November 14th, 2009
11:28 AM ET
5 years ago

Tea Party organizer vows to burn Pelosi and Perriello in effigy

Pelosi will be burned in effigy at a Tea Party rally in Virginia next week, the event's organizer told CNN.
Pelosi will be burned in effigy at a Tea Party rally in Virginia next week, the event's organizer told CNN.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The organizer of a "Tea Party" protest in Virginia says he intends to move forward with plans to burn House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Tom Perriello in effigy next weekend at a rally to protest Democratic health care legislation.

The event is scheduled for next Saturday in Danville, which borders North Carolina and sits at the southern end of Perriello's congressional district. Perriello, a Democrat, narrowly won his House seat in 2008 and is considered a top target of Congressional Republicans in next year's midterm elections.

When news of the rally surfaced Friday, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen condemned the plans as "shocking and despicable."

But Nigel Coleman, the organizer of the Tea Party, told CNN he doesn't see what all the fuss is about. The attention, he said, should be on the Democratic plans to overhaul the health care system.

"We're not going to actually set Perriello on fire or Mrs. Pelosi on fire," Coleman said. "But we have been trying to months to get our point across just how vehemently we are opposed to this health care legislation. For the House vote to come so close and to know that Mr. Perriello is on the other side, it's a kick in the stomach that a lot of people couldn't take."

Coleman said none of Perriello's potential Republican challengers have been invited to the event, which he expects will draw about 100 people.

"Something shocking and despicable is how they've handled this health care legislation," Coleman said, responding to Van Hollen's statement. "Going behind closed doors, writing a bill that is going to fundamentally change what America is. More people are going to be killed by this health care legislation than this bonfire."


Filed under: Nancy Pelosi • Virginia
soundoff (227 Responses)
  1. Michele

    Grow up, Republicans. What are you trying to accomplish by staging a high school "bonfire" to burn a leader of this nation in effigy? I hope your children show a bit more maturity than you do.

    November 14, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. buckwheat

    It just shows how the people who pay the bills feel about this woman.The same one who now rides in a special jet for herself and complained about the corporate jets of the auto industry . We need to have term limits of 6 years in the Senate and 4 years in the House. Being elected to ythe Senate or House was never intended to be a career.Even the framers of the Constitution failed to understand how corrupt these people are. Charlie Rangle,now under investigation for not paying taxes was standing beside Pelosi when the health care bill just squeaked by by a few votes. He was standing there grinning like a mule eating briars.Take their cradle to the grave health care from all of Congress and let them shop as we do or either give us what they have, including 20 years, service and full retirement at taxpayer expense and all the other perks they cheat us out of we do not even hear about.

    November 14, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. Jim

    What a sleaze bag... And I don't mean Pelosi. These "Tea Party" idiots represent a minority of the US but are claiming to represent the majority. The only majority they represent is the majority of white supremacist, intolerant, un-educated idiots of the US. The rest of us understand that change in our current health care system is necessary. Try getting insurance when you are a life-long diabetic. I didn't get it from overeating, I got if because of a genetic flaw. I still can't get insurance on my own because of it. I have to pay for very expensive group coverage at work. If I am un-employed, I have no help, with an average cost of 240 dollars per month in necessary medications and syringes.

    November 14, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. rae

    Unbelievable.......remember the burning of effigies in Iran and the middle east against Americans?????Fanatics always grab the spotlight, but have no substance except hate. Always hate.

    November 14, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  5. Dixon

    Now these nuts are learning from the Taliban how to protest. Why all the hate? These people are not the majority by a long shot, just noisy. These are the people who live off our dollar saying we don't want others to have what we have. If any of them were serious they would fight farm subsidies, social security and medicare to name a few. How about the millions we give the pharmacy and oil companies. Cut the staff for all representatives in the house and senate. Maybe if they actually do thier jobs they wouldn't have time to bad mouth each other.

    I say if you start a bonfire, try jumping in. That would help this country more than any cuts in dollars.

    November 14, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. D. D.

    We live a country where we can protest but we do not have to go nasty. Certainly these people have creative abilities- well at least one of them. For example they could carry a chalkboard. and/or wear a mask of Hannity and Brachmann.

    November 14, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. George

    It will be fun to see how the tea partiers put out the fires they start without the benefit of the socialist state fire department.

