The Battle of the Mimes looks pretty silly in many ways. But beneath the makeup and balloons, the SEIU's "silencing campaign" on Sunday showed a lot about the ability and willingness of one of the biggest money/muscle partners of the pro-amnesty forces to use well-orchestrated intimidation to keep debate from happening.
Perhaps surprising was that the main intent was not so much to silence me but to silence their pro-amnesty marchers. Once the Park Police finally required that the marchers be given the right to speak to us, we could see why SEIU didn't want them to be heard. Pretty radical stuff.
The young woman/mime who brought the false charges against my body guard now acknowledges in an on-line audio interview that she was part of an elaborate effort to keep any conversation from happening.
And that pretty much describes the pro-amnesty philosophy which generally considers name-calling to be the highest form of intellectual activity on the immigration issue -- even in the mainstream large national entities such as the Huffington Post, Center for American Progress and the National Council of La Raza.
This non-stop slandering, libeling, intimidating presence by the open-borders groups has become common nearly every place NumbersUSA appears now. The open-borders groups have an incredible fear of NumbersUSA's grassroots mobilizing influence. They are expending large sums of foundation money that is targeted specifically at attacking us and some of our allies.
But the difference when the open-borders agitators show up at events where I have been invited to speak is that I give them the floor or microphone and let them say their piece and ask their questions (make their accusations).
OUR PRESENCE WAS ALWAYS QUIET, POLITE AND UNOBTRUSIVE -- SEIU WANTED A COMMOTION
On Sunday, however, they were not so gracious when I showed up at their party on the National Mall. Like a good guest, I had let the march organizers know in advance that I would be visiting. I also announced through various news media that I was discouraging anti-amnesty enthusiasts from doing any kind of counter-protest on the Mall because I felt the pro-amnesty forces should get their very expensive day of free speech without disruptions.
Hilarious to anybody who has ever known me or the NumbersUSA style -- or who watches even the videos taken by the pro-amnesty folks and posted on the pro-amnesty blogs -- the claim is that the SEIU and Center for New Community heard I was coming and had to organize to prevent me from physically threatening the marchers and starting fights!
I think you got the picture. Into a field of 60,000 to 100,000 pro-amnesty marchers -- with no counter-protestors in sight anywhere -- I walked with six of my colleagues. And the SEIU felt threatened.
However, unlike when they attend my events, I had announced widely beforehand that we had no intention of disrupting anything and were just going to interview marchers willing to be interviewed.
But the SEIU plan was to create incredible commotion every place I went -- and then, of course, blame us for the commotion. As you can see from the videos, my conversations with marchers in all but one case had the audible level of a pin drop at that event.
SEIU DROWNS OUT PRAYERS AND PREACHERS
The SEIU and Center for New Community theatre was so intent on trying to provoke an outbreak that it succeeded in drowning out most of the homilies and prayers during the interfaith religious service that led off the event.
I was standing perhaps 50 feet from the clerics just trying to listen to the worship service. This so enraged the march organizers that they incited scores of people around me to start explosive chants to accompany their whistle blowing so that virtually nobody in the front section could hear anything being said during the prayers right there in front of us.
But as much as the SEIU didn't want me to hear the religious leaders, it REALLY didn't want me to hear voices from the overwhelmingly Latino crowd.
As you saw in our live video feeds on Sunday and will see in short videos we will be posting, the SEIU and Center for New Community "silencers" totally bewildered one Latino marcher after another who sought to talk to us but were shouted and whistled down by the Silencers.
MOST MARCHERS WERE QUITE HONEST ABOUT THEIR TRULY OPEN-BORDERS PREFERENCES
SIEU responded with lawyers and thugs to try to stop us from talking with the marchers. Why?
Because they knew what we were going to find -- a truly open-borders philosophy that is repugnant to the vast majority of the American voters and a philosophy that is vehemently denied by the politicians pushing for more and more foreign workers in our economy.
The Silencers succeeded in keeping us from hearing that message until they incited so much potential violence against us that the Park Police were forced to move us out of the area for our protection.
