -- Mike Vanderboegh, 19 April 2010.

The British Special Air Service has a creed: "Who Dares, Wins."

On the 19th of April, Daniel Almond and the happy few, the hardy band of brothers and sisters who rallied with him in Fort Hunt and Gravelly Point national parks in northern Virginia, dared and won.

We proved the concept. You can "shake your guns in the tyrant's face" lawfully, peaceably yet defiantly and get away with it without incident. So much of the run-up to this march was filled with folks who seemed to embody the dictum of foolishness I first learned from my grandfather: "When in peril, or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout." Some folks not only did that, but flapped their arms while doing it.

There's no point in singling out any individual in particular other than the LaRouchies, who are verminous barking moonbats on their best of days. In retrospect, it must be acutely embarrassing for them and their stooge, the bald-faced liar Walter Reddy of the so-called "Committee's of Safety" as well as those board-members of a certain organization who were spooked by them into withdrawing from the RTC rally after first committing to it.

(Their new theme song, Groucho Marx's "Hello, I must be going." -- "Hello, I must be going, I cannot stay, I came to say, I must be going. I’m glad I came, but just the same I must be going.")

There was no provocation.

There was no blood bath.

Nothing except an excellent proof of concept by a determined minority who did not take counsel of their fears.

If the LaRouchies are right (and they're not, not on this or any other thing) the British Secret Service is wasting their money on this alleged "Agent of the Queen of England."

In the brief after-action, those of us privy to the whole thing from start to finish rated it a 95% success against tall odds.

First, the publicity was astounding. In truth, "the whole world was watching." And we didn't just get reasonable treatment (defined as being quoted correctly and having our names spelled right, which is about as much as you can expect these days) from the foreign press but from the "state-run media" as well. This was not just accidental. There was considerable effort on RTC's part to give the press complete access to us before the event and to use those small contacts we had buried deep within the press corps to as great an advantage as possible.

Second, though the turnout was light, considering the disinformation campaign and the palpable fear that it whipped up in the folks who otherwise might have come, it was enough. As I told reporters that day, history is made by determined minorities and we demonstrated that we were such a determined minority.

Third, Daniel Almond's strategic vision was validated. The spectre of an "armed march on Washington," as it was characterized, following hard upon the Window War, seized the imaginations of the chattering class such as Rachel Madcow and Chris Matthews. This gave us an extra boost in publicity. By contrast, the March on Washington, which readers may remember I also supported, was a rather blase, humdrum event after the many such rallies and marches over the past nine months. The RTC rally "sucked all the oxygen" out of the press room for them, and 2AM organizer Skip Coryell (another fellow who committed to speak at RTC and then backed out) denounced the Virginia events as "a public relations nightmare" in USA Today. I can understand his frustration, though I do not agree with it, because,

Fourth, these rallies came at the end of a long spate of events centered in the nation's capitol. People on our side, from the Tea Parties to the Second Amendment activists, are just plain exhausted -- in body, in economic resources and, in some ways, in spirit. DC is at the end of a long logistical tail for most folks. We are in the middle of what will later be acknowledge to be a depression -- and yet people came. They came from California, for crying out loud. It was on a work day (and almost all of our folks work for a living) -- and yet people came.

Larry Pratt at Gravelly Point.

Fifth, the rallies created positive synergies among the participants. We return from these events having made personal links with folks, some from our own states, some from adjoining states. Leaders were revealed, first and foremost among them Daniel Almond, who emerges from this with the opportunity to grasp the mantle of a national leader in the Liberty movement if he so chooses. Other older leaders were highlighted, among them my old friend Bob Wright of New Mexico, whose two speeches on different topics and his leadership on the ground impressed many who had never heard him or seen him in action. I will be posting his speeches as soon as the links are sent to me. And other leaders of the Second Amendment movement also burnished their reputations simply by having the guts to speak when all others took counsel of their fears and fled. Among these were Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America and David Codrea of War on Guns.

