At a town hall meeting hosted by Congressman Russ Carnahan in St. Louis, MO on 8/6/2009, 6 individuals were arrested after a confrontation between a protester and several members of the SEIU labor union. Mr. Kenneth Gladney was physically assaulted by SEIU members and suffered injuries. But of course, that’s not the story you’ll hear from the White House, Congress and the mainstream media – they will leave out the details about who did the beating, and will manipulate it into something entirely untrue.
From an earlier report by the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
A conservative activist from St. Louis, Mr. Gladney said he was attacked by some of those arrested as he handed out yellow flags with “Don’t tread on me” printed on them. He spoke to the Post-Dispatch from the emergency room at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, where he said he was awaiting treatment for injuries to his knee, back, elbow, shoulder and face.
Gladney, who is black, said one of his attackers, also a black man, used a racial slur against him before the attack.
“It just seems there’s no freedom of speech without being attacked,” he said.
Members of the local Tea Party Coalition, a movement that has emerged to counter Obama’s policies, had urged their members to attend Carnahan’s forum, which in turn spurred Democrats to establish a strong presence.
A spokesman for the SEIU, which represents about 1 million health care workers,
said the appearance of union members at Carnahan’s town hall meeting was not in response to protests mounted by opponents of Obama’s health care plan.
Ramona Oliver said the union has conducted an intensive national campaign over the last several months and plans to organize more 400 events this month alone around the country advocating health care reform and economic recovery.
“The members didn’t come to talk to the angry mob outside, they came to talk to the congress people inside,” Oliver said. Oliver said about 15 to 20 members attended Thursday’s rally.
“All our members want is to have a civil discussion. There is no campaign to confront the tea baggers,“ she said.
(Blogger’s Commentary: Oh, OK…you want to have a “civil discussion”, so you actually use phrases like “angry mob” and “the teabaggers” in your official union responsive statement? That pretty much points to the root of the issue)
Below is a letter from David B. Brown, attorney for Kenneth Gladney, sent to the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition:
August 7, 2009
Dear Mr. Hennessy:
I am Kenneth Gladney’s attorney. Kenneth was attacked on the evening of August 6, 2009 at Rep. Russ Carnahan’s town hall meeting in South St. Louis County. I was at the town hall meeting as well and witnessed the events leading up to the attack of Kenneth. Kenneth was approached by an SEIU representative as Kenneth was handing out “Don’t Tread on Me” flags to other conservatives. The SEIU representative demanded to know why a black man was handing out these flags. The SEIU member used a racial slur against Kenneth, then punched him in the face. Kenneth fell to the ground. Another SEIU member yelled racial epithets at Kenneth as he kicked him in the head and back. Kenneth was also brutally attacked by one other male SEIU member and an unidentified woman. The three men were clearly SEIU members, as they were wearing T-shirts with the SEIU logo.
Kenneth was beaten badly. One assailant fled on foot; three others were arrested. Kenneth was admitted to St. John’s Mercy Medical Center emergency room, where he was treated for his numerous injuries. Kenneth was merely expressing his freedom of speech by handing out the flags. In fact, he merely asked people as they exited the town hall meeting whether they would like a flag. He in no way provoked any argument or altercation, as evidenced by the fact that three assailants were arrested.
We hope that Kenneth fully recovers from his injuries; however, he is in great pain at this time. We will be pursuing legal action at our discretion. This was a truly senseless hate crime carried out by racist union thugs. Regretfully, Representative Carnahan’s statements blaming Kenneth for being a disruptive force are wholly untrue and slanderous. We would like to think that an elected official in Representative Carnahan’s position would gather accurate information before carelessly rushing to judgment.
Kenneth supports conservative ideals, although he subscribes to no particular political party. We are calling on the SEIU, Representative Carnahan, and President Obama to condemn the racist actions of these union thugs. In the days to come, we will be investigating whether these thugs are working at the behest of Representative Carnahan and how strong their alliances to various organizations–such as ACORN–may be.
We hope the St. Louis Tea Party and tea party organizations around the country will protest Representative Carnahan’s offices and also protest SEIU offices in every major city across the U.S. These Democratic strong-arm tactics must end now.
Attorney David B. Brown
UPDATE FROM THE ST.LOUIS TEA PARTY COALITION:
Tea Party researchers have discovered some interesting news on one of the people arrested for beating Ken Gladney.
Elston K. McCowan is a former organizer – now the Public Service Director of SEIU Local 2000 – and board member of the Walbridge Community Education Center, and is a Baptist minister, has been a community organizer for more than 23 years, and now, he is running for Mayor of the City of St. Louis under the Green Party.
Something tells me that while this incident is far more distasteful than Gates-Gate, and it was largely in part spurred by the administration and Congress members themselves through their conference calls with union leaders (including SEIU) and emails sent via Organizing for America requesting that SEIU “provide cover” at these events, I still do not think that Mr. Gladney will receive even the hint of an apology from this President. Instead, he’s attacked all over again with lies and the manipulation of media from the very people who we elect to support and protect citizens from such heinous acts. Conservatives, Libertarians, Republicans and all others alike have grown sick and tired of this behavior and the regular liberal playbook tactics. I wonder if our politicians will ever do the right thing and put a stop to their own shenanigans, which are at the very root of these problems and are fueling the unions to provoke these otherwise quiet and conflict-avoiding conservative individuals.