‘I just want to protect my favorite bar…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Armed citizens patrolled the streets of Coeur d’Alene, a city of 51,000 in northwest Idaho, last Monday in response to rumors that rioters had threatened their city.
Dan Carson, who guarded the street with a 12-gauge shotgun, AR-15 and backup handguns, said he “heard there are some people on the way who shouldn’t be here,” the Coeur d’Alene Press reported.
He mentioned both the radical-leftist Antifa and the far-right Proud Boys as personae non grata in the picturesque waterfront town, just across the state border from Spokane, Washington.
Carson and the other armed citizens said they were in Coeur d’Alene to protect businesses, fellow citizens and the right to peaceful protest.
“By all means. I’m on their side. I disagree with what happened,” he said about George Floyd’s death. “What I don’t agree with is when you turn to violence, and you start rioting and destroying businesses and hurting people who have nothing to do with anything.”
“That’s what I’m here to hopefully prevent,” he said. “I’m not going to be alone. There’s a lot more on the way.”
Hundreds of armed citizens with handguns, rifles, shotguns and more patrolled the streets, and there were no incidents of violence.
Austin Machado and Arick Machado, both armed with long rifles, stood in front of the Moose Lounge bar at 10 p.m.
“I just want to protect my favorite bar,” Austin Machado said. “I used to be a bouncer here. It’s my favorite bar and I’m going to protect it.”
Some protesters showed up in downtown Coeur d’Alene. They protested peacefully, chanted “I can’t breathe” among other slogans, and held “Black Lives Matter” signs.
“It’s making me angrier and angrier,” said Christy Robinson, who said she came to protest racial injustice. “Instead of a horrible outlet like burning things or destroying them, I’m trying to have a positive outlet and just get my message out there.”
Meanwhile, an estimated 40 armed citizens stood outside a WinCo supermarket.
“We came here as a show of force and as a deterrent to prevent that from happening,” said Trevor Treller, who carried an AR-15 and a Glock 19 handgun.
“Nobody here wants a confrontation,” he continued. “And everyone here is wiling to engage in one if it ever should it come to that, or need to be—but nobody wants it, and everyone prays it will never happen.”