Aug 2, 2009
Rightwing attempt to disrupt parade falls flat on its face
MONROE – An attempt by an extremist rightwing group to embarrass long time U.S. Rep. John Dingall, D-Dearborn, and disrupt the Monroe County Fair Parade on Sunday fell flat on its face.
Dingell served as the Grand Marshall of the parade, and the group had been, apparently, planning the protest for some time. In the end, it came down to just a handful of people with signs displaying the usual rightwing talking point and yelling at Dingell and his wife and at the Monroe County Democrats. There were more Democrats in the parade than protestors. I marched with the Monroe County Democratic Party, and they had an excellent float with life size cutouts of President and Michelle Obama that was very popular.
I saw one protester as he walked along the sidewalk, most of the time, with his dog from Jones Avenue, and then he walked in the street along side us, a violation of parade rules. We, the Monroe County Democratic Party, had at least 50-60 people marching in the parade. The lone protester joined a slightly larger group at the corner of Monroe and Sixth Street, I believe, and the group consisted of about- and I’m being generous here – 10 people yelling at us the top of their lungs. We ignored them, and as loud as they were I can’t even remember or hear what they said. Then I later saw one woman sitting in a chair holding a sign about health care on Elm Street.
Now, I didn’t see the front of the parade where the Grand Marshal rode, but a person commenting on an earlier post claimed she was part if the protest that consisted of about 40 protestors who yelled at the Congressman and his wife and left.
We received lots of cheers and applause, and there were a total of two negative comments.
In organizing the pathetic protest that tried to get around the strict rules of the fair board, the rightwing fringe group did not meet their goal of giving “Representative John Dingell a reception he won’t forget when he comes to Monroe to participate in the Monroe County Fair Parade.” John Dingell is well known in Monroe, and he comes here often in a career of selfless public service spanning 50 years. Why they chose to try and embarrass him at a family event when they have so many other opportunities to interact with him is beyond me.
After the parade, I spent about three hours working the county party’s booth at the fair, located just across from the MBT expo center. People were very positive. The life-size cutouts of the President and First Lady were very popular, and many people stopped to have their picture taken with them.
(Photo Courtesy of Otis Henderson)