November 13th, 2009
08:49 PM ET
12 years ago

Tea Party organizer vows to burn Pelosi and Perriello in effigy

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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: Extra • Nancy Pelosi • Virginia
soundoff (333 Responses)
  1. Steven

    I wish more sane voices in America would speak up. These tea party nut jobs get too much press. Just go away.

    November 14, 2009 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  2. New Father

    In December 2007 Pelosi with her new Dem majority passed the first Going Green bill into law. Millions around the world starved, Obama voted 'present', and the Global Recession begun. I really wished he actually read the bills the Dem majority started passing under Pelosi and Reid and than he would understand the problem. After all he inherited this mess from himself, or the Dem majority he was a part of. So why was Bush so bad? Because he signed the bills Obama voted for into law.

    November 14, 2009 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  3. Anonymous

    tea party unite! its time you all get together and GROW UP!

    November 14, 2009 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  4. Okay

    The Taleban like burning effigies of Americans too. So does Al Quaeda. So does Hamas.

    And now,

    So does Mr. Coleman, teabagger.

    November 14, 2009 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  5. Dan

    They certainly have the freedom to protest and to protest vehemently. But by focusing on the intensity of their feelings they do a disservice to the substance of their concerns, if indeed they have any substance.

    November 14, 2009 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  6. JG Nashville

    And just why are these Tea Partiers against this legislation? Because they have healthcare coverage through their employers and don't concern themselves with others or the day that they might not have coverage. They'll call themselves Christians and conveniently forget that the bible teaches us to take care of the least of us.

    November 14, 2009 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  7. Joe

    OK. So, YOU oppose health care reform legislation. Other people don't share your point of view. Get over it. What happened to the day when people could disagree without be disagreeable, and when did the political discourse come to feature only the voices on the extreme left and right? This is despicable.

    November 14, 2009 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  8. abbra

    I really don't understand why people have such a tough time getting that a PUBLIC OPTION and SOCIALIZED HEALTH CARE will MAKE YOUR HEALTH CARE BETTER. Corporations are out for their own benefit and profit off of you dead or alive. The health care industry makes up 1/5 of our economy. That means that it is BIG business. The reason why the GOP is trying to convince you that a PUBLIC OPTION is bad is because they stand to lose lots of money and power that shouldn't be theirs to begin with.

    This health care plan with a PUBLIC OPTION will ensure that you won't be denied coverage or treatment for a pre-existing condition. That means if you were sick or had a disease before you got your health care, you can still get help.

    The health care plan with a PUBLIC OPTION will ensure that if you get very very sick or if you get in a BIG accident, you won't go broke.

    You can still keep your heatlh care coverage that you have now. But look at your plan and it is not unlimited. Right now, if you get very very sick, it might be very expensive to get you better and your health insurance company could decide to drop you or not pay for all of it. This health care plan with make sure that you can get medical treatment.

    It is good and not bad.

    November 14, 2009 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  9. Greg

    This is truly frightening behavior. You only see this kind of stuff in second world countries like Iraq or the witch burnings of 1600s, not America. Americans are better than this and this is just childish behavior since Tea Baggers are acting like children not getting their way.

    Rather than being angry and setting fires, be productive... The people that are upset have no constructive ideas. CNN, you are also part of the problem by constantly covering these people blowing their efforts out of proportion. Tea Baggers are a very small minority but you wouldn't know that by the constant coverage of News networks.

    Where's the articles of the thousands of people who support the healthcare?

    November 14, 2009 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  10. Scott

    Burning them in effigy....kind of like angry Middle Easterners burning a caricature of Bush in effigy or even the US flag for that matter. What hypocritical cowards we have living in this country.

    November 14, 2009 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  11. Proud to be a Liberal American

    These "teabaggers" are really getting weird and out of control.

    Moreever, these are "false protesters"–false in every sense of the word. They don't know what they are protesting, they know little or nothing about how they are being manipulated by corporations, I fear that they know very little about the issues confronting America, and I question their "values."

    November 14, 2009 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  12. Mike

    It's remarkable that the GOP and its supporters can only make a point by fabrication. No, the health care bill was not developed behind closed doors. It was written amidst open debate and legislation.

