Anyway, just to review the timeline, a spokesperson for YAF was invited to call in to Dana Loesch's show last Thursday and announced they would be doing a protest of the Occupy group at Kiener Plaza. Other than that, there was virtually no promotion of the YAF action. Then, on Sunday, YAF (about 5 people, not all of whom were "young") went to the OccupySTL location with professional video equipment.
Rather than engaging in a "protest" where they held their signs for the public, YAF went to the center of Kiener Plaza and engaged in an argument with OccupySTL participants, filming the whole time. I was there at the beginning and it seemed like your average debate; not especially productive since both sides were to some extent talking past each other but certainly not overly agressive or confrontational. However, this is how it was described on Big Government:
Last Sunday a local chapter of YAF affiliated with Principia College organized a small and peaceful counter presence to the ongoing Occupy St. Louis demonstration at Keiner Plaza in downtown. According to the organizer, Mattson Wilcoxen, the group of mostly collegians and minors was met with violent language, intimidation, and death threats.As noted above, this absolutely was not what I observed. I started recording but then quit because it was so uneventful; however, here's a good example of what the conversation was like:
The Occupy St. Louis Facebook page has a 10 minute clip of a discussion with one of the YAF members that shows the same thing.
Given that Big Government is quoting YAF as saying that they were threatened at the rally and that participants used "hostile language," and given we know they were recording the entire time, YAF has an obligation to provide full video of their encounter so that people can judge for themselves how each side was acting. This is the burden they impose on themselves by making the serious allegation that what looked like a normal debate was actually "hostile" and "threatening."
I should also note that the post at Big Government despicably tries to link the alleged threats to MORE, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment. The right-wing conspiracies theories about the group are funny in the abstract, but when they start making direct accusations about specific people based on zero evidence, it enters into a very nasty place, especially considering the mental stability of some of Breitbart and Loesch's followers. They can hate on MORE's politics all they want, but making ridiculous, unfounded allegations of "death threats" crosses the line of decency.
YAF and Big Government should make public the full video from the event. That way, we can see just how seriously they actually take the allegations of "threats" and "violence" they routinely make.