The right-winged militia group the Oath Keepers forgot to show up to their own protest in Los Angeles Thursday. The protest was against Democratic Congresswoman of California Maxine Waters. The Oath Keepers broke their pledge – or oath should we say? – after publicizing the event online.
What was their reason? The Los Angeles police department “strongly advised [them] not to proceed,” Oath Keeper founder Stewart Rhodes told the NY Daily News.
“I think that they probably made the smartest decision they’ve made in a long time,” said Cliff Smith, a resident who attended the counter-protest in favor of Waters.
Smith said himself and about 15 others came out to support Waters. But were there any Oath Keepers? Not really, Smith explains, “here were a couple people who potentially might have been sniffing around (for the Oath Keepers), but nobody was really following through on the action.”
Waters is a strong foe and critic of President Trump and his regime. On Wednesday evening, a day before the protest, Waters urged her supporters to stand down and not attend. She posted on her Twitter telling them to stand down.
Please read my statement on the Oath Keepers' planned protest at my district office tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/1ZALWLaZJS— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) July 19, 2018
“I am requesting those individuals and groups planning a counter-protest to not be baited into confronting the Oath Keepers with any demonstration in opposition – such an occurrence would only exacerbate tensions and increase the potential for conflict,” Waters’ statement read.
“Peaceful protest and civil dissent is the foundation of our democracy. All groups and individuals have the right to assemble and express their opposition to public officials and public policies – regardless of whether or not it is a group that shares our values.”
Waters’ statement continued to explain the reason she doesn’t want a counter-protest is that the Oath Keepers are dangerous. Unlike the peaceful protests Waters prefers, the Oath Keepers are dangerous. They dress in military gear and carry around assault rifles, Waters just wanted everyone to be safe and not get hurt.
According to the Oath Keepers’ website, they claim they are a “non-partisan association” created to defend the “Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” The group is comprised of former and current military and police. Many have claimed that they are dangerous being that they are nearly always armed.
Founder Rhodes argued that his group does not “foment violence” and is “completely non-racist.” Rhodes also was not planning on attending the protest from the beginning, being that it was organized by the California chapter.