Just when hope for democracy has dimmed, along comes a group of people who are just not taking the hostage taking of our economy sitting down.
In Pennsylvania, the 10th District Network hosted a ‘MAGA GOP: Stop CLOWNING Around Rally’ on the Capitol steps Tuesday evening in Harrisburg, in order to call out the Republican economic hostage taking of the country.
Some photos showing the costumes of patriotic characters they’ve adopted “to contrast with” Republican Pennsylvania Representative Scott Perry, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Abe Lincoln, George Washington, and Lady Liberty:
The purpose of the protest was to call out “the irresponsible members of Congress, such as Scott Perry and Kevin McCarthy, who are holding the debt ceiling hostage and demanding unprecedented cuts in vital programs in return for NOT plunging the country and the world into economic disaster,” Susan Roller, a retired teacher and activist, told PoliticusUSA in an email.
“With less than a week to go before the United States fails to pay its debts for the first time in its history, the far right MAGA clowns put their own interests and that of the wealthy corporate donors ahead of the poor, the sick, the young and the old,” Roller explained.
The photos document speakers who called attention to “how different aspects of our communities would be affected by a default or the cuts demanded by McCarthy and the ‘Freedom’ Caucus led by Scott Perry, Representative for the 10thDistrict.”
The group is located in Pennsylvania and they say they are an “informal coalition of activists from Hershey Indivisible Team, Capital Region Stands Up, Cumberland Valley Rising, and Indivisible York.”
Roller told PoliticusUSA they have been working together for about 7 years, starting with the Trump/Perry campaign in 2016 and “most of us were very active in the work of Tuesdays with Toomey. TWT spent at least 3 years protesting outside of his office (he even moved, but we followed him) every Tuesday, rain, snow, heat, or hail. Sometimes there were only 2 of us. Sometimes 50. That movement was also active in other major cities.”
The group held a series of traveling rallies during the last two elections involving Scott Perry, and it was during the “Perry is no Patriot” tours that they got costumes for patriotic characters to contrast with Perry, Roller tells PoliticusUSA. The current group is focused on Scott Perry and the “Freedom” Caucus, “especially the new, state-level ‘Freedom’ caucuses he is founding.”
In July of 2022, this same group held a protest demanding Scott Perry resign after his refusal to cooperate with the January 6th Committee.
“Ordinary people like us, in a desperate world, can feel very small, very insignificant,” she said. “But if instead of looking at the world, we focus on our own home, America, Pennsylvania, the 10th District, we have more power than we think,” Roller told the York Daily Record.
Dare we hope that activists for democracy have learned what illiberal activists have known for over a decade? The show matters. Costumes matter. Make it a winner for the media to cover.
We live in times in which the news media operates not as a loss leader, but as a money generator and that means they require razzle dazzle, long used to distract from nefarious deeds, but also a tactic to employ for the desperate trying to draw attention to the need to save our democracy.
This country needs a lot more of this activism protesting the corruption of our political processes, small or big, it has to start somewhere.