    It will be hilarious to see them paying for their defense when they are in court on trial for arson. They will have to defend themselves without the socialist benefit of the right of free counsel and a case like this could drag on for quite an expensive long time.

    November 14, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. TEXAS DEM

    Coleman is a perfect example of the idiocy of the conservative terrorist organization we call the GOP. Their boorish behavior is on a par with Al Qaeda. Rude and offensive acts uch as shouting at the President "you lie" and their plans to burn members of congress in effigy show how insane these idiots really are.

    My fervent wish is that we can someday return to civil discourse. The only way that will happen though is for the American people turn away from buffoons such as Coulter, Beck, Rush, Coleman and Joe Wilson. Unfortunately, most conservatives are incapable of rational thought. Barney Frank was right in asking on which planet these people spend most of their time!

    November 14, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. theresa Mwimbwa

    Please go "THE Frederick Post .com see top story

    Army Detains Maryland Solider in Afghanistan

    This is my son in law please blog for him

    November 14, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. Sheri

    Wow! Got to love these folks! They have decided that the minority should rule. They run around screaming that they are losing freedoms (all the while trying to take them from everyone else) and want "their" country back. Well, what do they want us to do, over turn the election? Forget the majority of the country voted for Our President so they "feel better"? Obviously they don't have a clue to meaning of Democracy!

    November 14, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. sskepticall

    A friend told me that the T-Party stood for the Terrorist Party -- yep those baggers are going to destroy the values of this country.

    It is wackos like Mr. Coleman that will destroy the Republican Party and when his new stunt doesn't still get his point across what is next? If I had set on fire an effigy of President Bush would Mr. Coleman have understood my concern about the number of lives that have been wasted in the war in Iraq? I personally will work hard and financially support Mr. Perriello. Mr. Coleman, thanks for the image that will galvanize the rest of us to fight back...not with flames and terrorist symbolism – but boots on the ground and money.

    Who is paying Mr. Coleman for these efforts? The insurance companies? This is despicable.

    November 14, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. Terry from West Texas

    Many well-regarded American leaders have been burned in effigy. John Adams, I think it was, said that on some days you could ride all the way across town by the light of his burning effigies. Lincoln was certainly burned in effigy many many time. There are surely many other examples.

    These Tea Party folks are not the sharpest knives in the drawer, obviously. They are being played like a harmonica by Conservative leaders. They have been hornswaggled into working against their own interest. They are arguing, if they could only understand it, for more expensive and lower quality medical care for the middle class and no medical care for the lower class.

    Even though the Obama Administration is trying to improve medical care for the whole nation, I predict that their effort will fail. There is too much money to be made by voting for the insurance companies and against the American people .

    Oh well, we baby boomers will mostly be dead in twenty years and hopefully the quality of life in America will not have deterioriated too much by then. I am not optimisitic

    November 14, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. SF Serg

    GOP/Tea Party is worse than the KKK.

    November 14, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. Deborah in Blue Springs, MO

    Look, there are good, hard-working families and single American citizens who will never get health care if this plan passes. Most, unfortunately, earn less than what is considered the national average. We are "the In-Betweens", those who make too much to qualify for state aid but too little to afford our own health care.

    At the birth of our nation...
    As the parties were forming...
    Good, patriotic citizens would often burn political figures in effigy...
    To make their emphatic point.

    Since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Tom Perriello have the Cadillac of health care packages – on OUR dime – I believe they both can take the historical hit, if that's what they both need to take the HINT! Kudos, Mr. Coleman!

    November 14, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  15. SF Serg

    They should be stopped. Sure, they're not actually going to burn Nancy Pelosi but they're letting the nut job who's watching know that it's okay for him to do it. God forbid if anything happens to Nancy Pelosi, these must be held accountable.

    November 14, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. C Spurgeon

    These are thugs and bullies all the way through . This kind of behavior is what is wrong with america. Shame on them....and what they are teaching the young people. No respect and bully tactics for all. I am not a congressional fan and see much blame on both parties but the thugs send out by the party line are the worst I have seen in all my years.

