After ‘getting a lot of flack,’ Tea Party protesters rethink burning Periello and Pelosi in effigy.

On Saturday, the Danville Tea Party in Virginia plans on holding a “Fired Up for Freedom” rally. The group originally boasted that it would be “burning Rep. Tom Perriello and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in effigy in response to the passage of landmark healthcare legislation.” Even after significant media attention and criticism, Tea Party organizer Nigel Coleman vowed on Friday to move forward with their plans. Yesterday, however, Coleman said that those plans are now “up in the air” because the group is afraid of counter-protesters:

But Coleman said Sunday that some members of his group were “uneasy” with the idea of counter-protesters and that people might mistake the TEA Party Patriots for being violent. Coleman compared the event to similar acts of protest in the nation’s history, such as opposition to the Stamp Act of 1765. […]

“I still would like to do it,” Coleman said, “but it’s still up in the air at this point. We’ve already started stacking firewood and building the effigy …we will have a bonfire. Burning someone in effigy was just gonna be part of it.” […]

“We were using it as a symbol of how things are similar to that (colonial) period in history,” he said. “Things have gotten out of hand … the more real we get, the more unreal it gets.

Coleman added that the public reaction to the group’s plans has been “kinda strange.”


The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent spoke with Coleman today, who said that the local property owner hosting the rally canceled the effigy plans:

“We will not be going forward with the plan,” a crestfallen Coleman told me by phone moments ago. “We had to cancel it. The property owner won’t allow us to do it. The media attention was something that he didn’t want.”

Coleman said he was upset that people had gotten the wrong idea about his plan. “I’m disappointed that the story got out of hand and people misinterpreted something we thought would be a little historical lesson,” he said. “They made people believe that we were committing an act of violence,” in a reference to the “liberal blogs.”

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