“Awake the State” demonstrations return to St. Augustine, FL
The ‘Awake the State’ demonstrations have been around for some time now, with the first activity in St. Augustine, about two years ago. It first appeared on US 1 South in March, 2011. Then in July, 2011, they organized a ‘Feed the Homeless’ project in the historic area of St. Augustine, Florida. Those events evolved into the ‘Occupy St. Augustine’ movement. These ‘Wake the State’ and associated activities were largely organized by Terri Buckenmeyer and Ed Slavin. These two individuals have been associated with communist groups. Neither individual was present at this ‘Free the Vote Rally’ today.
It was reported that Annette Cappella is the regional coordinator for the ‘Awake this State’ activities. Ms. Cappella is a former Democratic Executive Committee (DEC) Chairman and currently serves as the State Committeewoman for the DEC. Ms. Cappella, Vicky Oakes, Supervisor of Elections and Doug Wiles, a former Florida House Representative, among others, were the principal speakers.
Purpose of the rally was to promote expanded early voter registration, additional early voting locations, limiting amendments to the Constitution to 75 words or less, and to provide local Supervisors of Elections greater discretion in setting standards.
The speakers addressed approximately 30 people who were in attendance. Vicky Oakes communicated her support for the statements she saw on the signs the demonstrators were holding. Doug Wiles expressed his belief that by expanding the early voting and the number of locations, the interests of the democracy would be greater served. He went on to say that he thought that the more people voting, the better the decision.
A Tea Party observer, who wishes to remain anonymous, made the following comment, “The Constitution created a representative Republic, not a democracy. Nowhere in the Constitution is the word democracy mentioned. Individual rights are best protected in a Republic. Our founding fathers understood this. The histories of democracies are that they are short lived and end in tyranny. I think there are great philosophical differences, between the Tea Party and the people assembled here. There seems to be a collective process going on here, as expressed in the union style chanting.”
The event was covered by Jacksonville’s channel 4. After the speakers finished their presentations, the demonstrators made their way to US 1 N. for a sign wave demonstration which lasted approximately 15 minutes.
Ironically, as the ‘Free the Vote Rally’ proceeded, the Florida House overwhelmingly voted for Election Reform
The Florida House overwhelmingly voted in support of most of the objectives of this demonstration. The vote was 118 to 1 and the dissenting vote was a Republican. Apparently both parties favor early voting. It has been reported that early voting creates the potential for voter fraud.