Sixth, and last, despite all the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the peanut gallery, there was not only no violence from us, there was none from the counter-demonstrators, nor any from us reacting to them. (Although I must confess that the appearance of two anarchists at the press conference who sat in the back, took copious notes about the plans of the rallies but didn't ask a question, gave me some concern. Yet, when notified, the USPP predicted that they would not be a problem and they weren't.)

The strenuous efforts of Daniel and the volunteer marshals -- all the site recon and planning, the close coordination with USPP, and finally the superb execution on that day, proved that we could demonstrate armed without anyone getting stupid, rash, or worse, hurt. The spectacle of the Brady Bunch's Helmke standing at the fringe of the RTC rally at Gravelly Park, snidely insulting us, but at the same time desperate for publicity (perversely basking in our reflected glow), put the lie to his previous statements that we were a disaster waiting to happen. Ask yourself: If he really believed we were a danger, would he have risked his precious ass to be close to us? Not hardly. My coming over and bracing him was icing on the cake. He had already discredited his own meme by his mere presence.

So, we proved the concept, but all of us, exhausted afterward, agreed that we didn't want to do another one anytime soon. We are exhausted not only in body and mind but in money. No one funded us like Skip Coryell's march, unless you include the bills run up by several key RTC supporters that are coming out of their own pockets.

So, that said, let us return to the question: Where do we go from Gravelly Point?

Many folks, including Daniel, are still decompressing from the stress of the event, and that includes me too. But while I have my bloody feet propped up, I can still write and I'm thinking along the lines of Tip O'Neill's & Billy Beck's dictums: All civil war is local.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if Three Percenters and other Open Carry and Second Amendment activists started doing this in their local areas? Who doesn't have some federal park land available for a repeat of RTC in their state. And how many more could we attract to events that were within driving distance, that didn't require massive travel and hotel costs? What if we were able to pull off mini-RTC's in every state, fifty of them within, say, the next six months?

I will have more about this theme of "All civil war is local" in the coming weeks. But let us, in addition to the "We Are Everywhere" campaign, in addition to decorative messages of "NO!" on anything and everything, try to bring off local RTC's throughout the country.

All you folks who wished to be at Fort Hunt and Gravelly Point but couldn't because of timing or resources, this is your chance.



dennis308 said...

Hope you don´t mind but I just forwarded your post to most of my local network we will be discussing this at our next event.Thank you for the idea.Be careful with your feet I don´t need to warn you about the risks of infection with diabetes.

P.S. God Bless

Taylor H said...

Excellent article and a great idea!

DB said...

"(Although I must confess that the appearance of two anarchists at the press conference who sat in the back, took copious notes about the plans of the rallies but didn't ask a question, gave me some concern. Yet, when notified, the USPP predicted that they would not be a problem and they weren't.)"

And why should they have been a problem? As anarchists they desire the absence of government NOT chaos. The direction of less government which we all desire is the direction they want to head. The only difference is that they will continue to fight for a reduction of government long after you stop. You should realize the anarchists are in fact good ally's of the freedom movement.

aughtsix said...

Fifty state capitols, 100 or so folks at each open carry rally for practice... culminating in those five thousand marching armed on the Senate during the "State" of the Union sham.

Now that would get their attention.

Hey, I can dream, can't I?

However short of that grand vision we may fall,

Press On Regardless!!


Atlas Shrug said...

As I posted over at the WRAS blog (comment to "5 by 5" post), responding to one of the ubiquitous Anonymous folks who asked:

"How did this event help to restore the Constitution?"

My Answer:

By initiating a crack in the dam of Statism. This crack will grow, spread, and foster other cracks that grow on their own. No legion of little Dutch boys will be able to stop it, no matter how many of them their masters send out. It is over.

Keep your powder dry,

Atlas Shrug

PS Will be working on some local implementation here in Raleigh NC. Anyone else interested should join in!

Anonymous said...

