The Right Wing strategy has shifted in the past few days to attempting to do anything in their power to demonize working people and particularly union members. While hundreds of thousands of people have been out on the streets demonstrating against Scott Walker's plans to eliminate collective bargaining for public employees in Wisconsin, the tea party has been out at nearly every rally with video cameras trying to provoke responses they can use to claims that "union members are thugs." So far they have not been very successful, though not for lack of trying.
Media Matters called into question one of the Right Wing reports of union violence earlier today, catching a guy blatantly lying about what happened, but there was another incident that I thought looked very suspicious. After an Atlanta rally, the tea party posted video of a union supporter pushing a guy into a fence. The push was pretty hard, and I think the guy clearly overreacted and may be guilty of assault, but the circumstances seem extremely suspicious. First of all, it appears that a women in the video elbowed the pro-union guy as he's walking by: she appears to stick her elbow at frame 0:38 and he is bumped to the side and gives her a strange look. Then, another man steps directly in front of him not once but twice as he's walking to block his path. That's when the guy pushes him. Here's the video:
So I don't know. It's not entirely clear from the video that the woman elbowed him or that the guy was intentionally stepping in front of him. However, there's very strong evidence that the tea party was quite deliberately trying to provoke the pro-union groups. The youtube account is listed under 1cfbjr, and the only other video from that account is a video from the same rally, with the same cast of tea partiers. In this video, a mob of tea partiers is screaming at a union guy and getting right up in his face. They then proceed to follow him back to his truck as a mob jabbering at him the whole way (and with several people keeping video cameras on him the whole time). This behavior seems pretty clearly designed to provoke the guy, and I would imagine that it would take quite a bit of restraint for most people to not respond when folks are screaming and flinging spittle right in your face. Here's the video of the mob following the other guy:
You can see a lot of other footage of the protesters screaming at the pro-union crowd here.
Anyway, not that this would be a surprise to many, but it seems pretty obvious at this point that the tea partiers are very strategically trying to provoke violent responses across the country. Hopefully, people will wise up to this tactic very soon.