Strange Bedfellows: The Two Very Different Organizations That Were At Saturday's Kelly Thomas Protest

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Unfortunate events breed the most unlikely of unions. I mean, just look to Fullerton. 

When members of two staggeringly dissimilar groups convened Saturday to protest the death of a mentally ill transient, they coexisted with ease. 

For arguably the first and last time ever, members of the far-left leaning, anti-imperialist A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition and others from the Oath Keepers, a group with ties to the Tea Party, agreed on something: their disdain for the six Fullerton police officers who allegedly beat Kelly Thomas to death. 

Usually, though, the two groups are polar opposites. Take the topic of immigration, for example. 

Douglas Kauffman, an LA-based organizer with the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition, which stands for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, says the coalition fights for immigrant rights and supports full amnesty. 

On the other end of the spectrum, however, the Oath Keepers affiliate themselves not only with the Tea Party, but also with the California Coalition for Immigration Reform (CCIR), says George Pulsifer, co-director of the Orange County chapter of the Oath Keepers. 

Remember CCIR? They're that group Gustavo Arellano successfully infiltrated a few years back. On CCIR's website they call for a full-fledged boycott of Mexico, and their phone number is (877) No-Illegals.
Back in the day, A.N.S.W.E.R. LA protested Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly, because of her ties to California Coalition for Immigration Reform.
Anyway, the point is, when it comes to immigration, these two groups couldn't be any more unlike.

But, details of the Kelly Thomas case piqued the attention of both groups and caused members of the differing organizations to show up in throngs Saturday.

Aside from more than a dozen A.N.S.W.E.R. organizers who attended Saturday's event, Kauffman says he thinks at least 50 other people showed up in front of the Fullerton Police Department on Saturday, because they had received a pre-protest call or email from A.N.S.W.E.R. 
 
"Our motivation is pretty simple," Kauffman says. "What the Fullerton Six did is a heinous crime. It doesn't take a trained professional to know that six people on one and Tasing someone five times is excessive force." While the group's stated purpose and typical focus is working to end war and racism, Kauffman says the coalition decided to join this protest, because they "fight against any vestige of racism, and police brutality usually affects Black and Latino youth and poor people. It's a race and a class issue." 

The Oath Keepers had a different reason for joining the protest.  Co-director Pulsifer describes the group as "a coalition of active and former military and law enforcement and citizen patriots" that works to remind people that "anyone who holds public office swears an oath to the Constitution."

And when people break that oath, the group isn't happy. "We're all about the oath and the Constitution and the six officers that did what they did lost their bearing and they became oath breakers," Pulsifer says.

Well, it sounds like we have a consensus, and so for now, let's bask in the unity.

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18 comments
Debra
Debra

I hate to pour salt on an open wound but I have seen Kelly's Dad several times now on T.V. showing his care and concern for his deceased son.  Where was this care and concern for his son when his son. a schizophrenic, obviously unable to care for himself, was living on the street. This incident never would have occured if his Father would have been taking care of him in his home.  Nobody's child should be homeless.  Families should take care of one another.  But that doesn't excuse the 6 police officers who clearly violated Kelly's civil rights and took his life.  I'm tired of hearing on the news every week how police officers are killing people when deadly force, clearly wasnt necessary.   Like the man who was shot and killed in an alley with a sprinker in his hand.  Why do they make head shots and heart shots when they can bring down a suspect by shooting them in the leg.  When you have six offficers's they have the the training to subdue a suspect without tazers or beating them down.  It's called Assault Restraintf  Training and can be successful with a single officer.  I know, I have taken Assault Restraint Training.

mitch young
mitch young

How about agrobusiness and the US Chamber of commerce in alliance with SIEU and 'La Raza' on immigration 'reform' (aka amnesty). Now that's some strange bedfellows right there.

Soho_d J
Soho_d J

Strange, I was there from 8:30am to 1:30pm and I never heard those guys bull-horning about commies. I only heard the little lady w the cap leading chants, dunno how I missed that. Hopefully these Oath people won't deter from the real reason why we all gathered there in the first place.

J Farley
J Farley

And I heard a mass march was called for Saturday, Aug. 20, 11am, starting at FPD headquarters. That should be the biggest one yet, if we organize. Glad to keep the pressure up on the Fullerton politicians.

Brooke
Brooke

Next protest this sat 8/13/11 9am in front of Fullerton PD 237 W. Commonwealth

Brooke
Brooke

I was there and I think that its great that all of us were there to show support and outrage even though we don't share the same views on many other topics.