While the numbers may have been small, in a way, that was good. It made the logistics much easier to manage. This is a good thing for a first time event, as there is always a learning curve on the part of everyone. We can't do such event in NC due to the carry law, if I remember correctly. What are the laws in TN and SC? Also, us NC guys can travel to southern VA easily, as well.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff but one correction: while Jimmy Durante may have sung the song as well, "I must be going" is Groucho's from "Animal Crackers"along with his theme song "Capt Spaulding".

Dutchman6 said...

You're quite right. I'll change it.

tom said...

haven't found anything in nc state law on open carry that would get in our way of having our own rally in guilford battleground nat park, maybe sometime in mid august. hot and muggy, may just be a saturday afternoon event. still in planning stage. lot's of potential speakers here. lots of local folks could attend. will have to get with daniel about some of the finer details (insurance?). will keep you posted.

Dakota said...

I posted this on the Oath Keepers event blog under the RTC banner. They have been catching hell on it since they didn't show up in VA. I went back an hour or two later and I guess that was the final straw .... that thread was removed.

Now they have their own function on 11 Sept in D C which I explained to them I will "not" be attending.

Anonymous said...


This is the issue I found in the possibility of carry in NC law. That said, I will contact the NC Atty Gen about open carry. That may be permissible.

Anonymous said...

Thought I'd share some of the video/photos I took while at ther Potomic with y'all.

Randy's Right
Raleigh, NC

Phil in Ohio said...

Hey guys! I went to this rally on saturday in Campbell Ohio , a small little burg outside of Youngstown . It was cold and some snow and lite rain was falling so i left the rifle in my vehicle . (now i wont have to clean it). Here s the link . Now city council backed off and reversed their decision. We are winning bit by bit but we need to stay focused and not let any dis-believers sway us from our course. It would have been nice to have a few more people at Ft Hunt and Gravelly Point, but then I wouldn't have got so much airtime..

doubletrouble said...

Instead of just "NO", how about "Oh, HELL no!".

I really liked your inclusion of that phrase in your speech; it hits home in context.

Keep up the good work...

Kyle said...

@ Dakota:
I was, up until a month or so ago, the Regional Director of Southern California and Sgt-at-Arms of California. I left my post(s) partly because of the deletion of "questionable threads". Oath Keepers has to keep as squeaky clean as possible since they are trying to attract active LEOs and military; if the DOJ or DOD decide the Oath Keepers is too "extreme", they can make associating with OK a punishable offense. I don't do political correctness very well, so I had to leave. I have not met any of the board of directors but I have talked to a few and I have serious reservations about a few of them. I believe Stewart Rhodes cannot dare to step into a bolder role that would jeopardize OK's ability to reach, teach, and inspire these active public servants to honor the Oath they took to the Constitution.
I am not trying to make excuses for OK, but I was knee deep in leadership and I have had the opportunity to speak both face-to-face and on the phone with gut tells me he is a good man and a true Patriot.
That's my 2 cents worth...I know you didn't ask for it :)

jon said...

i'm reading what some new england republicans had to say about their participation in DC.

basically what i see is 1) complaints about the NRA 2) denigration of christians that showed up and weren't afraid to show it with signs/flags 3) high-def photography of the lincoln monument 4) congratulating each other for exercising a civil right. don't get me wrong: fair enough, if that's all they want in life, take it.

so while i agree with everything you have to say here, in fact i'm thinking what you're thinking at least on points 1 through 4, myself and my fellow grey men up here have to adopt a somewhat different strategy from what is recommended. in fact at least one is largely of the opinion that what i did with y'all in VA will only be met with scorn from the fudds within and will not be productive -- though he congratulated me for having the energy to go do it. i am not inclined to agree, but i don't have any bright ideas yet.

kenlowder said...

Texas is open carry for long guns and you can even carry concealed into the capital building as some deeply distrubed democrats found out when a disturbed individual proved a few weeks back. You will find that most folks of the patriotic movement are afraid to carry guns to the tea party rallies like that gentelman did in Arizona last year. I suggested we do that when obuma came to give a speach in Collage Station a few months ago and you should have seen the heck I caught. It seems that the fight ends prior to showing that you have the means to do so.

