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I could not make the event this year, but I hope to make the next one and hopefully we should have plenty of time planning and promoting it.  It appears that there were several hundred attendees and 20 plus vendors.   Brian, a fan of this site volunteered to give us a report of all the fun he had.

Author:  Brian, from somewhere deep in the American Redoubt

The Rally was blessed with beautiful, though HOT, weather – ideal for showing off the splendor of the Northern Idaho Panhandle.  It was held at Farragut State Park, which was a Navy basic training facility back in World War II.  This was very fitting for an organization such as the Oath Keepers, which reaches out to current and former-serving military, law enforcement, and first responders.  The site itself was Scott Field, an approximately 60 acre field surrounded by trees, so that the Rally could more or less be kept to itself, away from the rest of the regular campers at the Park.  RV and tent camping areas were provided for participants and the 50 or so vendors attending.

farragut-spmap01.gifThe first thing everyone noticed was all the guns on hand. Idaho is an open-carry state, and plenty of Patriots exercised their rights.  There were tons of Glocks, 1911s, and just about every other pistol you can think of. Long guns were permitted as well, but needed to be slung and a chamber flag inserted, so there weren’t as many ARs & AKs as handguns.  But, as the saying goes, an armed society is a polite one. None of the “evil assault weapons” jumped up and started shooting anybody on its own. The mainstream media would have one think that with all those guns in one place, there must have been a massacre a brewing.  Not so much.

There was quite a range of folks showing their wares in the survival and preparedness realm ranging from ammo sales, medical and military/tactical gear, to alternative power sources like solar panel systems, and wood gasifiers.  There was also a re-invented Pulaski, the P2 Fire Tool, a Protection K-9 breeder/trainer, and a ham radio booth that supports the efforts of Radio Free Redoubt and AMRRON, the American Redoubt Radio Operators Network. I have to take a second to give thanks to the AMRRON folks for helping me program my new Baofeng UV-5 – MUCH appreciated. John Jacob Schmidt from Radio Free Redoubt (RFR) broadcast the entire event live and really helped keep everyone aware of what was going on by tuning into the local frequency. Parts of the show have been archived and should be available for download later, [Bard: I have included several in this post] as well as the evening’s speeches.  There were also a number of information providers, like the Appleseed Project, the John Birch Society, the Citizen’s Alliance for Property Rights, and Alt-Markets to name a few.

northwest-patriot-and-self-reliance-rally-idahoIn addition to the vendor booths, there were workshops put on by various folks that ran all during the day. There were classes on essential bug out bags, everyday carry, basic patrolling and night patrols, field midwifery, barter networks, ham radio, hand-to-hand combat, essential oils, the real history of what happened at Lexington in April 19, 1775 – all kinds of educational things for Patriots and preppers, and even a discussion forum for the children there so they could learn more about politics and presidents.  Our children are the future of this country, so it’s vital that we expose them to information beyond what they get in the school systems. There was always “something” going on, from opening ‘til the evening when the speakers and entertainers came on.  It was anything but boring.

product2If there wasn’t a workshop going that caught your interest, the vendors were more than happy to spend some time and share their knowledge, even if you didn’t buy anything from them at the moment. David Pruett of AMP-3 Medical, who is USNERDOC on You Tube, was especially great to talk to for me, as I’m a former EMT and he’s an actual ER physician. David has been there in the real world, so when he tells you something works, or doesn’t, in the medical field (and in-field medical!) you know that it’s the real deal. When I asked him his views about combat tourniquet applications, he explained the pros and cons of all of ‘em in detail, and I finally picked the SWAT-T brand, because of its simplicity and versatility. He also took the time to discuss Celox versus QuikClot and to show me the ins and outs of the Israeli battle dressing, aka the“Izzy”, instead of just leaving me to read about it or look it up on You Tube. David’s a VERY nice guy and a good instructor. He conducts seminars at some of the preparedness expos so if you see their booth, it’s definitely worth a stop in! AMP-3 also donated one of their “Range Medic” first aid kits to Oath Keepers for a fundraising raffle, which was a $165 value.  They definitely support causes they believe in. A BIG shout out to David, Beth, and Matthew!

