The domestic terrorist organization BAMN, which has been engaged in a high-profile effort to stop Arizona’s ballot initiative on civil rights, has removed their following video from the popular online video service YouTube. It appears to clearly show BAMN activists harassing an Arizona citizen signing the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative (ACRI) ballot petition. Apparently BAMN realized that public videos showing their thuggish activists confronting willing signators of the ACRI ballot petition were not helping their cause of defeating the ACRI.
In the video, a BAMN protester can be seen telling the Arizona citizen that the KKK supports the initiative (even though there is no documentation indicating this is true and the Arizona cause is being supported predominantly by Ward Connerly’s American Civil Rights Initiative and Phoenix’s Coalition for a Conservative Majority). The BAMN activist then goes on to declare wrongly that the initiative is racist, and outrageously says that African-American enrollment at his California college decreased 70 percent after a comparable initiative, Proposition 209, was passed in California in 1996, suggesting that BAMN appears fulling willing to exaggerate and even contrive statistics to advance its cause of defeating the ACRI. The since removed BAMN video also shows another BAMN activist sneering at the signer that: “He’s happy with his white privilege.”
Further reflecting BAMN’s apparent willingness to manipulate fact, it is now being reported by BAMN that two Arizona residents (among hundreds of thousands of ACRI signators) have asked the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office to remove their names from the petition, purporting that they were “misinformed” by petition collectors about the initiative. We’re surprised that they even found two. But on closer examination, it appears quite probable that even these two are contrived by BAMN. After a local Arizona news story about one of the two appeared, it turns out she is a Code Pink activist who works in Liberal Arts at Grand Canyon University.
And then there are BAMN’s tactics as it seeks to stop the initiative. First, there are reports of BAMN blocking people from entering buildings, causing police responses. Second, BAMN’s co-president said in a press conference last weekend that BAMN has taken hundreds of signatures away from ACRI signature collectors. Is anyone investigating this? It sure sounds like a violation of one of our most guarded Constitutional rights – the right to petition the government.
And then there are the elected officials who BAMN has recruited to support their efforts. Several could be seen standing with BAMN at that press conference in which BAMN’s co-president bragged about BAMN activists apparently stealing signed petitions. Are these elected officials aware they are standing with an organization that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has investigated for terrorist activities as one of its organizational heads apparently brags of stripping Arizonans of their Constitutional rights to sign a ballot petition?
As these politicians themselves prepare to present themselves to these same voters for reelection, we suggest it is the sort of alliance that would not likely be viewed positively by the vast majority of Arizonans.
The outrageous BAMN and BAMN-aligned efforts have continued on Phoenix-area radio. On Sunday, for instance, following predictable and totally inaccurate charges of racism by ACRI supporters, two female ACRI opponents could be heard (paraphrasing) bragging of the intimidation they have inflicted on ACRI petition circulators. They bragged that they chased ACRI circulators back to their cars, videotaped the petition circulators and signers, attempted to talk willing signators out of signing the petition, and retrieved and then threw away signed petitions obtained by ACRI circulators because they contend (again wrongly) that ACRI had illegally used out-of-state petition gatherers. They then labeled American Civil Rights Initiative Chairman Ward Connerly a “Clarence Thomas,” stating that Connerly claims he is biracial but that he is as “brown as she is.”
With only two weeks left until the ballot initiative’s deadline for Arizonan signatures, all of these initiatives–some seemingly illegal and others just brutish–suggest a great sense of desperation among BAMN’s leaders and activists. Unable to win on the merits of their arguments (even when they apparently distort them), BAMN appears willing to rely on tactics more resembling the actions one would more commonly see in a totalitarian nation.
It is unlikely that BAMN will be willing to administer any self-control in their efforts to stop the ACRI initiative. But we ask this: Is it not reasonable for Arizona’s elected officials to distance themselves from and denounce this thuggish organization? And is it too much to ask of Arizona’s law enforcement that they intervene to protect the fundamental rights of their citizens to sign a ballot petition without being harassed, verbally demeaned, and (it appears) having their legitimate petition signatures confiscated and disgarded by BAMN thugs?
As the July 3 ballot initiative signature deadline approaches, we certainly hope Arizona’s governmental and law enforcement officials will help properly defend the rights of their citizens to sign a legitimate ballot petition without being subjected to the barbaric and quite probably illegal acts of BAMN.