Anti-American chanting and the burning of an American flag — no, this was not a group of ISIS soldiers in a far away land. This was the scene at a California rally in support of US Representative Maxine Waters.
In the wake of White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders being ejected from a restaurant, California Representative Maxine Waters called for the continued harassment of Trump officials.
“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up,” Waters told a crowd of supporters last month. “If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
This call to action was widely criticized by Republicans and also by some high ranking Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi who said Waters’ response to Trump policy is “predictable but unacceptable.”
Last week, Waters warned staffers and the public of a planned protest by a “far right” organization called The Oath Keepers. “I am requesting those individuals and groups planning a counter-protest to not be baited into confronting the Oath Keepers with any demonstrations in opposition — such an occurrence would only exacerbate tensions and increase the potential for conflict,” she told supporters in a statement. “The Oath Keepers would like nothing more than to inflame racial tensions and create an explosive conflict in our community.”
But that didn’t stop Waters supporters from showing up last Thursday. In fact, they were the only protesters to show up. The Oath Keepers cancelled their protest, citing safety concerns. Los Angeles police “could not guarantee the safety of any protesters” and “strongly advised that the protest not be held because of the danger,” the group stated in a press release.
However, the “conflict” predicted by Waters in her statement occurred, regardless.
Dozens of pro-Waters protesters amassed outside her Los Angeles office. Some held signs that read, “Don’t Mess With Queen Maxine.” Others carried bullhorns and led the crowd in anti-Trump rhetoric. Then, the crowd turned to violence, even though the opposing side was absent.
Protesters moved into the street and surrounded a passing by pickup truck. Some attempted opening the doors to get to the driver and passenger. Others ripped the American flag from the truck’s bed. After the truck sped off, the unruly crowd set the flag ablaze and chanted, “America was never great.”
Former Navy SEAL Dan Debono was outraged by what he saw. The American flag represents hundreds of years of history and there has been a tremendous amount of bloodshed in the name of that flag,” Debono told Fox News. “While burning the flag is an acceptable form of protest under the law, it’s something that my brothers and I find unacceptable and despicable.”
See video of the protest and Debono’s full interview here: