September 30, 2010
If you missed the original interview Arisha conducted with Karyme Lozano, check it out before reading this post. Quite the goings-on today. Keep in touch, Karyme! — Adam
By Arisha Michelle Hatch
Stop #18: Stockton
Twenty minutes after 10 AM, the Vota Bus finally arrived at Weber Point park in Stockton with three large vans filled with 42 (predominantly Latino and male) members of an organization called Victory Outreach, a Christian men’s group that does outreach in inner-city communities. Three local equality supporters also stopped by to check things out. Here’s the Christian men’s group:
“I don’t know why I’m here,” one man said. “We’re just following the leader.”
Arisha talking to the pastor with Victory Outreach
It appears that Vota Tus Valores learned a little bit from yesterday’s events and are now attempting to organize. Can they keep it up? Will progressives continue to come out in opposition? Only time will tell.
A few notes on the tour setup. The Vota Bus is accompanied by three advance cars: two white Dodge Caravans (one has Nevada plates and the other has California plates), as well as a gray Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Yesterday, the general practice seemed to be that 2 cars would scout the initial location – take note of any organized counter-protest and radio back to the Vota Bus. The caravan with California plates would then lead the Vota Bus to the scheduled location or to some sort of abandoned parking/Mexican restaurant based on some set of criteria that I can’t figure out.
My hunch is that they avoid locations with viable counter-protest unless there is some compelling reason that they must go to the location (like when a major news outlet is expected). Flashmob counter-protests may be the most effective way to counter.
Stop #19: Modesto
In Modesto, the Vota Bus stopped at a local farmers’ market bringing with them the three vans from Victory Outreach. Should we count those 42 in the tally again?
The Courage media blackout is still in effect. I kind of understand it, I wouldn’t want Alfonso speaking for my organization either. Karyme Lozano got a little feisty this morning as Alfonso rejected yet another interview.
“We saw your blog and we should see that you don’t show the truth, you change the truth,” Lozano said as she was hurried back onto the bus. I asked her and her comrades what exactly I “lied” about and she refused to respond. Watch:
Attention You cannot go around with a camera in a person’s face. It’s called freedom of movement. You’re harassing and being intolerant which is ironic because you say you are so tolerant.” Watch (he hurls this accusation starting at about the 0:53 mark):
Later at the Los Banos stop – attended by seven supporters – a tour security guard told us on-camera that her exit was pre-scheduled; however, this conflicts with other reports we received on the ground. Sources close to the tour had no idea that Karyme had even left. The guard’s statement would be more believable coming from a more reliable source. The security guard has been extremely hostile to us throughout the tour.
Fiorina/Vota Tus Valores supporters
There were also those with pro-equality views
Minutes after issuing the statement, he apologized (off-camera) to our videographer Anthony for stepping on his foot while he was attempting to film an exchange between Alfonso and a counter-protester in San Jose. He said that it was unintentional because he has an artificial leg. Perhaps this is true, but it doesn’t explain why he intentionally bumped Anthony twice with force on two separate occasions prior to the incident.
We previously opted not to report this information, but now that the guard has chosen to give a conflicting on-the-record account with respect to Karyme’s departure, we feel that the facts go to his credibility.
Now, you be the judge, did I cross the line with Karyme? Did Adam’s earlier post on her participation in San Francisco Pride strike some sort of nerve with Karyme, the Vota Tus Valores organizers or the National Organization for Marriage?
We can only speculate because Alfonso refuses to comment to us about anything.