The last day in Austin was a trip. We wanted to attend the Austin version of the Trump Impeachment march and arrived at about 9:30 AM, a half hour after the proceedings had begun. We got there in time to hear a few Democratic candidates for various Texas offices speak and then Al Green, one of Texas’ current congressional representatives, who delivered an excellent final speech.
There were about a thousand people there. Debra had connected with one of the event organizers and got permission for me to follow Al Green with a rousing, “This Land Is Your Land” on trumpet, which was well-received. Then the march began.
This is a three-minute video Debra took of the general lay of the land, but she hit the slow-motion button by accident I think. It’s worth a look, the entire thing really, as the slowed down audio makes it sound super creepy and it makes f you scroll through it you can see a good bit of what was happening.
Over the course of the first round of speeches, a Trump support counter-protest contingent was forming, and eventually grew to at least a hundred. Many were carrying rifles. I spotted an AK-47, an AR-15 and my favorite, an M1A.
In the above photo, heavily armed men are greeted by police. Other common accouterments included flak jackets, ammo belts, fatigues or camouflage, face masks and threatening signage.
Many held out bedsheets with elaborate clichéd epithets and illustrations on them, full-on Pepe the Frog and alt-right socio-political mumbo jumbo. Debra pondered why white supremacists insist on using sheets for evil. Many had bullhorns and shrieked all the way through the speakers and screamed threats at marchers.
I of course had my own horn, which indeed proved a mighty weapon. From “Charge” bugle calls, to our national anthem, to a little Darth Vader at the right times, I provided a nice soundtrack to some small prt of the event. One particular jackass was reaching out and deploying an air horn on a concert Eb as marchers passed, and just as I was just about arm’s reach from his head, I surprised the hell out of him with a triple forte Eb of my own. Fuck that guy.
The police did a fantastic job, as it would likely have gotten violent had they not been there. There were cops in cars, on motorcycles, on bikes and on foot, and when it would get tense at one point in the march, they would instantly deploy to that area. As far as I know, there were no arrests or injuries. It did get super tense.
As an editorial aside, I can fairly assess the vast majority of the counter-protesters as fulfilling the Texas Trump supporter stereotype of stupid, cruel, naïve or some combination of the three, as the preponderant bulk of the conversations with them (and I attempted about a dozen), almost instantly descended into “snowflake,” “cuck,” “Commie” and various other easily comprehensible epithets derived from dutiful study with their Hannity-speak flash cards. I did have one very substantive conversation with an attorney who was something of a leader figure with the counter-protest. I told him he was an Alpha male in an Omega society, which he seemed to think was funny. His ideas were junk in the main, but he had cogent thought behind them, and he successfully got me to cede several points that have been conspicuous blunders by the left, including the protests that kiboshed the Ann Coulter and Milo Yannopolis speeches.
Likewise, I forced him to cede that Trump’s embrace of Duterte ran counter to due process and violated everything he stood for professionally as an attorney. So, there you had it. We spoke for at least fifteen minutes, and found about a square yard of common ground, but it was something. I have been trying to reframe my political arguments rather than descend into the trigger words the media likes to teach us. Here we are, having at it.
Afterward, we got back to the RV and got on the road to the rest of the “A” towns. With Austin in the rearview mirror, we headed to Abilene, Amarillo and Albuquerque. At least we made it out alive.