Today, union thugs descended on the FreedomWorks office. It was the middle of the day, and there was some excitement outside as all the buses pulled up and people started to fill the courtyard. We decided to go out and show our support for freedom. Intern Steve was quickly suited up.
We wandered around talking to people, and saw the buses lined up on the street. NEA, AFT, SEIU, and CWA signs dominated - a veritable "who's who" of union thuggery, to be sure. They all had on matching tee shirts and printed signs, as is to be expected.
I was taking pictures and video with my phone, and I heard my coworker getting into a heated exchange with one of the protesters. I turned on my iPhone camera and headed over to film it. They were going back and forth, the protester called my colleague a "little sh*t" just as I walked up, which is where the video starts. Then he noticed I was filming. Here's what happened:
Basically, it's ridiculous. I'm a 5'1 female in a dress, and he was standing up on a garden wall above me in the courtyard. He hardly felt threatened. I was stunned, because generally protesters are there to, you know, get their message out. They don't normally shy away from the camera.
I'm very much okay, and very appreciative of the support from my fellow bloggers and activists today. I am, however, shaken up by the level of sheer hatred I experienced today. The look of fury on his face in the close up is appalling. I had not exchanged a word with him. He didn't know who I was. He didn't even know my name, what I do. He had probably surmised that I was with FreedomWorks and that was enough.
This just can't be tolerated anymore. It's one thing to be called a violent teabagger. It's another to be called a violent teabagger while you're being assaulted. They've been comparing themselves to the Egyptians ousting Mubarak. Looks like they're not too far off, given that they share the tendency to assault women with cameras.
In addition, it's disgusting to me that the first response I received from the Left was rationalization. "You were too close, respect personal space" and "well he obviously didn't want to be filmed!" - essentially, it's the "her skirt was too short" defense. No one deserves to be hit. The concern from a bystander was that "You'll get on the news, stop it!" Unfortunately for him, he did not know who he was dealing with. I will ensure that this happens.
I was not asking for this. There was no confrontation between the thug and myself prior to this. He had not asked me to put the camera away. I was not as close as the video implies (it was cropped from a vertical iPhone video so it would fit on youtube). I was simply filming a protest, as I have done for the past two years. Amazingly enough, none of those crazy right wing extremists ever hit me.
At this point, I'm grateful we moved to a higher security building last month. For a bunch of violent racists, the Left sure seems to be comfortable threatening and attacking us.
We must really suck as bullies.