Sunday, 29 March 2009

Ron Paul Revolution Continues in St. Louis

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Ron PaulThe Campaign for Liberty held a regional conference on March 27-29 that was viewed as a huge gamble by participants. After all, over 10,000 people attended the rally in Minneapolis last summer that launched the constitutionalist group founded by Congressman Ron Paul. What would happen if a mere handful attend the first regional conference in St. Louis? Overheard by this writer in the registration line: “If there’s not a good showing here this weekend, the national media will have a field day declaring the Campaign for Liberty to be dead-on-arrival.”

The national media was unable to make such a declaration because the grand ballroom of the Millennium Hotel where the event was held — the largest ballroom in St. Louis — was overflowing. In fact, to say merely that the ballroom was overflowing could be viewed as an understatement. Not only were hundreds of people flowing out the doors, but the aisles were packed in what could have given a Fire Marshall apoplexy. But the packed ballroom did not set off any alarm bells with the fire department — nor with the major media, which didn’t bother covering the conference so far as I could tell.

In addition to Ron Paul, other featured speakers at the event included Fox News judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano and best-selling author Thomas Woods. The speakers could hardly finish a sentence without the crowd loudly expressing its enthusiastic support for constitutional government and free-market capitalism.

In addition to the exuberance of the crowd, its youthfulness was also apparent. While there were still quite a few coats and ties and dresses evident, particularly among older participants, the crowd had more young people with tee-shirts proclaiming their devotion to liberty.

Ironically it was Ron Paul supporters who were branded as potential terrorists — along with other lovers of liberty including supporters of Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr and Constitution Party presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin — in a report released in February for law enforcement by the Missouri Information Analysis Center, a branch of the state’s Highway Patrol. However, public outcry forced the Missouri report to be withdrawn and repudiated last week before the St. Louis Conference began.

Exhibitors at the conference included the John Birch Society, the parent organization of The New American. The St. Louis Conference is the first of six regional Campaign for Liberty meetings planned for this year.

Photo of Ron Paul

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