Union officials continued to receive a barrage of threats on Friday evening and into Saturday punctuated by warnings that if organizers were sent to counter-demonstrate at health care town halls they would be met with violence.
An official with the AFL-CIO, a federation of labor organizations, passed on what he described as a "pretty direct threat" to those union hands who were showing up to balance out anti-Obama demonstrations being waged at local Democratic forums.
"I will be going to a local town hall this weekend, all you union members BEWARE!" an emailer wrote at 9:40 Saturday morning. "We will be waiting for you. better make sure you have arrangements with your local ER. today is the day when the goon meets the gun. see you there."
An official with the SEIU said she had received 50 such emails, including the following one, which was edited to make suitable for publication.
You socialist f---s have the nerve to say stop the violence at the town hall meetings when they weren't violent until you p---ies showed up because your n----- leader obama said to?????? When we have ours in Racine, Wi, I want you there. I want one of your little b----- to put his hands on this Marine. I want one of you to look or talk to me wrong. I'll be the last thing your ignorant faux body guards will remember for a very long time. You can f---ing guarantee that.
The escalating language and threats have caused union officials to grow increasingly worried about the possibility of serious violence at these town hall gatherings. On Thursday, a scuffle broke out outside a town hall in St. Louis, resulting in the arrest of an SEIU official and the injury of several participants. That same evening a near riot erupted in Tampa Bay after union hands tried to prevent an overflowing crowd from storming a town hall gathering.
Lawmakers, too, are feeling the heat to keep these forums civil. A reader initialed B.W. wrote the Huffington Post that during a town hall in Plymouth, Indiana, Rep. Joe Donnelly, (D-Ind.) was forced to try out alternative measures to keep the interruptions and demonstrations at a minimum.
"Instead of addressing the crowd and taking questions, his staff had every one fill out a card with a number and he met with people face to face," the reader wrote. "There were more people than time but at least 32 people spoke directly to him out of earshot of the rest of the crowd. The event had people with differing views on health care but remained very respectful. It was encouraging."
Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators
Important Notices: By participating on this discussion
board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules
page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the
opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent
the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.