Bridge Protesters Practice Sacred American Right

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 22, 2013

Is this a great country, or what?
On Tuesday morning, a dozen or so grandmother and grandfather types took their flags and banners and posted them on the Harper Road bridge over Interstate 40.
They were not arrested. They were not hounded by police. The only problem was a few young people who saluted them with the middle finger.
They timed their protest with rush hour traffic. At 9:30 a.m., they packed up and went home, planning to return at 5:30 p.m. to do it again. They plan to protest weekly.
Similarly, the Moral Monday crowd in Raleigh protested throughout the latest session of the General Assembly. Now that the legislators have gone home, some of the protesters had such a good time that they want to take their show on the road. They went to Asheville this week. Maybe one day they will come here. They would be welcomed.
The Irony of the Year Award, however, goes to ex-spy Edward Snowden, who disclosed that the National Security Agency was snooping on unwitting Americans’ emails and telephone messages. He sought asylum in Russia, of all places.
I walked out on the bridge to talk to the gray-haired protesters Tuesday. They were all polite, except for the puppy on a leash that barked at me.
Most were from Clemmons. A Davie County woman, Lynn Wagner, was in the mix. “If we are not willing to stand up and protect this country, we don’t deserve it,” she said. “For me, it’s wanting America to get back to its core values. I worry about the country for our grandchildren. It’s not just Obama. It’s also Congress. They enable him by not doing their job. We’re fed up. There will be no return if we don’t do something about it.”
Some were Tea Party types who feel uncomfortable with either of the two main political parties. They waved the popular “Don’t Tread On Me” flag. Some were mad at President Obama. Some were mad at Congress. Some were mad at both.
“Impeach Obama,” one sign proclaimed.
“Liar In Chief,” said another.
“Honk for the USA,” proclaimed yet another.
Many motorists did honk, especially truckers.
There were 20 other Overpass Protests on Tuesday across North Carolina.
Michelle Knoetgen Taylor of Clemmons is the state coordinator of the protest. She seemed an unlikely political leader — quiet and reserved. Unlike so many elected politicians, she didn’t spout the usual string of facts and figures to support her cause …