Stop Obama Now!! – San Diego, organized by Roger, held the overpass protest in Carlsbad on June 8, 2013 that inspired the national “Overpasses for Obama’s Impeachment” (OFOI) effort, which began about a week later. Members of a number of different groups participated, California’s Crusader, California Coalition for Immigration Reform, members of the former San Diego Minutemen. The event was not endorsed or sponsored by these groups, but some of their members participated. Local Tea Partiers, libertarians, 2nd Amendment advocates, Constitutionalists, religious freedom defenders, oath-keepers and others also participated.
and “Overpasses for America” (June 8, 2013)
The idea came originally from “We the People, California’s Crusader,” who had been doing protests on Overpasses since about 2009 and sometimes they also displayed “Impeach Obama” signs. For Inauguration Day, 2013, they scheduled an Impeach Obama Demo in the neighboring (Orange) County with some California Coalition for Immigration Reform (CCIR) members and they asked a couple of San Diegans (Wilma and Claire) to do a demo on the same day. Claire invited “Stop Obama Now” to support the event.
We did two other demos before the Carlsbad demo. Another one was held in February, in sympathy with an attempt by William Gheen of ALIPAC to do a national march to Impeach Obama on the state capitols.
A third demo was carried out in downtown San Diego on the weekend of Tax Day, 2013.
The TEN-MILE TRAFFIC SNARL MYTH
Gerry, of the former San Diego Minutemen, suggested that we do the next demo in Carlsbad. 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 or 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 in this area, even on weekends. 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? 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. It is not a formal, structured organization and is independent, not funded by any person or larger umbrellas organization. We are just an group of people, who get together to do protests. Input for the protests have come from our members and from other groups.
We organized a couple protests against media-bias demos in fall of 2009. Several hundred people turned out for the first two events in front of NBC studios in downtown San Diego. This first protest against media bias also inspired something of an national event in several other cities, called Operation Can You Hear Us Now (OCYHUN), much like our Carlsbad demo inspired the national Overpasses for Obama’s Impeachment effort.
We also did probably the first significant street demo in August, 2010 calling for Obama’s impeachment, which attracted 50-60 participants. Several smaller street demos for impeachment were also done by us in 2010-2011.
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 began 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, over the Del Mar Fair and over a fundraiser in La Jolla hosted by Michelle Obama. About 60-70 people contributed, mostly via the Internet from all over the country, to pay for these banners.
The clip below shows the last banner that we flew over a fundraiser hosted by Michelle Obama in La Jolla, Ca. Michelle Obama arrived later than we anticipated, but the banner flew over La Jolla for about an hour and the guests were present when it was overhead.
The object of the sky-banners was to reach thousands of people and to get people used to the idea that they could protest in public for Obama’s impeachment. In the beginning, there was — and still is — a lot of anxiety about speaking out in public against Obama. Some people could literally not believe we could fly a banner calling for Obama’s impeachment. Some thought it was some kind of scam and that we faked the flights, somehow.