Monday, August 10, 2009

Health care opponent calls for town hall violence via Twitter


By Muriel Kane

Update: SEIU gets phone call "threatening to teach union officials a thing or two about 'the Second Amendment'"

Brian Beutler reported at Talking Points Memo on Friday that a health care protester in New Mexico had been encouraging those following him on Twitter to bring their guns to town hall meetings — and use them if provoked.

"If ACORN/SEIU attends these meetings for disruptive purposes, and you have a license to carry….carry," Scott Oskay wrote in one tweet. In another, he suggested, "Stop being peaceful, and hurt them. Badly."

The Service Employees Industrial Union (SEIU) appears to be the latest bogeyman for the anti-health care protesters. Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, for example, claimed on Friday that "SEIU thugs rolled up their sleeves and attacked a black conservative protester in St. Louis."

As described by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, however, the facts of the incident cited by Malkin were far less clearcut. Out of the half a dozen people arrested following a town hall held by a Democratic Congressman, at least three do not appear to have been involved in violence of any kind. One supporter of a public option for health care told the paper that he and his companion had been arrested for interference after his companion tried to take pictures of a man who seemed to have been assaulted. A Post-Dispatch reporter was arrested on the same charge.

A poster at Daily Kos elaborated on this incident, writing angrily, "St. Louis cops arrested Democrats… people supporting reform and reporters… and not the GOP thugs mobbing the healthcare townhall. A video clearly shows a SEIU man down on the ground, injured, after he had been attacked. Another SEIU man comes to his aid and gives him a hand up. A woman who had been on the sidelines photographing this attack on the injured SEIU man appears to be the 51-year old woman who was arrested for 'interference' with police. She was peppersprayed after she was subdued."

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