Thursday the group Oath Keepers was planning to come to Maxine Waters’ LA office to protest her comments about hounding members of the Trump administration wherever they go. As Jazz pointed out yesterday, Waters didn’t seem to like having the tables turned on her and she put out a statement about the protest. A few dozen Maxine Waters supporters showed up in anticipation of a showdown with the Oath Keepers. There were some voices warning the crowd not to start anything but some people clearly came prepared for violence. As you can see in this clip, one guy showed up with a baseball bat on his shoulder. The LA Times reports the Oath Keepers never showed up after talking with the police:
At 1 p.m., police at the protest site said authorities had been in contact with the group, and it had decided not to come in order to ensure peace…
A number of protesters remained near the intersection of 102nd Street and Broadway long after police announced the Oath Keepers were no-shows. For much of this time, the mood remained festive, although it was punctuated with moments of tension.
At one point, counterprotesters pulled a small American flag off of a pickup, doused it in lighter fluid and set it ablaze. The crowd then began chanting, cursing the government and saying, “America was never great.”
Here’s a video of the flag burning. I’m sure Maxine Waters is thrilled that her self-appointed protectors did this in front of her office:
At some point, a white guy with a microphone was doing interviews and got the attention from some of the rowdier elements of the crowd. After being chased down the street by several people, he eventually jumped in a car and drove away.
It turns out he’s a YouTuber who goes by the name of Slightly Offensive. His cameraman, who goes by Black Mike, was there with him. As you’ll see in this next clip, there was a litmus test for sticking around and asking questions. The first question from the crowd was “Are you for Black Lives Matter?” to which the YouTuber answered “No.” The second question was “Are you for Free Palestine?” Again the answer was “No” and at that point, the conversation turned into shouting and shoving. Here’s the clip:
So it’s probably a good thing that the Oath Keepers decided not to show up yesterday. When both sides of a protest are looking for a confrontation, there’s only so much the police can do to stop it. I don’t support Maxine Waters or her calls to harass Trump administration officials but we don’t need street fighting to break out over that issue. That would only make things worse and takes us further down the road of less civility and more confrontation.