The Oath Keepers, which claims 35,000 members who often dress in military gear and carry military-grade rifles at protests and events across the country, issued a “call to action” for Thursday to protest Waters’ “incitement of terrorism” and Democrats’ opposition to Republican immigration policies.
Waters does not want counter-protesters to clash with the Oath Keepers and urged her supporters to stay away until they’re gone.
“I am requesting those individuals and groups planning a counter-protest to not be baited into confronting the Oath Keepers with any demonstrations in opposition — such an occurrence would only exacerbate tensions and increase the potential for conflict,” the Golden State Democrat told her supporters in a statement.
Please read my statement on the Oath Keepers’ planned protest at my district office tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/1ZALWLaZJS
In June, Waters received criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike after she told supporters at a rally to continue protesting White House officials in public and refusing to let them be served at local businesses until they put their foot down on President Donald Trump’s policies.
“If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” Waters said at the rally.
President Donald Trump falsely claimed that Waters urged her supporters to “harm” supporters of “the Make America Great Again movement.”
The Oath Keepers allege Waters is “inciting far-left terrorist violence and threats of violence.”
Waters said the Oath Keepers have a right to assemble to protest her but advised her supporters to stay away.
“The Oath Keepers would like nothing more than to inflame racial tensions and create an explosive conflict in our community,” she said. “In order to ensure the peace and security of our community, it is best and preferable if no other demonstrations are scheduled on the same date and time.”
The Oath Keepers’ protest Thursday will be “ongoing,” they said on their website, and could last up to “several weeks.”