During the past year, there has been a proliferation of conservative groups that have increasingly engaged in rallies, street demonstrations and protest meetings. These groups have been growing around the country. There have been a significant number of these activities throughout the New York urban area.
All of them in varying ways have been protesting the policies of the Obama administration, especially regarding national health care reform and national security issues.
Social protest is not new in the United States. During the 1960s and early ’70s, we saw an endless array of protests from liberal groups, including the civil rights movement, the counter-culture movement and, during the late 1960s, the anti-war movement. Those anti-war protests were the largest during the period and received much attention from the news media.
They began on college campuses, especially in the northeastern part of our country and California. The anti-war protests had a profound effect on our foreign policy concerning the conduct of the Vietnam War. Most of the protesters were college students and young people in their 20s.
Today, the people participating in current protests are also college students but older people of middle-class background. They seem strongly motivated in their efforts.
As we look at these newly formed conservative groups, there is the Conservative Society for Action, which recently met in Plainview, N.Y. There were several hundred people present as they had speakers attack what they referred to as “the growing centralization of power in Washington and in Albany.” They listed some of the government policies they are challenging as being high income taxes, deficit spending, income redistribution, socialized health care, government control of private business, unparalleled class warfare and an assault on hard work and success.
Another newly formed conservative group, called America Reform Now, is helping organize protests against the trial of five Sept. 11 Al-Qaeda terrorists that will be held in the Foley Square Federal Courthouse in lower Manhattan. There was one protest rally held at Foley Square Dec. 5 with another one planned for Dec. 12. Members maintain the Al-Qaeda five were involved in a war against the United States and captured on foreign battlefields and therefore should be tried in military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay.
Among other organizations joining America Reform are the Constitution Party of New York, the Staten Island Tea Party, the Rockville Centre Tea Party, the Great Neck Club, the Queens Patriots and the Queens Village and Whitestone Republican clubs.
Still another conservative organization, called Individuals United for Freedom, seems to be concentrating on opposition to national health care reform. It is critical of rationed medical care, limiting people’s freedom to choose their own medical doctor and government making people’s health care decisions regarding procedures, treatments and hospital needs.
One of its brochures stated, “Join us for the tea party against socialized health care.” The location of this particular tea party was Hicksville, L.I.
These groups seem to be protesting against greater government control over our lives. On Sept. 12 there was a march on Washington, D.C., to publicly make their voices heard regarding these issues. Other marches on Washington are in the planning stages. These activities are outside the scope of the regular political party organizations.
The groups mentioned above are non-partisan in their composition because conservatives from both the Republican and Democratic parties are joining these groups as well as independents and members of other political parties. Next year, these new political organizations will be supporting candidates for public office who share their views.
©2009 Community News Group
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