"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"
aka "Miss Victory"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Indianapolis Tea Party Organizer (Laura Behney) bans activist's free speech

Cross posted at IndianaTeaParty.com

I am writing to spread sunshine on something disturbing that was done to me today by the organizer of the Indianapolis Tea Party. If you are going to the Tea Party in Indianapolis, this concerns you. Many of you may think I should shove this incident away in a closet, but I cannot for sunshine is the best disinfectant.

Today, I was banned by Laura Behney who heads the Defenders of Liberty. She is the organizer the Indianapolis Tea Party to take place tomorrow. Laura, who self-proclaims to be a defender of freedom and liberty, silenced my freedom of speech right in her own back yard yet wants to hold the government accountable to protect your liberties. Sadly, she failed to protect my 1st Amendment freedom. And she has the right to do so, because the group she runs is technically private. That doesn't make it right. And it certainly is not principled in freedom.

Here is background on what took place.

I've been delighted, yet also concerned deep down about why there is so much mainstream media coverage focused on the national tea parties. Mainstream media (MSM) is corporate controlled and that's why I'm concerned. It is corporatism that bankrupted America. (Yes, we ARE bankrupt.)

When I first got wind of the tea party in Indianapolis, I was very excited to help. It was all coming together at the time we were planning the Revolt At The State House event focused on local and state issues in Indiana.

It is my belief from all my experience, that it is too late to save our federal government. We have no control there to enact change there. We won't win against that machine. The rest of the world has power to enact change through pressure on America and the people who control our government.

However, we DO still have power to change our local government and our local election results. We CAN realistically make Indiana government accountable, obey the Constitution, and do what it should.

Yet most people at the tea party tomorrow won't be able to tell you the name of their city councilperson, let alone their state legislator or state senator. Don't believe me? Conduct your own poll. Many won't even be able to tell you where the city county building is located just four blocks away, because they have never been there or know what takes place there.

On the email list of the John Birch Society, today I published an opinion stating my belief that the MSM and Republican Party are herding well meaning Americans to these Tea Parties in order to distract them from the real place where they have true power to change their government. That place is local and state government.

I stated that the elites controlling our federal government are literally laughing at the peasants in the streets who they are bilking for trillions of our future wealth. These elites are also very relieved that so few people are paying attention to their state and local government. That part is most delightful to them. Their worst nightmare is 50 states with clean accountable governments controlled by The People standing up to the Federal Government.

These elites fear our citizens taking lawful control over our local cities and states.

I suggested that the MSM is leading well-meaning sheep (novice activists waking up) straight into the slaughter by distracting them from the only part of government they can control...that part which is in their own back yards.

For this opinion, I was banned.

The tea parties are not grass roots. It is a national movement within the Republican Party to herd people into the party so their players can have control once more. This is the same party that had their butts handed to them in November after letting George Bush and for a while a Republican controlled House run amok for 8 years. Now they all of a sudden found God? I don't think so.

Meanwhile, there are many very good people inside the Republican party trying to change it from the inside. They are the Republican Liberty activists.

True grass roots has a bottom up management style. The tea parties are top down management and the proof is right in front of your eyes. It's seen in the national conference calls to coordinate the events, it is seen in the reluctance of the organizers to use the grass roots activists already plentiful and successful in Indiana, and in their amazing power to generate MSM out of no where and literally overnight.

Grassroots doesn't get that kind of action accomplished overnight.

Desperate to rally the same kind of grass roots support that Obama enjoys, Republicans (many well meaning freedom fighters) upped the freedom movement with their friends at FoxNews and social networking. The Behney's volunteered to head up the "grass roots" in Indianapolis. And they honestly believe that this is all grass roots. And they are working very hard and I'll never take that from them. They are giving 150%.

A few weeks ago, I gave over the keys to the IndianaTeaParty.com site to the Behney's when the national tea party web got hacked. I also published their email and directed a few thousand people their way. (This blog got more than 400 unique readers today alone.) I wanted to help. I don't think it is a bad thing that so many people are getting together to demand freedom.

I also believe that there are good well-meaning people that are waking up to what is happening in America and are finally ready to learn and do something. I also know most will go back to American Idol next week, and rely on their emails (harvested from this activism) to tell them how to vote so they don't have to do the hard work of watching over government for themselves. And you can bet the people at the top of this movement are counting on that.

If we are to lead our government to a better place, we need to be staunch practitioners of the very principles we espouse ourselves. And that starts with protecting our 1st Amendment freedom to free speech and free press.


Anonymous said...

Melyssa: Very similar to the Abdul/Gary Welsh episode, I'm very disappointed in a splinter amongst people that likely agree on most things ideologically. I don't disagree with your logic in pursuit of changing local politics and events. However, I don't think we can give up influencing our Federal government, especially on two issues many of us agree as being primary: excessive spending and adherence to the Constitution. I respect your viewpoint and feel bad for the disagreement in this matter. However, we need strong wills and this will not be the first or last disagreement. When I NEXT see you with sign in-hand, I hope I'm still good for a hug. Thank you again for your local leadership.


I'm disappointed too. And it's fine you don't agree with my logic of getting our states under the control of The People. Can you imagine 50 states in America, abiding by their state constitutions and using THAT collective power to fight the federal government? They wouldn't stand a chance.

Can you imagine if all the tea party activists put their energy behind their local government clean up?

How many will show up at Thursday's CIB meeting where they have a chance to make a difference?

Anonymous said...
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Theophrastus said...

Okay, you're disappointed. I'm sure you know that it is no violation of the First Amendment for someone to deny you the right to speak at the event they organized and are responsible for. That's no 'technicality' -- it's understanding the difference between private and government action. Organize your own tea party and speak to your heart's content. You should be heard too. And you do have this blog, remember.

