The Tea Party has been accused of being astroturf – a term used to describe protests that are little more than conjured up passion by some organized interest group. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that the Tea Party and its opposition to the landmark health care legislation at town hall events last year was nothing more than astroturf. Whoever believes that the Tea Party rallies are astroturf displays designed by the GOP and organizations like FreedomWorks, should agree that today’s display in downtown Raleigh was also astroturf.
Today’s march in opposition to the Wake County School Board’s move to nix the old school assignment policy based on socio-economic status in favor of the new community schools policy was organized by the North Carolina NAACP and assisted by the presence of a convention of the A.M.E. Zion church at the Raleigh Convention Center. The national church organization has come out in opposition to the Wake School Board majority and convention attendees planned to attend today’s rally, no doubt significantly boosting the rally’s attendance. Furthermore, the NAACP handed out signs to many of the marchers. And other liberal groups – including the ACLU – were present, denoting a top-down approach to the rally. It is also interesting to note that Organizing for America, President Obama’s campaign structure, was in attendance. If the Tea Party is astroturf, then today’s rally was as well.