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. cameron

    100 people out of 304,059,724 in this country. Who cares, stop giving these people a legitimate voice.

    November 14, 2009 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  2. Ken, Arizona

    These Tea Partiers act like backward third world citizens. They'd be happier with Taliban style rule.

    November 14, 2009 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  3. Sally C.

    Wonder what would have happened if we had burned an effigy of Newt after his so called contract with America. We really must get over all of this one side or the other. No one is totally right or totally wrong. There are great ideas on both sides. I wish the people we elect would all get together with their great ideas and combine them (what a concept) to come up with the BEST for America instead of working so hard to pull us all apart. After all, aren't these supposed to be the UNITED states?????

    November 14, 2009 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  4. Aubrey

    THANK YOU to all the opposition of health care reform out there who would rather the government have a say over my female body than over who my health insurance is.

    November 14, 2009 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  5. Hot Patata

    Burnings-in-effigy. Great. And the Republicans move yet one step closer to the Iranian theocracy in their grassroots tactics...

    November 14, 2009 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  6. uneumann

    What can you say to this... rationalized craziness? If they don't like what's going on, they will burn it down. These people refuse to recognize the reality that the majority voted and supports this legislation.
    What a bunch of pathetic crybabies... "I'll take my ball and go home"...
    Where were they for 8 yrs while the Bushies were taking this country into the tank. If you compare the US in 2000 and 2008, I think you can see who was the real "danger to the county".

    November 14, 2009 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  7. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    In general you would expect to have to go to Iran, Northwest Pakistan or the Afgan Highlands to see zealots burning Americans in effigy. I stand in awe of the Reublican and ultra-conservatives organizing these tea parties.

    In one fell swoop, they have managed to reduce their followers to the same level as the Muslim radical fundamentalists.

    Congratulations to the far right wing of American politics. You have proven that you are just as bad as the psychos you are preaching against. From a short distance I am certain you could not differentiate between a crowd shouting in Iran and your average tea party.

    Way to go guys.

    November 14, 2009 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  8. MIke

    They just keep getting crazier, and crazier. It's to the point where I don't think any kind of dishonest, or crude tactic is considered out of bounds to them.

    Much of this temperament, which has been stirred up in the past by Conservative politicians like Pat Buchanan, and Ron Paul, is what leads to Timothy McVeigh type attacks. These people only support the Democratic process when it benefits them.

    The climate is starting to resemble that of the early 90's. When Conservatives lose control in the political sphere, they often resort to these kinds of tactics. They're unabashed about their support for them. They don't see anything wrong with them.

    At some point, we have to come together as a society, regardless of what side we are on, and reject this kind of discourse. It makes the future look all the more pointless, since little progress has been made on this front, and if anything, we are walking a backwards.

    We are letting people with personality disorders take over the discourse, and much of it is being fueled by agenda driven think tanks, and the mainstream media.

    November 14, 2009 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  9. kuriya

    Tea party is full of crap. Do these people work at all? Where were they 8yrs a go? The organizers are hateful.

    November 14, 2009 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  10. J.L.

    Congrats right wing nutjobs! Taking a page right straight out of the militant islamic handbook. What next? Shouts of "Death to America"?

    November 14, 2009 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  11. scott myrick

    BAD TASTE...... this reminds me of the KKK.

    November 14, 2009 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  12. S

    some 40 years ago same people and their fathers burned crosses and lynched people!

    November 14, 2009 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  13. Steve

    Great, so now we can look like the middle eastern protests we see on TV...or maybe burning crosses, or the flag will be next. I mean, we cant be that blind can we?

    Oh wait...

    November 14, 2009 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  14. BJ

    Childish. Grow up. When has hate ever solved anything? Some republicans like to call democrats "bleeding heart", but what is there solution? Hatred, violence? When democrats try to make sure that we are all treated fairly, republicans get childish again and call them socialists. They don't care about the American people; they only care about winning, at any cost. Selfish, childish, stupid.

    November 14, 2009 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  15. echo

    if i had my doubts about how crazy these ppl are, they are now confirmed. what is the GOP supposed to do with these ppl? they are hurting our party and its going to get crazy and cause us to loose votes.

    November 14, 2009 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  16. 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 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  17. Historical Perspective

    It is not surprising that a person who devised this sort of stunt would also not be aware of the horrible symbolism imbedded in the act itself. Burning a woman, even only in effigy, is a slap in the face to the entire history of the women's movement in America. This protester should be embarrassed to look at his wife, daughter, mother, or any other woman in his life.

    November 14, 2009 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  18. ThinkAgain

    Stay strong, Ms. Pelosi! These nutbags are in serious need of mental health intervention.

    November 14, 2009 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  19. Nathan

    This behavior is very bothersome and in my opinion cause for alarm not just for the government but for everyone. I really wish people would just reframe from allowing their emotions from dictating their every action, calm down and allow a dialog between differing opinions to open.

    November 14, 2009 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  20. 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 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 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  21. KO

    Why don't the tea baggers just wear white hoods and burn crosses while they're at it? Burning public figures in effigy–really classy.

    November 14, 2009 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  22. Debbie

    These people are getting more and more radical.

    The GOP let these people out of the box and it will be very hard to get a hold on this.

    November 14, 2009 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  23. eolufemi

    And these are the folks independents are aligning themselves with...For some reason, I don't think that's going to last too long.

    November 14, 2009 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  24. jancor

    I'm all for tea parties and I am very against government run health care, however I'm very disheartened to read that this tea party is going to burn Pelosi and Perriello in effigy. That will cause this tea party and other tea parties around the country to lose credibility. It makes them look like they are holding some kind of primitive tribal ritual. I like to believe that the tea party attendees think of themselves as intelligent, educated and forward thinking individuals trying to rally for democracy, but this effigy burning will undo all the progress they've made. They will be a laughing stock. I hope they reconsider and try a more intelligent approach.

    November 14, 2009 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  25. LouieD

    And in performing this act, a mainstay of extremist protest, Teabagger culture moves inevitably closer to terrorism. Healthcare legislation WILL pass. What will they do then to take their protest one step further? Coleman and his ilk are not fit to shine Pelosi and Perriello's shoes, leave alone critique Democratic healthcare legislation of which they understand very little.

    To all Teabaggers with a measure of decency and reason: America urges you to drop your mob-mentality movement before it's too late. The kinds of histrionics we've seen from you only serve to stain your reputation and your souls.

    Become better-informed about what the healthcare legislation will actually accomplish. Air your concerns at appropriate venues in appropriate ways (i.e., if you are convinced your argument is correct, you shouldn't have to shout anyone down). Disavow organizers like Coleman and his cheerleaders on Fox News. Otherwise you relegate yourselves to being a group of fringe lunatics, plentiful in number but by no means the majority.

    November 14, 2009 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
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