West Suburban Patriots

an independent Tea Party group in DuPage County, IL

Overpass Rallies: West Suburban Patriots does NOT Endorse Them!

For awhile now, some of us in Leadership of WSP have been feeling uneasy about the Overpasses for America movement. WSP is herewith going on record to say that West Suburban Patriots is not now nor have we ever been affiliated with, does not lead or initiate, nor do we endorse the Overpasses movement or any of their events either across the nation or here in Illinois. West Suburban Patriots does not bear any responsibility or liability for any accidents or incidents that may occur in conjunction with any overpass events.

There is a real concern that someone is going to get injured or killed due to people protesting on overpasses. The concern is for the safety of both the motorists and the overpass rally participants. One recent incident involved a rally participant's car being keyed while she was on an overpass. Knowing of the anger and radicalism of many Leftists, would it be a surprise if someone gets physically attacked?

The final confirmation was an email received this morning (see below). Keep in mind that the writer of this email is a complete stranger who had to go out of his way to try to find the persons he thought responsible for the overpass rallies. Also note that his message is not angry, but reasonable and gracious. We have protected his identity for obvious reasons.

We want to win people to our side, not irritate them, bring them hardship, or harm them! Think of a Dad trying to get home to see his kid's soccer game or a frantic Mom trying to pick up her child from daycare. If your rally has made them a hour late, do you think they will look at you favorably? I've heard overpass people rejoicing that they tied up traffic on a Friday evening rush hour. Are you really the kind of person who would be happy about keeping people from their family time?! How will you feel if there is a serious accident due to the distraction you've caused? Have you considered your personal legal liability in that case? They may not win a lawsuit, but they could sure make you spend a lot of time and money defending yourselves.

The people in our movement are people of laws and integrity, not union thugs or angry Alinsky-ites. In our urgency to communicate conservative principles, let's not compromise those very principles.

THE EMAIL FROM A STRANGER:
On Jun 3, 2014, at 11:44 AM, XXXXX wrote:

Good morning,

My name is XXXXX, and I am your average commuter. I take the XXXXX Tollway to and from work everyday. It is a 25-mile trip from my workplace in XXXXX to my home in XXXXX. On an average day, I can expect to spend between 1.5 to 2 hours in the car.

On several occasions, I have seen your group holding a rally on the XXXXX overpass between XXXXX Avenue and XXXXX Road. (I assume this is the work of the West Suburban Patriots, as I saw the photos of your rallies on your website.) I fully support your right to hang banners, wave flags, and exercise your rights to free speech on that public path. But I want to make you aware of the consequences of these actions.

People will slow down when encountering your rally. Since some people are slowing down, everyone slows down.This causes traffic to slow to a crawl for miles. The last time that this happened, I tracked my mileage from where traffic slowed to where your rally was. At 5:05 pm, traffic was backed up for 11 MILES. It took me an extra 30 minutes to get home that day. Not because of an accident, or road construction, but because your organization created an intentional "gapers block" to gain more exposure for your cause.

I'm asking that you please do not hold any more rallies on that bridge. The traffic that it causes is frustrating and potentially dangerous. The commuters of the Chicago suburbs just want to get home to their families, and your organization is preventing thousands of us from doing so in a timely manner.

I wish you well, and I hope that you take my words to heart and consider your actions before impeding the flow of traffic with your message.

Respectfully yours,
XXXXX

MY REPLY:
Dear XXXXX,

I thank you so much for your gracious email! I want to let you know that these "overpass rallies" are NOT sponsored by or endorsed by our group, West Suburban Patriots. I have been very concerned about these rallies for weeks, and your email confirms my concerns. I am worried that someone is going to get hurt because of these events. Plus, tying up traffic and preventing people from getting home safely and in a timely manner is NOT the way to "win hearts & minds"!

West Suburban Patriots is very thoughtful about endorsing events, and we do NOT endorse overpass rallies. When the overpass events first began, some in our group learned of them and chose to participate. I also attended one of the early events, but I was very troubled when I saw some near-misses on the roadway and have not been involved since. Because several of our attendees were interested, one of the "overpass" organizers asked to speak briefly at our meeting, and we allowed him to do so. We now regret doing so, because it might be construed as our support. Some in our group have posted photos of the events on our site.

