By: Doug Casity
Yelm, WA- A small prairie community has joined the list of towns that are openly defying the governor’s COVID mandates. On Saturday, approximately one hundred and fifty attendees gathered in the public park to protest. Speakers such as Erik Rohde and Matt Marshall of the WA3%, Rian Ingrim, Glen Morgan, David Keller, and event organizer Darren Culbertson, gave speeches encouraging the word of truth, patriotism and assuring the public that the fight for liberty is not over.
“We are prepared, we are organized, and we are EVERYWHERE,” Rohde boomed into the microphone, attempting to drum up support and recruitment for the Washington 3% group. He continued, “We have four pillars in our organization: prepare, support, unite and defend.”
The crowd was fired up, chanting, “We will not comply, we will not comply.”
“Hear us loud tyrants, hear us loud. You have not won a battle; you have not won the war. You have fired the first shot across the bow, and it WILL be answered,” Said Rohde. A usual argument at the anti-lockdown protests, he said, “Walmart is open, but don’t go to Farm Boy.” Farm Boy is another small, rural restaurant that is currently in a legal battle with the state over their refusal to close their doors for sit down dining.
Rodhe also touched on the recent attacks on our ability to communicate and network, with Twitter and Facebook banning conservative accounts, including the fight Parler is giving Apple against Apple’s demands for the Parler to censor its users.
Rohde refused to call big tech platforms, over the amount of messages sent over them every day, electing to refer to them as a communication platform.
“Far too long this nation never thought this would come to our shores. It’s here. What will we do as a response?” He went on to talk about how the prosecutor from his county wants to get rid of “Disease thinking and Trump supporters. That’s going on in this nation, the CEO of Twitter, major media outlets saying that they would like to film the execution of conservatives.”
“Wake up, the alarm clock is ringing. Nope, that’s the Liberty Bell ringing,” Rohde continued. “They used to say back in the day, ‘Join or die,’ and I think that’s where we’re at.”
Matt Marshall, the founder of the Washington 3% then took the microphone. “What type of government do we have?” He asked the crowd. “Tyrannical!” Was the response. Marshall replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
He continued, “The Constitution, that is what most of us base all of our convictions upon. That’s supposed to be the law of the land. The Constitution is supposed to the guiding principle for this county. It’s our guidebook.”
Marshall shifted to the Patriot Act, 9/11, and the FISA courts, reminding the crowd of the outcry about the Constitutional violations, “Because we could see it. The entire world can see it. What are they doing to the ones who saw it then? They are cancelling us. They are deleting us and taking away our voice. But it’s coming back to them now.”
“We’ve seen tempers raised here in Olympia, we seen it in D.C. People actually stormed the United States’ Capitol. There has been rhetoric about needing to do it for a long time. And people actually went and did it,” he said. “I can’t say I approve of what happened there. I can say it’s a sad time in our country when people needed, or felt they needed to go do that.” Marshall went on to say our nation was in distress.
Marshall explained that an email was sent out from his organization a planned protest at the Washington State Capitol, a campout until the public had access “To our own building.” The event has since been cancelled after the storming of the Governor’s mansion on 6 January. He continued to explain how his phone rang non-stop by the media, wondering how Marshall would further escalate things. “State Patrol and the FBI were asking, ‘What our plans were and why we were still going through with this.’”
The media claimed that Marshall and his group were trying to intimidate legislatures with guns and storm the Capitol. “That is not at all what was said. We were trying to say, ‘We have access to our building, and we want to be involved in our process,’ as the Washington State Constitution requires.”
“We cancelled our event because they are using this as a false flag. We would be labeled and destroyed,” Marshall said. “The First Amendment, if you’re a patriot, no longer exists.” He went on to explain that conservative opinions “Outside of our close-knit friends” are now taboo.
Marshall said, “Next will be the lists. We won’t just be banned from social media, we will begin to disappear. The NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) would authorize them, if they think we’re a national security threat, to hold us indefinitely without charge, also against the Constitution.” He finished with encouragement for everyone to use their voice to spread the message of truth and freedom.
David Keller, a combat veteran, former law enforcement officer and small business owner took the microphone. “Do you see Walmart shut down? Do you see Safeway shut down? Is any of the big-funded companies shut down right now?” Keller asked.
“As a combat veteran and law enforcement officer for the DOD (Department of Defense), I took an oath, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution and obey lawful, I repeat, lawful orders from those above me. Is shutting down the economy without the people’s vote and without the legislature’s vote lawful?” The crowd answered for him in unison.
He called on the local PD that sat across the street from the event. “Because I know they can hear me, are you gonna violate our rights and violate your oath to keep our businesses shut down? I know you have a PA and can respond.”
Keller asked the crowd who had lost their jobs, who had children, and who couldn’t provide a Christmas to their children because of their job being deemed, “non-essential.” A woman raised her hand and Keller beckoned her to the stage, where he handed her a sum of money, gave her a hug and told her to treat her children.
“If I have to drain my savings, drain my bank account and take it to where I’m going into bankruptcy to help somebody else, I will,” Keller said. “Open Yelm, open Olympia, open everything! This is our state, the governor is not in charge, he speaks for us.”
Darren Culbertson, the organizer of the event came to the microphone. He described writing a letter to the city council after speaking to some of the local businesses, and how that led the mayor to write Governor Inslee a letter about how Yelm would no longer acknowledge the lockdown, defying the mandates.
“Everyone that came here today had the courage to show up, knowing that people would point fingers at you and call you all kinds of dirty things.” Culbertson said.
“I wanted this to be a reopen Yelm rally, but they got scared,” referencing the businesses within Yelm that had backed out of the planned protest. He encouraged people to stand up and “Do what you can.”
Rian Ingrim, an Army veteran and 2020 Congressional hopeful, took the stage. “In the last year, we have suffered unimaginable loss. While we may grieve loss of life with a virus and the loss of an election due to fraud, we more importantly grieve for the loss of our liberty and freedom,” he said.
“Many generations have been willing to suffer great pain and loss for freedom, willing to trade their lives for the freedom and prosperity of our children. Tyranny does not protect us against a virus. Tyranny is the plague itself,” He continued.
Ingrim encouraged those that are tired and exhausted from the fight, that surrender is not an option. He went on, “We will do everything in our power to keep this fight non-violent, however, when you have taken our livelihoods and you have stolen our vote, and now you are in the process of taking our voice, you are not leaving the American people many options.”
He then called out JT Wilcox, a state representative from the 2nd District, for attempting to end election fraud investigations. “We are no longer Democrats or Republicans. We are patriots.”