The infamous Oath Keepers militia group seems to have broken an oath to hold a demonstration outside of the office of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California) in South Los Angeles.
ABC News reports that the group’s members were scheduled to arrive at the office at 1 p.m. on Thursday to protest Waters' recent remarks urging civilians to confront President Donald Trump’s administration whenever they spot them out in public.
"This is both a protest against Maxine Waters' incitement of terrorism, and a stand FOR ICE and the Border Patrol, as they enforce the perfectly constitutional immigration and naturalization laws of this nation," said a statement published Tuesday on the Oath Keepers website.
"We expect this to be an ongoing protest for an indefinite time," the statement added.
However, just before the protest’s scheduled time, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department announced that they had been notified by the Oath Keepers that the action was canceled.
In their place, a group of the congresswoman’s supporters showed up and held a counter-protest. Among them were members of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers, who have dubbed the Oath Keepers as “a threat to the community.”
“They are a threat to the members of my union. They're a threat to democracy in general. They've represented themselves to promote violence and to promote an agenda that is opposed to the interests of my community,” said Cliff Smith, a member of the union and resident of the 43rd District, which Waters represents.
Prior to the Oath Keepers cancelation, Waters released a statement asking her supporters to refrain from engaging with the militia group.
"The Oath Keepers would like nothing more than to inflame racial tensions and create an explosive conflict in our community," Waters wrote. "In order to ensure the peace and security of our community, it is best and preferable if no other demonstrations are scheduled."
Alas, the counter-protesters showed up anyway and went on even after the Oath Keepers were a no-show. While there wasn’t any violence that took place, some demonstrators did set fire to an American flag as they chanted and danced.
The Oath Keepers group is known for being armed out in the open during tense moments, such as the 2014 race riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Their presence, alone, incites fear and uneasiness.
The thought of them showing up outside of an elected official’s office while toting guns just sounds like a recipe for disaster. We can only hope that counter-response will deter them from planning any more potentially volatile demonstrations in the near future.