UPDATE: In another video of the event showing a different angle, it shows that the people joining in Erickson’s chant weren’t the Tea Party protesters, but pro-reform protesters. The Tea Party protesters seemed to have caught onto Erickson’s stunt by this time.
On Saturday, a few dozen anti-immigration activists gathered on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol for a Tea Party, part of the nationwide effort by Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC). But somehow, one of the counter-protesters, a “concerned citizen from Minneapolis” named “Robert Erickson,” manged to get on the speaking list. His address started with the standard anti-immigrant rhetoric, but then revealed that he was talking about European immigrants. By this time, however, the crowd was in a frenzy and
joined him in his chants of “Columbus go home!” and “Europeans out!”:
Let’s send these European immigrants back where they came from! I don’t care if they are Polish, Irish, English, Italian, or Norwegian! European immigrants are responsible for the most violent and heinous crimes in the history of the world, including genocide and slavery! Its time to restore the sovereignty of people native to this land! I want more workplace raids, starting with the big banks downtown.
Christopher Day at DailyKos notes, “The Tea-Baggers seem pretty clueless, and for the most part don’t even seem to realize they have been punk’d.”
Sally Jo Sorensen of BlueStem Prairie attended the event and reported, “Unfortunately, some of the pro-MINN-SIR audience made up for what they lacked in humor through the use of violence. Both Danielson and I saw middle-aged men attack young protesters, knocking one off a bike before he started throwing punches at the young man.” (via C&L)
,On Twitter, Ruthie Hendrycks, head of the anti-immigrant MINN-SIR, claims that she knew Erickson was a fake all along: “Our group was not duped! Jeffers and I knew he would make a fool of himself up there and we let him!”