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Art Levine

Art Levine

Posted: February 23, 2011 05:10 PM

For an SEIU-sponsored labor rally scheduled for today in Atlanta to support public employees, Tea Party supporters sent out an alert via the right-wing website Freerepublic.com asking for armed protesters to show up in response. Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal Constitution broke the story:

SEIU, the Service Employees International Union, is holding rallies at state capitols around the country to demonstrate solidarity with public employee unions in Wisconsin. The union has scheduled an event at the Gold Dome in Atlanta at 4 pm today.

This has been posted on the far-right Free Republic site, under the headline:
"Atlanta Tea Party and Many Other Groups, Facing Off the SEIU Thugs Wednesday"

"Members of the various Tea Party, 9/12, and other freedom-oriented folks in the Atlanta area will be assembling in the vicinity of Georgia State Capitol this coming Wednesday afternoon at 4 pm. We'll be providing balance to the ravings of the passengers aboard the SEIU Thugbus, which is scheduled to vomit forth its stooges at that same place and time...

There appears to be some regulations re armed protests on the Washington Street side of the Capitol, so attendees are requested to be flexible in your attire. We will attempt (but no promises) to get some additional clarity regarding the situation and post it here prior to the show.

Take a stand.

As Bookman points out, "The advice that 1attendees are requested to be flexible in your attire' is apparently a suggestion to keep firearms concealed. The original author goes on to claim that 'the lefties are idiots who are very good at running their mouths... and also very good at keeping their distance from an armed American.'"

The call for armed protesters -- if permitted -- comes from a wing of the Tea Party movement known as Restore the Constitution. Although not officially identified as a hate group or member of the Patriot movement by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the "Restore the Constitution" group echoes the themes of the militia-oriented groups whose ranks have swelled since Obama became president.