RFRLogo_Blog_300x300At the end of the day, we had Wild Bill for America as our Master of Ceremonies. A lot of down home country sense in that man.   Friday night’s entertainers and speakers included the Moses Wiley bluegrass band, Stewart Rhodes founder of Oath Keepers,  Brandon Smith of Alt-Markets, Washington State legislator Matt Shea, Idaho state senator Vito Barbieri, and Dale Pearce of JBS and former Idaho legislator. The last three have attracted quite a bit of incoming fire from the local media, and even the HuffPo, MSNBC and the SPLC for speaking at such a “radical” event full of “end timer crazies.”  Shea had the “testicular fortitude” to stand up and say that “we need to be preparing for the inevitable collapse that is coming.” He added that we should all be stockpiling food and at least 5000 rounds of .223 [Bard note:  I think this should be NATO 5.56 all 5.56 rifles I have run into can also fire the .223, but many .223 rifles cannot fire the 5.56. 5.56 caliber is the most common round for police and military] to protect ourselves for when the government can’t.  He stunned the crowd by unapologetically saying that citizens should be practicing small unit tactics!  I’ve got to say that I’ve never heard that from a current office holding politician, but that it was a pleasant change from the normal pabulum. Vito re-emphasized that “hard times ARE coming for this country.”  Dale Pearce gave a talk on the dangers inherent in a Constitutional Convention, and then caught flak (from our opponents) for supposedly suggesting that we re-write it. It’s really kind of amazing and frightening to watch the “spin machine” in action, twisting the words around to suit their own agendas.

Video from North West Liberty News

The evening’s attractions were Jordan Page, singer/songwriter, Chuck Baldwin, pastor, Cope Reynolds, firearms instructor, John Beal, Northwest director of the Plymouth Rock Foundation, Steve Vick, Idaho State Senator, Kris Anne Hall, Constitution Advocate, Stewart Rhodes again, and a 2nd set by Jordan Page. You need to check out this young man. Jordan is like a Patriot’s Bob Dylan. His song “Liberty” sent chills up my spine, “what will you do when the order is given, to censor your mind as free speech is forbidden?”, and “The Pendulum” is a scathing commentary on the political dichotomy entrenched in DC, which really touched my wife. One of his newest songs is called “Arm Yourself” and it’s not just about with guns, but with the truth.  The speaker of the night, in my opinion, was Kris Anne on what’s REALLY been done to the Constitution. Most Patriots “know,” but when it’s all put together like this and placed in context, it gets emotional to say the least. When she brought all the young people up in front of the stage, and said “THIS is why we’re here!”, many in the crowd made a recommitment to freedom. Jordan Page ended the night with his second set and his version of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall” that just shredded the Idaho night air.

Saturday was largely more of the same except starting earlier and there were more workshops. A pleasant surprise was that “Glen Tate” author of the “299 Days” book series was there, signing copies and answering some questions. For the unfamiliar, “Glen” (not his real name) is an actual lawyer working somewhere in Washington state government and has an “insider view” of politics and the current eCONomy. This caused him to start prepping and then to write his books about a partial economic collapse, which are partly based on his own experiences and people he’s worked with. To protect his identity, “Glen” was wearing a cheesy fake beard and sunglasses and it really looked comical. He did a joint interview with Stewart and John Jacob and then introduced Stewart for that evening’s speech. As I’ve read five of the 299 Days books so far, it was pretty cool to put a face (well, sort of) with the voice that I’ve heard in so many interviews recently, including a couple on RFR.

Video from North West Liberty News

I couldn’t attend Sunday morning due to work, but there was a morning worship service was conducted by John Beal before the last of the workshops began. I heard nothing but raves about a young man that gave a talk on the history of the Second Amendment.  His name was Dirk Seymore of the Appleseed Project; he’s just 17 years old but very well spoken and articulate. Watch for this young Patriot in the future! Others included the Future of Money, Hand Made Water Purifiers, Long Range Handgun, and Field Reloading. By the time I got back there on Sunday afternoon, everything was pretty much shutting down, but I have to share one more thing. The amount of trash left behind by participants was next to nothing. Policing the area the next morning consisted of one small kitchen trash bag that looked lonely in the back of the pickup truck. One can only guess what an Occupy Wall Street event would have left!  [Bard:  As Brian says one paragraph below (hang together), although the 99% / OWS got a bad rap on several events for cleanliness they tried to fix that.  They are different, very different, but we should cooperate with those we can, when we can, and both the Tea Party and the OWS have something they agree on; lets hang the bankers first!]

There were some glitches that needed ironing out as well as a steep learning curve, but nothing insurmountable.  I’m sure there were folks that stayed away because of concerns about Feds, DHS, etc., but as one participant posted on Facebook, “I’m still a free man and I will not hide in my own country!” [Bard Note:  you are already on the list.  When you attend remember that whenever you are speaking to more than one person, one is a federal agent and two are confidential informants and simply say things your lawyer can defend.  If you get a bad feeling from someone (like him saying, hey want to buy a full auto M4) stay away, and warn others.  He is a federal provocateur.]

And as Ben Franklin said, “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”  One of the best parts of the weekend was at the end of Sunday, when my daughter  gave me a huge hug and said “Thank you so much for inviting me to the Rally. I had such a good time and learned SO much!”

All in all, despite the negative press coverage, I’d have to say that the Northwest Patriot and Self Reliance Rally was a success and I look forward to being part of it again next year. Hope to see more Redoubters there!

don't tread on me