NumbersUSA: Tiny Mimes Beat Us Up!

March 26, 2010 1:58 pm ET — Melinda Warner

In what can only be described as a bizarre fundraising scheme, the decidedly anti-immigration NumbersUSA is sending fundraising emails using an "altercation" with balloon-wielding mimes as an impetus.

Yes...balloon-wielding mimes.

As part of their counter-offensive to the March for America, NumbersUSA's executive director Roy Beck - who believes that no immigrant (legal or otherwise) should have a job if any native-born American is out of work - took a video crew and bodyguards down to the Mall to try and engage the immigration reform advocates.

He brought bodyguards.  This fact in and of itself indicates that Beck knew that he would cause problems.  If he and his team had no intention of creating a ruckus he would have gone with just his video crew (like every other video crew there).

Knowing what Roy Beck was capable of, the immigration reform advocates were ready with a group of mimes sent to surround the NumbersUSA crew with balloons in an attempt to prevent Beck from interacting with the activists. And, for the record, SEIU did not dispatch the matter what Roy Beck says.

The effect of the counter-counter protest can be seen in this video posted by NumbersUSA.  You can clearly see (what appears to be) a NumbersUSA cohort pushing away a mime who was standing next to Beck.  NumbersUSA employees also grab small cards from the mimes and push their balloons out of the way.

This video, taken by Center for New Community activists, shows a different angle of the interaction between the mimes and Beck's bodyguards.

The mimes are clearly trying to interfere with NumbersUSA's coverage of the event - but it is obvious that the mimes are not physically interacting with the bodyguards, the videographer, or Beck for that matter. They are engaging in a non-violent protest against an organization known for its hateful rhetoric.

What is clear from the video is that the bodyguards were the ones initiating physical contact - and given that the bodyguards were large, well-built men trying to keep a few small women at bay - the "altercation" seems to be one-sided.  The NumbersUSA group is hardly being mobbed.

Roy Beck was removed from the rally and made to stand with the other counter-protesters - where he should have been all along.  The mimes were told to go back to their side of the march and to leave Beck alone.  Fine.

The problem arose when one of the bodyguards (who'd suspiciously gotten white makeup on his elbow) got too rough with the balloons and managed to hurt the mime holding them.  That's completely out of line. The bodyguard in question was detained and released.

And now, NumbersUSA is trying to raise money by saying the mimes assaulted the bodyguards.