If you cruised past Rancho California and Ynez roads today, chances are you saw the flags of freedom waving.
Approximately 35 Southwest Riverside citizens gathered in a peaceful demonstration to promote their 2nd Amendment rights and gain citywide support.
The peaceful crowd spanned every age, from very young to elderly — all united in a common purpose at the edge of the Temecula Duck Pond.
The yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” military banners snapped in the breeze, alongside the stars and stripes as concerned citizens bolstered their resolve in the presence of one another.
Of all the groups present, those supporting February 23, 2013 as the Day of Resistance, the Oath Keepers were most prominent at the impromptu gathering.
“Oath Keepers of Riverside County and others have gathered together in a very grass roots sort of way,” Menifee resident Louis Reyes said.
Reyes, the coordinator of Wine Country Oath Keepers, said he planned to educate citizens on general concerns.
“We want the Oath Keepers to remain encouraged as we share our nationwide message,” Reyes said. “We are veterans, former and present, policemen, former and present, and first responders. Concerned citizens who won’t be silenced.”
Corner-standers and sign wavers came as far from Beaumont to take part in the protest.
“I’m tired of the politicians saying they’re protecting kids with gun-free zones when that becomes a target,” Temecula resident Tony Holler said. “I’m concerned about protecting kids, and wanted to come out to say so.”
Others, such as Suzanne St. John-Rombach were there to drum up support for attendance at Tuesday’s Temecula City Council .
“I’ll be there to voice my opinion and stand against Agenda 21 in Temecula,” she said.
The United Nations’ sustainable cities plan known as Agenda 21 was formally adopted by the Temecula City Council in June 2010.
The initiative — intended to be an environmentally-responsible vision to create walkable, multi-use, efficient communities — is viewed by some as restrictive and a violation of constitutional freedoms to live as one chooses.
“Our main concern is for freedom and the preservation of the Constitution of the United States of America. We don’t want to see our freedoms eroded,” Reyes said.
Signs stating “Freedom isn’t Free,” “Lose the Second Amendment and we lose the First,” and others that asked supporters to honk in favor of the right to bear arms had passing vehicles in a near-constant beeping of horns from 10:30 a.m. to almost 2 p.m.
For more information on Oath Keepers, visit: http://www.ieoathkeepers.org.
Ashley Ludwig is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.