Massachusetts Tea Party and Liberty activists call for Governor’s action on escalating violent rhetoric expressed by MA officeholders and employees
Boston 3/2/11 – A coalition of Massachusetts Tea Party and Liberty activists has today sent a letter to Governor Deval Patrick’s office. In it, leaders ask the Governor to take action in addressing the rising level of violent language being directed at those activists that have demonstrated support for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s financial reform efforts, including proposed legislation that reins in benefits and collective bargaining privileges enjoyed by Wisconsin public employee unions.
Ken Mandile of Worcester Tea Party said “We’re putting the Governor on notice that this is happening. It’s the people’s responsibility to support good governance. It is not the responsibility of government to criticize the people.” Tea Party and Liberty leaders encourage the Governor to act.
The following is the text of the letter sent to the Governor’s office:
Dear Governor Patrick,
As our elected leaders in the past months have called for more measured public discourse, the signatories of this letter eagerly wait for this moment to arrive in the Commonwealth. While the Tea Parties of Massachusetts continue to engage in civil public debate, recent rhetoric by an elected office holder and a state employee has left our members questioning their commitment.
Our members see the public statements made on February 26, 2011 by George Noel “Make no mistake about it. We are at War.” as blatantly disregarding this general call for civility. While we respect Mr. Noel’s right to free speech outside his official capacity as Director of Labor for the Commonwealth, we believe his statements to be intentionally inflammatory.
In light of experiencing verbal and physical intimidation at the Statehouse on February 22, 2011, including being shouted at, spit on, shoved, knocked to the ground and sustaining damage to personal property, our members are alarmed by what appears to be a pattern of suggestive violent language coming from our government. Congressman Capuano, in response to criticism, expressed regret for his call to “get a little bloody”.
Individuals can make poor word choices. This is not our concern. What concerns us is that when this type of language comes repeatedly from officeholders and upper management of the Commonwealth, it takes on an appearance of the state inciting and encouraging violence against citizens with an opposing point of view.
It is amusing to us that the public labor unions have enlisted private trade unions, with whom the Tea Party has no issue, into this debate. More disconcerting is when the character of the speech coming from our government is matched with the violent actions of union supporters. It becomes difficult to determine where the labor movement ends and our state government begins.
We expect action from your office to ensure that the leadership of the Commonwealth, both elected and appointed, will cease such deliberate provocation.