Stop Obama Now!! – San Diego, organized by Roger, held the overpass protest in Carlsbad on June 8, 2013 that inspired the so-called “Overpasses for Obama’s Impeachment” (OFOI) effort. Gerry selected the location and helped organize the event. This demo was supported by members of a number of different groups, California’s Crusader, California Coalition for Immigration Reform, members of the former San Diego Minutemen. The event was not endorsed by these groups, just some of the members participated. Local Tea Partiers, libertarians, 2nd Amendment advocates, Constitutionalists, religious freedom defenders, oath-keepers and others also participated.
The idea came originally from We the People California’s Crusader, who had been doing protests on Overpasses since 2009 and sometimes they also displayed “Impeach Obama” signs. On Inauguration Day, they were going to have an Impeach Obama Demo in the neighboring (Orange) County with some CCIR members and they asked a couple of San Diegans, Wilma and Claire, whom they had known for some time to have one at the same time.
We did two other demos before we did the Carlsbad demo. Another one was held in February, 2013, in sympathy with and attempt by William Gheen of ALIPAC to do a march to Impeach Obama on the state capitols.
Another demo was down in downtown San Diego on the weekend of Tax Day, 2013.
10 MILE TRAFFIC SNARL MYTH
The traffic in the south-bound lane slowed to about 35 mph during the demo, but it never stopped. A reporter for the Carlsbad Patch website greatly exaggerated the traffic slowdown, either to make the story better, to make us look bad, or both. He called it a 10-mile traffic snarl. I-5 is the main artery between San Diego and Los Angeles and one of the most busy freeways in the country. Traffic slowdowns, like this are common, even on weekend. The weekend of June 8 was just after schools had begun their summer break, there is an amusement park just south of the Tamarack Avenue and it was opening day of the Del Mar Fair, a few miles further south on I-5. So there was a lot of extra traffic on that day.
It is not clear that we slowed the traffic at all. On freeways that are not congested the cars do not slow down at all to read our signs, but the drivers proceed at normal speed. Why would they slow down more, when traffic is congested, because of our signs. We look for periods of congestion, because it gives the drivers about twice as much time to read the signs.
HISTORY OF STOP OBAMA NOW
“Stop Obama Now!! San Diego” was started after Tea Party protests of Tax Day 2009. We organized a couple protests against media-bias demos in fall of 2009, for which a couple hundred people turned out for the first two in front of NBC studios in downtown San Diego.
Since the response from the media was not very encouraging, we began to look for way to go around the media. In the Fall of 2011, we started hiring “Impeach Obama Banners” that were flown around the country, notably before a visit by Obama to San Diego on Veterans Day 2011, over the Rose Parade in January of 2012, over the tailgate party for Super Bowl 2012, and over a fundraiser in La Jolla hosted by Michelle Obama.
The object of the sky-banners was to reach a 10’s of thousands of people and to desensitize people to the idea that they could protest in public for Obama’s impeachment. In the beginning, some people did not believe we could fly a banner calling for Obama’s impeachment. They thought it was some kind of scam and that we faked the flights somehow.