Every once in awhile, some group or another will decide they’re going to flout Washington, DC law, and conduct an armed march on the White House to protest no gun reform laws ever being passed. The latest group to promise an armed march on the White House, scheduled for July 4th, 2013, has blinked a few months early. ThinkProgress noted the promised march on Sunday, complete with warning that “this will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent,” and plans to “march across the Memorial Bridge, down Independence Avenue, around the Capitol, the Supreme Court, & the White House, then peacefully return to Virginia across the Memorial Bridge.”
In 2009, a similar march, dubbed the “Million Armed Militia Man March,” was announced via a YouTube video, which was quickly pulled. That protest, also promised for July 4th, never materialized (A few weeks ago, however, some armed protesters did show up to counter-protest a group of Indiana moms).
This year’s version started out tough and defiant-sounding (emphasis mine):
On the morning of July 4, 2013, Independence Day, we will muster at the National Cemetery & at noon we will step off to march across the Memorial Bridge, down Independence Avenue, around the Capitol, the Supreme Court, & the White House, then peacefully return to Virginia across the Memorial Bridge. This is an act of civil disobedience, not a permitted event. We will march with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated & cower in submission to tyranny. We are marching to mark the high water mark of government & to turn the tide. This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent. Should we meet physical resistance, we will peacefully turn back, having shown that free people are not welcome in Washington, & returning with the resolve that the politicians, bureaucrats, & enforcers of the federal government will not be welcome in the land of the free.
There’s a remote chance that there will be violence as there has been from government before, and I think it should be clear that if anyone involved in this event is approached respectfully by agents of the state, they will submit to arrest without resisting. We are truly saying in the SUBTLEST way possible that we would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.
TP and Salon noted that the event’s organizer, Adam Kokesh, also talks a big game on Twitter:
“It’s time to abolish the US federal government,” he tweeted yesterday. Today he tweeted this:
When the government comes to take your guns, you can shoot government agents, or submit to slavery.
— Adam Kokesh (@adamkokesh) May 3, 2013
Shortly after ThinkProgress flagged the event, however, a much more cooperative-sounding fighting of the power materialized on the group’s Facebook page:
UPDATE 130506 Now that it’s undeniable that this is going to happen, allow me to make clear how. There will be coordination with DC law enforcement prior to the event. I will recommend that they do the best they can to honor their oaths and escort us on our route. Failing to provide that commitment to safety, we will either be informed that we will only be allowed up to a certain point where we would be arrested. If this is the case, we will approach that point as a group and if necessary, I will procede to volunteer myself to determine what their actual course of action with someone crossing the line will be at which point fellow marchers will have the choice of joining me one at a time in a peaceful, orderly manner, or turning back to the National Cemetery.
Yep, nothing puts the government on notice like checking with them beforehand, and throwing out a test-arrestee. By the time July 4th rolls around, it’ll be 5 guys with Nerf™ guns visiting the White House gift shop. Either that, or a whole bunch of guys in Virginia will be watching one guy in DC get pepper-sprayed.
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