    No, it will not change what America is. In fact, it will preserve what America has always been – a nation that cares for the disadvantaged, defends the weak, and strives to give everyone an equal shot at prosperity.

    We have a public education system. We have public colleges. We have public transportation. We have Medicare, and we have Social Security. None of these have threatened our capitalist system of economy. In fact, they enable it by educating people, moving people, and making sure that when they can no longer work, they do not become a burden to their working relatives.

    No, it will not kill people. It will help people to live more productive lives knowing that they don't have to worry about going bankrupt from medical expenses. It will save lives by allowing everyone access to medicine before they get too sick or have to go to an emergency room.

    The system as it is now is broken. Don't buy into the liars that are trying to preserve the status quo. This is our chance to change it, to fix it. Let's not screw it up. Pass the bill.

    November 14, 2009 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  13. David

    Ah these tea party folks. If only the facts would intrude upon their considerations.

    Nigel's last comments clearly show he knows not about what he speaks. But that's OK, as long as he BELIEVES it, that's what counts, right?

    It would be great if his meeting actually turned into a discussion of the health care problems and solutions, instead of ranting about burning in effigy a person who is second in succession to the Presidency of the United States.

    November 14, 2009 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  14. Dan O

    If these people would educate themselves they'd see they are in a very small minority. The majority of Americans want this health care reform.

    November 14, 2009 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  15. Joe

    See this is where that report saying that right-wingers with certain qualities can lead to a form of terrorism. I mean, this is not unlike the behavior of extreme Islamic fundamentalists, who burn the American flag and hope we all die.

    November 14, 2009 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  16. Jacob Byrne

    This is absolutely ludicrous.

    I completely accept the “tea bagger’s” rights to free speech, but to go so far as to burn an effigy of members of congress is truly unpatriotic.

    In fact, the idea of such an event being held in the U.S., by people who claim to be fighting for America, is incomprehensible to me.

    The “tea bagger” revolution never seemed to have much legitimacy—after all the name of their group is referencing a kind of sexual harassment/pleasure if you like it like that—but this latest act has stolen what little legitimacy it had left.

    Now these “tea baggers” just seem like traitors to their own country, who are attacking the very basis of our democracy: the elected officials.

    November 14, 2009 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  17. gl, Pittsburgh

    These Tea Baggers are just as bad if not worst then the TALIBAN. Next they will be attaching bomb on themself and killing American people.

    November 14, 2009 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  18. Tired of the Nonsense

    Oh sort of like radicals and terrorist supporters did with Bush effigies in Iraq?? We wouldn't want to disrupt the fundamentals in America, you know like the rich get rich and poor stay poor. I just hope if anyone gets burned at this thing that they have good insurance coverage!!

    November 14, 2009 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  19. windrider

    So it's devolved to the point of burning people in effigy, just like the anti-American mobs in the Middle East do. And we're supposed to turn the future of this country over to the hands of people who do that? What's next? Burning Democrats at the stake?

    November 14, 2009 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  20. Sparko

    Very disturbing. They're stunts are getting out of hand. I hope there are Republican leaders with the guts to condem this. This is not about politics or disagreeing with a policy, its about promoting violence plain and simple. During the election last year some idiot hung a effigy of Palin and there was rightfully an outcry against that. There had better be a similar outcry over this.......

    November 14, 2009 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  21. stevetall

    Hey, teabaggers! Here's something you can understand: Get out of my country you lazy, sloppy, zits. Either get on board with the new reality or buzz off. You're not helping anyone, not even yourselves.

    November 14, 2009 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  22. Stacie

    Sick and wrong...but I'm not shocked. These people are sick. What ideas do they have for fixing the broken health care system? They have nothing...they don't care about us. They want their 15 minutes of fame. That's all!

    November 14, 2009 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  23. Colin Sutton

    What a bunch of freaks

    November 14, 2009 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  24. Billy-Bob-Joe-Darrel-Darryl-12 pak-Capt. James T. Kirk in a pink tutu

    They are basically committing treason "minus a little bit"..DESPICABLE!

    November 14, 2009 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  25. Jan Hetterly

    CNN, why do you give these crazed extremists press time?
    It just serves to encourage even more violent behavior on
    their part.

    November 14, 2009 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
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