Rob in Colorado said...

So the message of the teabaggers is "Stop Spending" now?
Didn't Hoover already try that? You know, the last time that we were in a recession bordering on depression?

See, Tea and April 15 tap into a great well of ire about taxation, but this has nothing to do with taxation, does it? Of course it doesn't, because "small business owners, stay-at-home moms, retirees, students, and plain old citizens" are all paying less in taxes *RIGHT NOW*

FreedomWorks, LetFreedomRing and the other multi-billion-dollar backed PACs and lobbying groups are backing it, because their Bush-era tax cuts have been rolled back. Nothing more, nothing less. Don't be co-opted by these goons.


Theo...I never asked or wanted to speak at the TP. That was never even an issue.

Tim said...

Good article and or blog, Melyssa. I agree with alot of what you say however, as a people, we should continue to push for our rights and for the Government to respect the Constitutions, either State or Federal. The TEA Party?, Well, its kind of gimimcy isn't it? When I first saw it on TV the other morning, it looked like a half assed organized effort. Expecting around 3000 people,..ah..Woo..Hoo!!?? I would have expected 10,000 like in other cities. I don't disagree with their right to demonstrate however, it does appear quite a bit "Gimicky" to me and does sort of smell of GOP. I am a registered Republican however, the time to come together as a people should come before coming together as a political party...

Tim Berglund
Indianapolis, Indiana


I'm going anyway. Coucilman Coleman called and explained that I was gonna get my butt kicked by him personally if I didn't go. So I'm bugging out of work early to attend.

I also understand, as of today, that help from Libertarians was refused by the Tea Party organizers. So much for their claims of non-partisan.

Anonymous said...

Do you work for ACORN?


ACORN? That's funny. If you go way back to the beginning of this blog, you can easily see we're local grass roots tax activists.

I publish the blog. I'm a Libertarian. Others are republicans and there is probably a democrat lurking around here and there.

I like to think we're non partisan, but in fact, since I run the blog I view things through my Libertarian lens...which is a very principled lens!

Downtown Indy said...

Anyone with the scoop on the guy who was escorted out after he started yelling something (barely intelligible) about the draft (I think)? An ACORN fallen from its tree perhaps? A nut of some kind, anyway.

Anonymous said...

From someone who attended the tea party here in Indianapolis I have to tell you that the Republican party nor the Democrat party had ANYTHING to do with putting this together. It was a truly grass roots movement.In fact Politicians were not allowed to speak.Just us citizens.

Anonymous said...

What about Congressman Dan Burton? Didn't go but Garrison said he was going to talk.


You'll note above that I removed flaming anonymous remarks (and my response) from the blog as per my decision not to publish any anonymous comments that are hate filled.

You can hate and say whatever you want on this blog. Just sign your name to it! Your free speech will never be censored here.

Anonymous said...

It's not grass roots! Don't believe it! Organizers refused help from democrats and libertarians!

Anonymous said...

Another blog pointed out that Greg Garrison's radio show puts local republicans like Luke Kenley on the air pushing for the CIB bailout for the Pacers.

Does that mean that taxation for billionaires by local Republican friends of Garrison is ok and needed, but Washington spending by Democrats isn't?

The tea party people are not grounded or consistent in their message or Garrison would not have been on the stage.

Their event was definitely not non-partisan, but it was still fun.

Anonymous said...

I was at that tea party. And I can 100% guarantee that I was not PAID to be there, nor was I contacted by ANY political party. I was there ON MY OWN because of the out of control government we now have. Your post has insulted and slapped in the face the thousands of fellow hoosiers that attended that tea party purely from grassroots texting, and e-mailing. While I may support the 10th amendment and Indiana sovereignty I will IN NO WAY in future support ANYTHING Hoosiers For Fair Taxation put out because of this post and its blatant in your face lies, insults, and misrepresentation! All you have done is idiotically PARROT the lying treasonous MSM and I will have nothing whatsoever in future to do with your group. We have enough treason to fight in this country. But I do thank you for being open enough to expose your real agenda and I have yet another treasonous group to add to my list!


Anoymous 10:23. Nice of you to sign your name. Are you ashamed of your opinion? Why else would you not sign your name?

If you are really behind all you say...then have some stones and sign your name to it!

No one suggested anyone was paid to be there.

I did suggest that the tea parties are not grass roots. I'm not the only conservative who knows they weren't. There was a website for an Indianapolis Tea Party before there was an organizer. There were conference calls with Republican operatives serving as the national tea party leaders. There was MSM...none of these things indicate grass roots, but rather a well-coordinated movement coming out of the Republican party.

Please explain to me what lie or insult I made? Don't hurl accusations without the facts or you look like an idiot.

I simply explained what happened to me, all of which is documented.

You should note that I did not ban your right to speak your mind.

And that is far more than the Behney's gave to me.

Jame D said...

The Tea Party was grass Roots, in my opinion it all started from a man ranting on the floor of Chicagos stock exchange. I dont know about people being paid to be there, but I know Mike Pence offered to speak and was turned away for fear it would look partial in favor of the G.O.P, so it didnt seen all that republican to me. Wasnt the keynote speaker a Libertarian?

Rob in Colorado your an Idiot! First off Cap and Trade is a tax!!!! How else can you explain a 40% hike in utilities. Second how could more spending ever fill a hole left by debt. I hope your state is the first to see the same 18% inflation on your home loans that were killing people in the early 80s...it would serve you right for making dumb statements like that.

Tea Parties although roughly mixed, are meant to accomplish a common objective, and that for us Tea Partiers is to eradicate corruption from this current system of absentee landlord government.....stay focused and keep to the objective...in 2010 we take out the trash in congress, after that we can go back to our party lines.