    November 14, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. Laurie

    Such a tranquil scene of Americana provided by the "real Americans" with Christian family values. I imagine it is just what our forefathers had in mind. These people are worried about their children and grandchildren's future and yet they put on violent, inappropriate displays in front of them. Thank God that Nancy Pelosi and Representative Perriello had the courage and decency to care about the future of this country. Carry on with your violence and your nonsense. You are excellent role models for your children and grandchildren. I'm sure that they will remember such a momentous occasion with alot of reverence and respect.

    November 14, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  18. Jasmine in Germany

    How primtive and stupid. The world is looking on and still can't figure out why a large powerful country (USA) would have such social deficits and coninue to encourage poverty, lack of education, etc. Wake up America – get into the 21st Century!

    November 14, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  19. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Why do I think that Nigel Coleman was one of the people in 2003 who yelled and screamed bloody murder when anyone dared question or protest GWB's plans to invade Iraq?

    November 14, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. bill

    I bet you every single one of those tea baggers call themselves a Christian. Mind blowing the hypocrisy of the right. Wouldn't Jesus want health care for everybody?

    November 14, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. Rick from Washington

    I'll let another Tea Party member speak for Mr. Coleman and his actions.

    "Nigel Coleman: idiot
    Nov 14, 2009 in Economy, Free speech, Health Care
    It isn’t often that I call someone an “idiot,” but I Nigel Coleman fits the bill.

    The Tea Party protests, for the most part, have been positive rallies voicing disapproval with the way Washington has acted over the past two years with their reckless spending, government intrusion into private business, the future that the current Congress and Administration are leading the nation. There might be someone who has never been involved with prior rallies that would be interested in joining Nigel at his rally in Danville, VA next weekend and end up with a rude surprise. The Danville rally will be unlike any other Tea Party rally to date.

    Nigel, for some odd reason, thinks it is a smart idea to create effigies of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Virginia Representative Tom Perriello at his Saturday rally. Both members of Congress supported and voted for House Health Care Reform bill last week; a bill that most members of the Tea Party protests have been against due to the implied government takeover of the health care system as well as expanding the national debt. These effigies are to be burned during the rally.

    If you ask me, this is not only counterproductive to the Tea Party movement, but it also turns public attention against you. Imagine the rallies against the Iraq war where they burned American flags, or where a two-faced effigy depicting Bush and Kerry were burne. Did these acts increase the support for the protesters or isolate them as extremists?

    Nigel should reconsider his actions and issue an apology. This is not how someone with the “correct side” of the argument should act. With the Tea Party movement growing in numbers and events, this will derail the progress so many people have invested their time and energy in.

    Is Nigel Coleman an idiot? You tell me."

    Need I say more?

    November 14, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  22. Perusing-through

    REPUBLICANS MAKE NO SENSE!

    1. – Tell me, how does burning Nancy Pelosi's effigy repair the nation's credibility around the world?
    2. – How do burning Tom Perriello's effigy bring back millions of jobs shipped overseas when Republicans ruled the previous 8-years?
    3. – Can Tea Party 'rabble trash' and 'Birther' ditto-heads explain how burning Nancy Pelosi's effigy, resolves the Afghanistan war that Bush/Cheney/Rove allowed to meander off course for the past 8-years; and how the U.S. went to war in Iraq over non-existent WMD leading to 4,300+ American's killed?

    November 14, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    The Tea Baggers have totally gone round the bend .... I would like to know how many of them have actually read the bill ... how many of them are health care providers ... how many of them have any legal experience or ability to correctly read a legal document ... How many get their information from sources other than Fox, Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck ...

    If these Tea Baggers really want to put their money where their mouths are, I think they should all boycott health care services of all types, regardless of what their health situation is, for the next 5 years.

    You know, just to get a taste of what it's like to not have access to health care.

    November 14, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. ThinkAgain

    When Hannity and Fox cover this story, I wonder if they'll mix and match video to try to make this event better attended than it actually is ...

    You know, like last week when they showed video of Beck's 9/12 day event as part of Bachmann's story, in an effort to make her tea bagging look bigger than it was.

    November 14, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. Logic

    Teaparty = the minority screaming louder. The majority of Americans not only approve of the health care legislation, they also endorse the single payer plan that was cut out of the bill. This is how the insurance companies and special interest control this country. The minority screams louder, and the media covers them more.

    November 14, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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