As previously reported by Truth In Media’s Rachel Blevins, “peaceful protests commemorating Michael Brown, the 18-year-old unarmed man who was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson one year ago on Sunday, turned violent after gunfire erupted leaving one man in critical condition.”
Following Sunday night’s gunfire, members of the Oath Keepers, an American non-profit made up of current and former police and military members aimed at restoring the Constitution, came to Ferguson to protect small business owners. The group also came to Ferguson last fall to carry out similar activities.
“When they’re here, there’s definitely a weight lifted off of our shoulders,” Davis Vo, whose family owns a local restaurant, told the New York Times, when discussing the Oath Keepers in November. “I’d be lying if I said otherwise.”
Apparently members of the group also offered to protect InfoWars reporters in the event of any unrest. Rather than discussing the Oath Keepers’ work to protect local business owners, the media chose to focus on InfoWars, stating that the website hired the Oath Keepers.
Mother Jones wrote, “According to reports, the Oath Keepers said they were on the scene to provide voluntary protection to a journalist working for the site InfoWars, the conspiracy mill run by noted lunatic Alex Jones.”
Mother Jones went on to describe the Oath Keepers as a “mysterious group, who called themselves voluntary ‘patriots,’ (which) primarily consists of heavily armed white men dressed in military uniforms. Many of them are former soldiers and police officials.”
However, shortly after similar reports began to circulate InfoWars began debunking the claims. InfoWars wrote:
“CBS News published a false story claiming that Infowars reporter Joe Biggs, a highly-experienced combat veteran, “hired” a militia group to protect both him and reporter Jakari Jackson in Ferguson, Mo.
“CBS News reports that several members of a militia-style group called the Oath Keepers showed up carrying assault weapons; they were hired by Infowars.com — a website run by Alex Jones — to protect its reporters,” the Aug. 11 article falsely states.”
The news website stated that they “did not hire Oath Keepers for private security”. Shortly after denying hiring the Oath Keepers, InfoWars reported that News Director Rob Dew called John Butler, the news director of CBS St. Louis/KMOX, about the story. In the video below Dew explains to Butler that the story is false and Butler agrees to retract the claim.
NBC reported that Oath Keepers “added an extra dose of unease to protests in Ferguson,” and that St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar described their presence as “both unnecessary and inflammatory.”
Protesters on the scene expressed skepticism of the Oath Keepers. Some of the crowd stated that the Oath Keepers were allowed to open-carry and march around because they were “white”. Missouri currently allows for legal open-carry of firearms.
In a post to the Oath Keepers facebook page, admin Robert Hase writes, “I am sorry, the Oath Keepers kept parts of Ferguson from burning to the ground last year and we will do it again. Many small business owners thanked us personally for our presence. NBC “news” can get the hell out of here with their nonsense.”
So why did the media focus on the InfoWars connection and only report that residents were unhappy with the Oath Keepers? Why not report on the groups attempt to protect small business owners? Perhaps it has to do with the list of 10 orders that Oath Keepers agree they will not obey. These orders include attempts to the disarm the American people, conduct warrantless searches or turning Americans into internment camps. The group also promises to disobey orders that “impose martial law or a ‘state of emergency’ on a state.”
On their website, the Oath Keepers wrote “Is it any surprise that a Main Stream Media (MSM) outlet would attempt to demonize Oath Keepers by portraying us as hired guns? It is just another attempt by the MSM to smear Oath Keepers. One of their tactics is to make an accusation against us, then step back from it when the truth is pointed out. The damage has been done, however, as the initial accusation is stuck in the minds of the public.”
If the Black Lives Matter protesters and other activists in Ferguson chose to work with the Oath Keepers and focus on police violence, this movement for accountability might actually have some legs. If not, and the people continue to allow themselves to be divided, then tyrannical governments and violent police will remain in power.
Perhaps the groups in Ferguson can take a lesson from activists in Ohio. Truth In Media recently reported that members of Anonymous, Open Carry Ohio, and Greene County Black Lives Matter teamed up for an action commemorating the death of 22-year old John Crawford, who was shot by a Beavercreek Police officer at a local Wal-Mart.
What are your thoughts? Is there any hope for unity from these groups with a wide-range of often differing opinions? Or is it a lost cause? Leave your thoughts below.