Members of the Oath Keepers militia had planned an “indefinite protest” outside of Rep. Maxine Waters’ (D-California) district office, but nobody showed up.
Well, that’s not entirely true — dozens of Rep. Waters’ supporters came out to counter-protest and protect their Congresswoman.
KABC in Los Angeles reported that despite the intense July heat, counter-protesters continued their planned demonstration as scheduled even though the Oath Keepers no-showed.
Lol you chickenshits bailed 😂😂😂😂
— leonardo (@leonard63166839) July 19, 2018
— Sara Sidner (@sarasidnerCNN) July 19, 2018
A white supremacist militia group called The Oath Keepers planned to stage an intimidation protest in South Central Los Angeles today outside of the office of Maxine Waters. Many Black residents came out, and the Oath Keepers never showed up. I wonder why? pic.twitter.com/4HSx1DXXVa
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) July 19, 2018
Thread update: A couple hundred counter protesters showed up. The Oath Keepers didn't.
— JJ MacNab (@jjmacnab) July 19, 2018
“These organizations are a threat to the community,” said United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers spokesperson Cliff Smith, in reference to the Oath Keepers. “They are a threat to the members of my union. They’re a threat to democracy in general. They’ve represented themselves to promote violence and to promote an agenda that is opposed to the interests of my community.”
Originally, the Oath Keepers — a militia group classified as an “antigovernment movement” by the Southern Poverty Law Center — had planned to launch an ongoing protest presence outside Rep. Waters’ Los Angeles office in response to her outspoken support of Trump administration officials being heckled in public places. After Waters got death threats over her remarks, she doubled down, saying anyone threatening her life “better shoot straight.”
“There’s nothing like a wounded animal,” Waters said at the time.
The call to action posted by the Oath Keepers called on its members — many of whom are former police officers and military veterans — to show up at Waters’ office on Thursday and possibly stay there for “an indefinite time.”
“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 Oath Keepers said of the protest.
Rep. Waters nonetheless issued a statement calling on her supporters to not engage with the militia if they did show up.
“The Oath Keepers would like nothing more than to inflame racial tensions and create an explosive conflict in our community,” Waters stated. “In order to ensure the peace and security of our community, it is best and preferable if no other demonstrations are scheduled.”
Scott Alden is a freelance contributor covering national politics, education, and environmental issues. He is a proud Toledo University graduate, and lives in the suburbs of Detroit.