|By Dave Mundy
AUSTIN—Texas Nationalist Movement President Daniel Miller
on Saturday challenged Gov. Rick Perry to prove that his rhetoric is “more
than just pillow talk” by picking up the banner of state sovereignty during
the Sovereignty or Secession rally at the State Capitol.
A crowd of Texas Nationalist Movement and other groups
estimated by organizers to be in the vicinity of 1,500-2,000 people gathered
on the south side of the Capitol Saturday to demand that Perry and state
legislators either stand up for state sovereignty by nullifying federal
legislation and regulation which intrudes on states’ rights, or start the
process of secession.
Miller called on his group’s members to embark on a “national
day of action” on Sept. 2, flooding Perry’s office with phone calls demanding
he call a Special Session of the Legislature to take up the sovereignty
issue, as has been done in Tennessee, Montana and other states.
Perry generated a mass of media attention with a public
statement that Texas has a right to secede following a Tea Party at the
Capitol back on April 15. Many of his political opponents claim the Governor’s
statement was merely political posturing
“I challenge (Perry) to show us that that was not just
pillow talk,” Miller told Saturday’s rally. “I want you to show us that
you’re listening now.”
Waving a large “Come and Take It” banner—one of the flags
used in the Texas Revolution of 1836—Miller said that if Perry and the
Legislature “don’t take up this banner now, we will.”
Perry was originally scheduled to appear at the rally
to receive a state-sovereignty petition generated by Gerry Donaldson and
drawaline.org, but ducked out claiming “prior commitments.” His absence
generated sharp criticism from several speakers during the event, including
two Republican candidates who will be opposing him in the 2010 primaries.
Debra Medina told the rally that “we are giving notice
today that we will not stand for the nationalization of our business, we
will not stand for fascism in this country.”
She said the attendance at the rally bespoke growing
concern among Texans that their rights are being eroded.
“We are watching you, Washington. We are watching you,
Austin,” she said. “We will not stand for tyranny in our state. We are
showing you today our weapons against tyranny.”
Medina spoke strongly in favor of sovereignty, but expressed
her concern that secession might start “a bloody war.”
Fellow GOP candidate Larry Kilgore said that re-establishing
state sovereignty would be only a stopgap measure.
“Sovereignty ain’t the answer,” he said. “Secession is
the answer. We have to have the Unietd States get out of our lives.”
Pointing at the U.S. and Texas flags flying over the capitol,
Kilgore told the rally: “I hate that that flag is flying above the Texas
flag. I hate that government. That government is killing our children.”
Also on hand Saturday was Tracy Metcalf Miller, who has
gained national acclaim over a video of her question to Congressman Sheila
Jackson Lee being ignored when Lee answered a cell phone call.
Miller said the incident with Lee “demonstrates the arrogance”
of the federal government toward mainstream Americans.
“This government, it scares the people,” Miller said.
“It is arrogant. Could you imagine the abuses of the Fourth Amendment if
national health-care passes?”
She said people are waking up to the arrogance in government.
“Congress, can you hear us now?” she cried.
Donaldson, the organizer of the event, said that so far
his group’s petition had been signed and presented to county government
in 222 of Texas’ 254 counties, and noted that 37 other states had similar
drives underway to demand state governments act.
Donaldson also took a shot at Perry.
“Politicians like to go with the winds,” he said. “We
cannot allow that any more. We have to call the Governor to call for a
special session and vote for secession now. We have no other choice.”