Arizona "Tea Party Road Trip"
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On July 12, Phoenix, Arizona had its third major political rally in as many weeks to support SB 1070, the tough new immigration law. All three rallies were sponsored and supported by organizations from other states—in particular Texas, California, and Florida. The third rally on June 12 wasn't the lucky charm because by some measures the event was a flop. There were probably no more than 400 people and many of those were from out of town. Lack of support from Arizona residents was palpable, but most importantly the media coverage was almost non-existent.

ABC 15 news was one of the few TV stations that covered the rally. Fortunately, their coverage was positive. Pay attention to the last part of the video report that shows counter-protesters. As mentioned in my blog on the June 5th rally, the advocates for illegal aliens reserved the State Capitol grounds for 60 days, which means it's not available for patriots or anyone else who want to use that area for their own rallies. Hopefully, once SB 1070 goes into effect the Phoenix police will ask those protesters for proof of citizenship so that we can reclaim that area of our state capitol!

It wasn't for lack of trying that the rally failed. The June 12th rally was dubbed the "Tea Party Road Trip" by a coalition of Florida Tea Parties, Tom Tancredo's Team America, and a major immigration reform group called the "Americans for Legal Immigration PAC" (ALIPAC).[ Correction: ALIPAC (a) did not take part in organizing this rally, and (b) is not a major immigration reform group. We regret the error.]

Most of the problems encountered during the June 5th rally were ironed out for the June 12th rally, even though they were sponsored by totally different groups. Like a blessing from heaven, the weather was about 15 degrees cooler than the previous weekend. The sound system was far better and the stage was positioned in a much better location on the east side of the park.

The shortcomings of the park for large gatherings were never an issue because the park can handle small gatherings. In this case, a low attendance was a mixed blessing.

The small but appreciative audience enjoyed themselves and cheered during the speeches. Towards the latter part of the rally a few obnoxious Latino hecklers were blaring anti-American slogans from a megaphone across the street. The hecklers were barely noticed because the powerful PA sound system easily overpowered them. The radicals were put in their place when an unscheduled speaker (who was a native American—Indian native) yelled across the street and challenged them to do the right thing by marching with a United States flag. Almost on cue, several patriots walked across the street to offer them a flag—but they refused to take it. The patriotic crowd roared with indignation!

Shortly before 6 pm the weather was downright pleasant as the sun lowered towards the horizon. Patriots were getting very fired up for the final hour after all the excitement over the flag incident. The rally was scheduled to go from 4-7 pm but just before 6 pm the emcee announced there will be two short speeches and then the rally would end. Many in the crowd were dumbfounded and turned to each other asking what was going on — and people were shaking their heads in disbelief. Nobody seemed to know why the meeting was coming to an early end and most of the audience was clearly disappointed when the emcee gave a short goodbye. Just a few moments later the stage was cleared and the PA system was shut down.

Considering the long drive back to Orlando, nobody could understand what the hurry was. Afterwards I asked the organizer Phil Russo why the schedule was shorted by an hour. He said the crowd looked restless and distracted so he thought it was best to end the show early. That answer took me by surprise! I suspect the real reason has more to do with the frustration many of the Floridians must have felt that their hard work resulted in what could be perceived as a disappointing rally. Sometimes we all tend to place too much importance on the numbers instead of the quality and enthusiasm of these types of events. Another plausible explanation is that the Florida Tea Party was worried about the commotion caused by the flag because they aren't accustomed to such direct conficts with the Open Border fanatics.

Speculation is rampant that low participation was caused by the quarrels between that preceded the event. And, as I explained in an earlier blog the Arizona Tea Parties are toothless tigers. Local organizations did very little to help promote the June 12 rally and during the event the Arizona Tea Parties were nowhere to be found. The lack of local support from Tea Parties is evidence that they are fragmented and lack leadership.

Tom Tancredo should be given credit for being a good sport because he spoke at both rallies.

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