This concerns me so much that I comment on their (the overpass people) Facebook posts to gently try to dissuade people from participating. There are so many better ways to exercise our civic duty! In my notes for our next monthly group meeting (June 14th) I have made a note to bring these concerns to our group. I hope that will cause many to re-think their support of the overpass rallies. We are not an autocratic group, and our participants are very independent people, but very reasonable.

Your email is compelling, because if you took the time to seek us out and write to us, that tells me there are many HUNDREDS who feel the same way as you. May I ask your permission to share the content of your email on a blog post on our website? I will, of course, remove your name, road locations and email address so you absolutely cannot be identified. Your email might help me make the case against these dangerous and annoying overpass rallies, hopefully before someone is harmed.

God bless you for taking the time and effort to seek me out and and write. You have affirmed in my mind what God has been laying on my heart for many weeks now.

Warm regards,
Carol Davis
Founder & Coordinator
West Suburban Patriots

AND FINALLY, HIS PERMISSION TO USE HIS EMAIL MESSAGE:
You absolutely have my permission to use my email on your blog. Take whatever steps you feel necessary to protect my identity. Thank you very much for your response to my concerns.

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Comment by Edward Novak on June 10, 2014 at 6:29pm

Carol, Your message is spot on. We can get mad at the what is happening to our Country or we can exact some real revenge by winning some elections. Winners dictate the policy decisions. The other side has had there chance to govern and they have screwed it up mightily. Let that be the impression of all who go to the polls in November.

Comment by jan s on June 9, 2014 at 12:09pm

My favorite rally was the IRS one along Butterfield rd near the 355 entrance -- between two stop lights.  Very high traffic that had to slow down / stop anyway, so we did not interfere with traffic - Plenty of green space to stand - even shade.  And as my son said - Of course you had lots of thumbs up and honks - you were protesting the IRS.

Comment by Carol D on June 9, 2014 at 11:13am
Thank you all for your affirming words. It means so much to me, and I appreciate your support. I want to make sure everyone understands that I am not attacking anyone or trying to dictate to people. I just want people to stop, think, and make informed choices.
Comment by Matthew Bianco on June 9, 2014 at 8:48am
Very good! I support WSP all the way!
Comment by Patricia Armstrong on June 9, 2014 at 8:47am

I have been worried about someone getting hurt for a while now. We surely don't want to be a nuisance to the public, causing people to sit in traffic when they could be home with their families.

I still love rallies just not where they would cause safety issues. My favorite rallies are when the Tea Party Express show up, they put on a great show and get the people all fired up!  :-)

Comment by Rick Newton on June 9, 2014 at 7:24am

Carol,, your message is right on point and I concur with you completely!

Rick Newton, Coordinator

Tri-Count-Teas

Comment by Natalie Smith on June 9, 2014 at 6:14am

Good job Carol, you represent us well!

Comment by James Lysaght on June 9, 2014 at 1:15am

Positive action works better than trying to shut down traffic!  Plus, there is a safety issue.  As attractive as the concept of protesting peacefully on an Overpass is, the reality is there are concerns which you illustrate.  Perhaps in less populated areas Overpasses makes great sense.  Much as I like the general idea, here in Chicagoland the potential harm can't be ignored.  Thanks for justifying your stance!

Comment by Carol D on June 9, 2014 at 12:47am
Thanks for your support Scott. There are important Primary races all over the country, through the end of August! Rather than waste time and alienate people for hours on an overpass, a much better use of that time is working for GOOD CANDIDATES! And there are still MANY Precinct Committeemen spots that need REAL Patriots to fill them. The PC's are the best people to speak one-on-one with their neighbors about the importance of electing true conservatives to save our state and nation.
Comment by Scott S. on June 5, 2014 at 10:42pm

This response was long overdue. I'm glad no one has been hurt.  We have made our point. Now it is time to put our words into actions. Call for a candidate,  walk his or her precinct.  Work on an election commission. Run for office, or school board. Leave the overpasses alone and let people commute in peace. 

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