Once across the street, the police ordered the mimes and their handlers to cease their intimidating, silencing tactics. Everywhere we had gone earlier in the day, the SEIU handlers stopped each person who started to talk to us and commanded them not to speak to us. When various of these Latino marchers persisted in talking to us, the SEIU Silencers (who all seemed to be White, interestingly) would incite the crowd to loud chants to drown out any conversation, and the balloon ladies would insert their white-gloved hands, white-coated mugs and omnipresent balloons into the faces of the Latino marchers. All a strange sight. But we ARE talking about mimes.
Well, once the police ordered a stop to the SEIU intimidation of the marchers, we were inundated by people wanting to talk to us and debate us.
And then, we discovered that the predominant sentiment was that it is wrong for the United States to have borders.
It is wrong for the United States to limit the ability of anybody in the world from coming here to take a job. And it would be wrong for the government to give priority to the 25 million unemployed and forced-part-time American workers (including immigrants already here legally) over people here illegally.
PARK POLICE MOVED US FROM RALLY AREA BECAUSE OF THREATS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST US
When I was first approached by the Police to leave the march area and move across the street into a virtually empty area that had been set up for counter-protestors who never showed up, I argued that I had done nothing to lose my free assembly rights to walk around the staging area.
But Rosemary Jenks, our director of government relations and a lawyer, quickly learned from the police that the mimes brigade and their SEIU handlers had so stirred many of the marchers to a mob-like hysteria about our presence that the police had heard direct threats of violence against us and were intent on protecting our safety.
By the way, some observers have wondered if there wasn't a bit of falsely yelling "fire" in a crowded theater throughout the event.
When we were in the middle of the crowd (which appeared to be about 90% Latino), people around began directing the crowd's attention to us and saying that "they hate Latinos" and "they are white supremacists."
The mimes themselves had been trained well in the art of disruptiveness to incite some kind of physical response back at them. This tactic has some parallel with torture techniques that don't leave marks on the body. If you read through the open-borders blog sites, you will see some pretty clever writing ridiculing the idea that some small white women in greasepaint and surrounded by balloons could be anything but annoying. I be mistaken but I think some of the blogs are challenging my manhood that I could possibly have been intimidated by these little women. But I will tell you that hours of having whistles (I don't care what shape or quality) in your ears is more than disorienting and is a great way to push a person to finally slug the whistler. That certainly was what they had hoped.
Although we were plenty happy to pop balloons that were constantly shoved into our faces and into the camera lens, we did not give the angry and physical response that the march organizers had hoped to provoke. So, racial taunts were next used. Two of our friends who came to the march to assist me in case we encountered some lone wolf problem marcher were Black (well, one is actually Latino, Black and American Indian -- but the Silencers crowd all assumed he was just Black). The people around the mime ladies shouted at them for being Black. Our Black colleagues were accused of being my slaves, of assisting the KKK, and other epithets to try to rattle them.
The last thing that the Silencers -- or apparently this giant SEIU union -- seemed to care about are the unemployed. The very mention of the unemployed sent people into a rage. Certainly a common theme that we found among the marchers was that unemployed Americans just don't have a good enough work ethic to deserve the jobs -- or that the American way is that U.S. citizens shouldn't have to do lower-skilled labor, that it is beneath them. And apparently any American who still seeks lower-skilled jobs is betraying the American dream.
A FINAL EFFORT AT SILENCING WITH AN ASSAULT CHARGE
When the SEIU efforts at Silencing finally failed and the police protected our right of free listening, the Silencers had one last trick in their bag. A mime filed a charge against one of my guards alleging an assault that had supposedly occured several hours earlier. Strange how that timing worked out, eh?
On her on-line audio tape, she claims the presence of a knife, a complete fabrication. The poor park police had no choice but follow procedures, including a pat-down for the non-existant knife.
The false charge trick was somewhat effective in that it tied up a lot of videotape from being webcast for some time.
But once NumbersUSA was actually allowed to listen in on the opinions of marchers and for us to be the ears for average Americans deeply concerned about the unemployed of our communities, all the efforts at Silencing had really only succeeded in revealing a very ugly side to the amnesty movement.
In the end, we realized that the Silencing was not aimed at keeping us quiet but at keeping the SEIU's pro-amnesty colleagues -- especially their own union members, I suspect -- quiet.
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA
Updated: Tue, Mar 23rd 2010 @ 3:49pm EDT