Green vs. Tea, Round 1: Party Battle Napa
Finally: The Green Party Counter-Protest
Anyway, the Digital Martyrs rapped on and on, and then more Green speakers were announced, and I simply gave up on these people: the 1pm departure of the Tea Party Express buses was fast approaching, and the Greens were still dithering. So for a second time I bailed out and headed back to the fairgrounds.
But back in Tea Town, things were already starting to wind down. People posed in front of the buses for last-minute souvenir shots...
...and shopped for Tea Party schwag.
I was about to declare the counter-protest a no-show, when, in the distance, I heard some faint voices. Could it be...?
Huzzah! The Green invasion had begun! Except for one tiny problem -- they showed up at the back fence of the fairgrounds, where nobody could see them!
To give you an idea of how far removed the Green counter-protest was from the main Tea Party action: Those are the Greens on the other side of that fence in the distance, and I'm standing in the middle of the fairgrounds, with a few Tea Party stragglers visible on the right at the far back end of the rally.
Here's the reverse angle: looking at the Tea Party from the viewpoint of the Green counter-protesters. Helllloooo! Yoo-hoooo! We're staging a "momentous and historic massive anti-tea party rally" over here! Hey, c'mon, look over here! Historic, I tell you!
Finally, a few Tea Partiers at the very back end of the rally heard the distant shouts and turned to look.
Eventually about eight Tea Partiers thought it would be funny to go over and "feed the trolls."
I couldn't hear what the two opposing camps were yelling at each other, but I think it was probably variations on "You suck!"
Brilliant decision, Greens, to position yourselves in the one spot where you were practically invisible, and only a handful of Tea Partiers even knew you were there!
The union members had come along for the ride as well, and even brought their giant inflatable rat, a prop they use during strikes to portray management as "rats." Didn't make much sense in this setting, but hey, a giant inflatable anything always adds panache to a revolution! (Photo courtesy of Bay Area Patriots.)
One of the Greens held a signs saying "'Tea Party' sounds better than 'Racist homophobic mob.'"(Photo courtesy of Bay Area Patriots.)
Racist? Homophobic? Not a trace of either at the event. Now, sure, most of the Tea Partiers were white folks. But most of the Green Partiers were white too. In fact, numerically speaking, I saw more minorities at the Tea Party than I did at the Green Party. (All of this is unsurprising: Napa overall is less than 1% African-American.) It's like the pot calling the kettle white.
Luckily, one of the counter-protesters took and posted a video documenting the scene from the other side of the fence:
(Note, also, how you can clearly count the number of people in the entire group as they pass by the camera between 0:32 and 1:05 in the video; I counted exactly 43.)
I decided to go join the Greens, so I once again exited back out the front gate of the Tea Party rally and went all the way around the fairgrounds to the counter-protest at the back fence. But by the time I got there...the Napa Police had shunted the Greens way down to the very far end of the block, to ensure they didn't try to attack the Tea Party Express buses as they exited. (That's the "massive anti-tea party rally" in the distance, at the end of the block.)
Fashionably late, the Tea Party Express buses pulled out of the fairgrounds' back gate...
...and headed off to their next stop in Reno, Nevada. Goodbye!
With the buses safely on their way and the Tea Party event breaking up, the police released the Green counter-protesters from their holding zone. They headed back up the block.
But even at this late stage there was still confusion and disunity as protesters pointed every which way and started to head off in various directions. Momentous! Historic!
The last remaining loyalists retreated back across the bridge over the Napa River to base camp.
The signs were packed away to re-use at the next revolution. Remember to recycle!
But where had everybody been? Why was the Green event a total washout, and the Tea Party event a middling affair?
I got my answer as I walked over to the center of downtown Napa. By sheer coincidence, today had been...
...the Blues, Brews and BBQ festival in Napa, and it seemed like every living person from a 50-mile radius was crammed into Napa's historic district! Solid drunken humanity as far as the eye could see!
The moral of today's story? Beer trumps politics.
This exact same sign has already made an appearance at several Bay Area Tea Party events, and since I've already included it in previous reports, I decided to move it here to the "extras" section for those readers who may not have yet seen it. An oldie but goodie!
Similarly, Mr. Dunce Hat is by now a regular at northern California anti-Obama rallies.
There comes a times in the course of blogging when one finds it necessary to present a picture upside-down. I mentioned earlier about the Tea Partiers' on-target mockery of socialism and political linking of "green" and "red"; here's a good example.