In response to California Rep. Maxine Waters' calling for her supporters to harass members of the Trump administration in public, the Oath Keepers have called for their members to show up at her offices in protest. And they're going to stay as long as it takes.
The Oath Keepers, the nation’s largest and most influential antigovernment militia, is planning an “ongoing” protest at California Rep. Maxine Waters' congressional offices in Los Angeles beginning Thursday.
The protest is scheduled to last only a few hours on Thursday, but organizers have left plans open-ended with the possibility to continue for “an indefinite time” if needed.
“This is both a protest against Maxine Waters’ incitement of terrorism, and a stand FOR ICE and the Border Patrol, as they enforce the perfectly constitutional immigration and naturalization laws of this nation,” the call-to-action posted on Tuesday read.
We invite all patriotic supporters of the Constitution to join us in standing up against leftist attempts to impede the securing of our borders through intimidation and terrorism, and to stand in support of our brave ICE and Border Patrol agents who work to secure the border. Other patriotic groups are welcome to participate in this protest, so long as they support the Constitution and do not discriminate on racial lines.
The announcement makes no request or prohibition against Oath Keepers’ bringing weapons.
The call-to-action comes in response to a statement last month by Waters, a California Democrat. She encouraged her supporters to publicly confront and harass members of the Trump administration after it announced a “zero tolerance” policy at the border that separated children from their migrant parents as part of a now rescinded policy of deterrence.
"Let's make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere. We've got to get the children connected to their parents," Waters said on June 23.
The planned protest is also the latest example of an important shift for the Oath Keepers, whose heavily armed members have appeared at times of political and social unrest. In 2014, Oath Keepers were part of an armed standoff with the federal government with Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy, and members flexed their paramilitary muscle in Ferguson, Missouri, guarding local businesses and patrolling the streets.
Since President Trump’s inauguration, however, the group has turned its attention both to defending members of the racist “alt-right” during public appearances and defense of the U.S. border with Mexico. The shift was accompanied by a turn in the group’s rhetoric.
Earlier this year, in a conference call encouraging members to stand armed guard outside of schools in the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February, the focus quickly turned to frantic concerns of a coming civil war. On the call, Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes warned that some places of the country like California have already fallen to what another speaker on the call called a “deep state coup against Trump.”
“If [the left] can contain Trump long enough until he’s gone, then they will win all the marbles,” Rhodes said. “If they can change the [ethnic] demographics enough to pack the vote, they get a lock on power.”
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