Ken Lowder,

Brutus said...

What that means...

Ok'ers can not hold peace ... er, law enforcement officers, and military personnel, accountable to the constitution and the "oath" that they took to uphold and defend it. Anyone who attempts to hold these people accountable and who will not take Bull Shit from those who need to be held accountable ... will sooner or later be banned from OK'ers.

As I always say ... if a government functionary can not and will not be held accountable to, and obey the constitution ... he/she sure as hell is not going to obey the 10 OK'ers holy writ when it comes to crunch time.

Heck, it happens all the time NOW ... what makes anyone think that it won't get any worse when their master says jump?

For example, most of us are aware of the shenanigans that goes on with the TSA. And just who IS the arresting force behind the TSA? Well ... of course it is peace ... er, law enforcement officers.

Just a small example of MANY:

Yea, yea ... "It's the LAW and I just enforce the LAW. If you don't like it, go vote out the person who made the LAW. Don't hold me accountable for enforcing the LAW. I may not like the LAW, but who am I to not enforce the LAW. Blah, blah, blah."

I am sure Stewart means well. But what the hell is the 10 OK'ers holy writ ... WITHOUT ... obeying the constitution?

Kyle said...

Oath Keepers isn't the solution, and that is why I have moved on (and a couple of my former OK leadership brethren as well). Oath Keepers has its place, I am trying like hell to be PC here which is foolhardy but I don't want to besmirch Stewart Rhodes...Oath Keepers is only going to reach the military (IMHO), the Law Enforcement Officers will continue to carry out their ONLY ONE behavior and a very small handful will honor their Oaths. Most of the cops I saw in OK talked the Patriot talk but balked at standing down to "certain things" which let me know they would gladly Enforce the Law regardless of right V wrong. There was one cop in particular who was one of US...not the ONLY I struggle to not view them all as scumbag criminals.
Personally, I think the OKers 10 Holy Writ is a litmus test to sort out who has potential V who doesn't. If even just a handful of the active duty OKers take the time to discover what it is they swore an Oath to defend, I'll call that good and those who didn't...let's call them cannon fodder. But let us not place the mantle of responsibility on their shoulders to remedy the cluster fuck we are in...that duty belongs to We the People. With that being said, and with a SHTF scenario, I'd like to see OKers stand down to tyrannical orders and then join the fun aside John Q. Public as citizens themselves. That's just my take on things...since a military coup is not what we are after here.

restoretheconstitution said...

I was there, and am back home exhausted in every way imaginable. Even though I was laid off in January, I thought the cause was worthwhile enough to suffer the 15 hour drive there, bug bites in the hotel room, an attempted break in at the hotel, etc.

For those that sacrificed so much along with me to make it to the historical RTC event, we succeeded. Death threats, moonbat appearance, annoying Fed heli flyover be damned, we did it.

I'll be in touch with local like-minded folks to try and find a place to pull this off here in FL. Should be....challenging.

- A Patriot

Concerned American said...

Good recap.

Suggest, along with rallies, the commencement of public training sessions as well. Heck, you can leverage Gabe Suarez' existing structure as follows:

1) Contact Gabe and see what courses are available in your 1/2 tank operating radius;

2) When know, PUBLICLY advertise a group buy of his course(s) -- i.e, ads in local papers, etc.

3) Execute and reiterate

Start here:

Anonymous said...

All freedom is local, too. If you have 20 people willing to spend $1,000 putting on a publicity event, perhaps they'd rather invest it in an freedom-providing business? Imagine a doctor or dentist delivering walk-in emergency healthcare by driving their van of equipment and supplies to the customer's house. Once there, they set broken bones, take X-rays, close wounds, do minor surgeries, make dentures, fill cavities. Maybe do lab tests to maintain patients with chronic problems. A van offers less of a fixed location to raid or inspect or license, and it's easier to remove supplies and machines before an inspection that would reveal how extensive the practice is. Google lodge doctor to see how the finances historically worked for Americans doing their own health care insurance, before the AMA got it banned to raise the costs of healthcare.