The Virginia Rally: Realtime Boots on the Ground
Photo Credit: Gabby Orcutt
The line in the sand has been drawn. You stand on one side or the other. A cyclone fence is all that protects you from chaos. A series of intertwined links of galvanized steel.
The Virginia rally on Martin Luther King Day in Richmond, VA, will be a testament. And it will separate the boys from the men. It will define the sides – Left and Right. But not because of prejudice, or racism. Not because of poverty or wealth. Not because of voter’s rights or suffrage. It is the rally of rallies to speak out in defense of the Second Amendment.
Above all, this is a center stage if there ever was one. As “militia groups” rally in Virginia, the stigmas begin to mount. Gun owners become criminals. Racists. Terrorists. And the chain link fence designed to protect them may easily become the cage to detain them. Outside of the cage, rally protestors are primed to spout anger and hate.
What follows is the accounting in written, audio, and video form from our network of listeners, friends, hosts, and eyes in the sky. Your comments and discussion are welcome below.
America – and the world – is watching.
As Americans watch from afar on social media, mainstream news outlets, and the like, their own concerns mount. What if this happens in my state? What rights do I have? Am I a criminal?
And abroad, nations watch to see what will happen. The Second Amendment is what sets us apart as Americans. The real terrorists begin to emerge.
A “State of Emergency” is declared.
Before the event even started, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam redacted the right to keep and bear arms during the event. Northam issued a state of emergency, declaring that firearms would not be allowed at the rally.
An uptick in social media chatter and extreme rhetoric on both sides is fueling concern that the peaceful demonstration will become violent. As rank and file begin to form, that line in the sand is becoming more like no-man’s-land.
Rumors of neo-Nazi groups, Antifa actors, and other usual suspects are percolating. People claiming to be anti-this or pro-that may actually be one in the same.
A Peaceful Protest Primed as a Powderkeg.
The event emerged in response to recent anti-gun legislation introduced immediately following the change-over from the last election. Voters ousted Republican leadership in exchange for Democrats. However, heavily-populated regions of the state appear to have the microphone regardless of the rural Virginian.
The Virginia Citizens Defense League arranged to have their voices heard. So far, more than just Virginians want to make sure this statement rings loud and clear. Americans from around the country are chiming in.
(Retrieved from VCDL.ORG):
- Sign up for VCDL’s FREE VA-ALERT for the latest updates on the Rally
- The Rally Facebook page
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Rally Flyers: 1 & 2
- Special Issue of The Defender
“The Cage” Begins to Fill Up
“The Cage” as it is fast being called out, was erected to maintain a level of control and safety. However, early impressions began to mount as attendees realized all exits were located in one corner of the structure.
Social media commentary is a resounding question of comparison: how is it that protests can rage without boundaries for the past few years, but a constitutional rights rally requires a cage?
“The word I think that best describes what’s happening within the gates is, Civil Internment,” said James Walton of the I Am Liberty Show. “It’s like an internment camp in here – no portapotties, no resources, one way in, one way out. And that way is heavily guarded. It’s kind of a sad state, but that’s what it is.”
Locked in – or Locked Up…?
As they wait for the first speakers to start, pressure builds from outside the hot gates. Live feeds like the one below were shut down within minutes. It soon became clear that the news would be appropriated.
Meanwhile, local news in Richmond is brushing off the event, with limited coverage and only short clips of the rally. Just another day.
In responsek, underground live streams and podcasts emerge to fill the gap.
The Low-Pressure System Moves In
As rally attendees await to hear the first speaker, signs of crowd control emerge. Entire bags of zip ties bulging from backpacks can be seen on crowd control officers.
Just over an hour before the rally begins, police take positions in the crowd from within the cage. However, the demeanor and general feel from the ralliers is calm, non-confrotational, and patient. Nonviolent.
Meanwhile, the view from capitol hill tells a somber story. Long shadows cast by second amendment advocates reveal all walks of life who just want to retain their constitutional rights.
“I think the big takeaway is the people are here. The people are here and taking a stand on this cold, frigid Monday.” – James Walton
The Word on the Street: Calm
Though touted by media to be a hotbed of activity and disruption, the rally in the first hours is calm. Both inside and outside The Cage, people mulling about are in agreement. The shear volume of rally members is keeping violent protesters from acting out in their usual fashion.
And one symbol stands out among patrons. A simple dot of support from the VCDL that people are wearing like badges of honor. It reads:
Guns Save Lives.
Is the Rally a Red Herring?
Meanwhile, as the Eye of Mordor focuses in on activities related to the Lobby Day gun rally, some speculation is emerging about other legislation that is being overlooked during the overwhelming focus on the event.
Virginians in rural areas may be silenced even more by losing out to popular votes, felons, and unconfirmed voters. In addition, Northam’s 4-year term as governor could be doubled.
The Pending Shortlist:
- Removal of Electoral College: SB 399
- Governor Election by Popular Vote: SJ 29
- Restores Voting Rights to Felons: SJ 14
- Restores Voting Rights to Mentally Incompetent Felons: SJ 8
- Elimination of Voter ID Requirements: SB 65
- Doubles Governor’s Term Limits From 4 Years to 8 Years: SJ 6
(Special thanks to IG @Left_Lane_Cow_Train for compiling this list)
The voice of Virginians, however, is more audible now than ever. Especially on their view of the newly-appointed governor. The wake of this event will likely set the stage for things to come across America with regard to how important your vote really is.