IDT
IDT

CCIR is a neo-Confederate organization with its roots in the white KKK "support" groups of days gone by. The Oath Keepers have the same politics--putrid and racist. If Kelly Thomas had been Black, Latino, Asian or anything but white, they would have 100% supported the Fullerton killer cops. Here's more on the CCIR:

One of CCIR's most prominent leaders, Barbara Coe, is an admitted member of the Council of Conservative Citizens. The CCC evolved from the Civil Rights-era White Citizens’ Council, a Southern group that opposed the abolition of Jim Crow laws and called Blacks "a retrograde species of humanity." Thurgood Marshall described the WCC as "the uptown Klan." One cannot help but think that the three-letter acronym of the newer group’s name—CCC—is a nod to the KKK.

CCC vigorously defends the public display of the Confederate flag as a symbol of white identity, and features the flag on its web pages. Its racism is apparent. They openly state that the group "stands against the tide of nonwhite, Third World immigrants swamping this country."

Enough said. The Oath Keepers will never stand for justice.

The Minuteman Project
The Minuteman Project

My advice to Oath Keepers is to avoid any affiliation with the California Coalition for Immigration Reform (CCIR) if it wants to maintain any semblance of credibility, especially as a group with many former members of law enforcement in its membership.

As a political/social activist I avidly encourage support of law enforcement organizations as well as a person's right to free speech.  

My experiences with the CCIR fanatics since late 2006 has not been good, unless you want to consider what I feel are criminal acts by some of its participants as examples of being a pillar of the community...you know, like larceny, interstate document fraud, US Postal fraud, Federal bank fraud and theft.  These were some of the apparent findings of a jury of 12 of the defendants' peers in OC Superior Court last summer.

I used to think my only adversaries in the movement to advocate respectable U.S. immigration law enforcement was the fanatical ultra left and some mindless nabobs in political office.  How soon I learned that vile malcontents from the ultra right are as every bit as dangerous to freedom, liberty, and domestic tranquility as the other two extremes.   If Oath Keepers wants to be an influential voice in public matters, then it should avoid commingling with ultra right fanatics whose goose-stepping agendas give them a delusional and sinister carte blanche authority to "seize the day."

Jim Gilchrist, President, The Minuteman Project

Diplod
Diplod

Not "strange" at all. This is merely the overlap of liberals and libertarians.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow

I was at the protest & both groups are morons pushing their own agendas. One of the guys from Oath Keepers used his megaphone to walk around letting us know the "communists" from AnswerLA had infiltrated the protest. Great job, guys! Its really nice to have a schism within the group that is calling for Justice for Kelly. This isn't a black/white, democrat/republic issue. Hopefully these buffoons can keep their traps shut this Saturday. 

Tmdagonzales
Tmdagonzales

I have now been out there for 2 Saturdays and did not realize there were two different "groups" of organizers there. I guess I am naive --just thought we were all individual concerned citizens showing support for Kelly Thomas and ensuring this story doesn't die with him. Now that it is on my radar-I might notice it next week.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow

It was the long-haired, ponytail Oath Keeper that went around announcing "the communists from AnswerLA have infilitrated this protest." I was there from 9 to 11 standing on the corner of the police station. Another person stated they heard the Oath Keeper's infiltration speech. I have nothing to do with either of these groups. I didn't have a sign. I didn't yell. I was just there to show my support for the family & community. And hearing what the Oath Keeper said really bummed me out. Selfish prick pushing his own agenda.

Bigwf
Bigwf

Oath Keepers has protested the police killing of Jose Guerena isn arizona.

One who knows
One who knows

Gilchrist is a washed up old has been taking donations from the public to fund his abusive rhetoric while Coe at least sticks to her stated purpose.  Go away Gilchrist

Vern Nelson
Vern Nelson

"Libertarians?"  If Oath Keepers were libertarians, they wouldn't have such a huge stick up their asses about immigration.

Brooke
Brooke

yea i didnt like it when they were yelling that we had been infiltrated lol

Truth4All
Truth4All

Interesting isn't it?  Let's look at that facts and not emotional tirade.  It seems the alleged racist mud IDT is trying to throw at the Oath Keepers is dead on arrival. Perhaps more research needs to be done on the group before IDT sticks foot in mouth again.  IDT why don't you go to www.oathkeepers.org and look up the Jose Guerena protest and memorial rally where over 300 marched with Jose's family in honor of the fallen marine and against dangerous police tactics in serving warrants by SWAT teams.  Were you at the march?  Why not?  In fact isn't Oath Keepers founder part hispanic......hmmmmmmm.

mitch young
mitch young

You are right, libertarians are two ignorant about economics  to understand the impact of immigration -- the are English majors that couldn't get passed week three of Econ 101A -- externalities.

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