AMHERST — Supporters of political activist Lyndon LaRouche set up stands in Amherst and Elyria on Tuesday to gather signatures to back the impeachment of President Barack Obama, who was portrayed with a Adolf Hitler-style mustache in posters used by the group.
The signs drew honks of solidarity with the impeachment idea and shouts of support for the president from passing motorists as people listened to the activists explain their disdain for Obama and his policies.
“I love Obama!” yelled out one woman as she stopped her car at a stop sign in the Five Points area of Amherst where LaRouche’s workers were gathering signatures on the edge of a shuttered gas station.
That’s not uncommon, said Ben Tatro, a LaRouche supporter from Michigan working in Amherst.
“We get lots of thumbs up and middle fingers,” he said.
He said they chose the spot at Five Points to maximize their exposure and limit traffic problems.
“People can see our signs, and they’re not in any way stressed out by the traffic,” Tatro said.
In Elyria, where the activists set up at the intersection of East Broad Street and South Abbe Road, one man got into a shouting match with LaRouche’s supporters that prompted someone to call police.
Mike Lowery, another LaRouche supporter from Michigan, said the man, who left by the time police drove by, became upset with several points he brought up.
“In this case, I would consider it irrational,” he said. “Reason is a better way.”
Lowery also defended the controversial signs used to draw attention to his cause. He said the signs are simply directing people toward the truth.
“It’s just a result of First Amendment activity,” he said.
Tatro said that the signs convey similarities he and other LaRouche supporters see between Obama and the fascist dictators of the 1930s, like Hitler. He said the drone strikes used by the Obama administration against terrorist targets and Muslims are akin to the mass killings of Jews and others by Nazi Germany.
“Instead of putting Jewish people into the gas chamber, we’re drone-striking them,” he said.
Nancy Dixon, of Amherst, said she had no qualms about pulling over to sign the petition, which urges Congress to take up an impeachment resolution introduced by U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C.
“I think he’s the Antichrist, and I did before he came in the first time,” Dixon said of Obama.
Sarah Mismas, also of Amherst, said she signed the petition to impeach Obama because she has concerns over the possibility of military strikes in Syria and Obama’s failure to address the nation’s problems.
“They always promise change, and I didn’t see anything,” Mismas said.
Daniel Yule, another LaRouche worker, said that the problems facing the country and calls for impeachment haven’t been limited to Obama. LaRouche’s political action committee called for the impeachment of former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney when they were in office as well.
Chief Photographer Bruce Bishop contributed to this story.