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County Line Road overpass protest attracts cheers, jeers

Special Correspondent
Published: September 11, 2013
D'ANN LAWRENCE WHITE Cheryl Patterson of Plant City waves to supporters from the County Line Road overpass.

LAKELAND – Passing big rigs honked their approval as Bre McTiernan, Cheryl Patterson and Carol Bridges brandished “Impeach Obama” signs on the County Line Road overpass at Interstate 4 Saturday morning, Aug. 31.

The frequent honks of approval outweighed the occasional finger gestures from motorists opposed to the women’s political stance.

“It’s amazing. People will give us the finger and call us ‘whores,’ ‘sluts’ and ‘prostitutes’ simply because we’re standing up for our country,” said McTiernan, 51, of Mulberry. “But we always get more honks than anything else. The majority of people agree with us.”

For the fifth weekend in a row, the three women sacrificed their routine Saturday morning household chores to spend three hours in the blazing sun, waving signs for motorists passing beneath the overpass as part of the national Overpasses for Obama’s Impeachment campaign.

The campaign has attracted more than 40,000 participants in all 50 states.

“I used to come home every day after work and rant and rave about Obama on Facebook. Then I read about the national movement and asked if anyone was interested in forming a Lakeland/Polk County chapter of Overpasses for Obama’s Impeachment,” said McTiernan, a longtime Republican who campaigned for Mitt Romney during his bid for president.

Bridges, 54, of Lakeland promptly responded to McTiernan’s Facebook post. Although she’s independent, Bridges said she’s long been disturbed by the president’s policies and actions. She talked her friend, Patterson, 52, of Plant City into joining her.

“I don’t want to be out here every Saturday morning,” said Patterson. “I have other things to do. But we do this because we care. This is our passion. We’re concerned about our country and children’s and grandchildren’s future.”

In the month since the Lakeland/Polk County chapter of Overpasses for Obama’s Impeachment formed, about 30 people have joined the effort.

“Not all of them are able to come out and wave signs with us,” said McTiernan. “Some just offer their prayers and support.”

But, depending on the weekend, 10 to 20 people join the three women on the overpass.

“This is important enough to give up a Saturday,” said Nanci McGreevy, 57, of Lakeland. “We’re out here defending our Constitution. We’re sick and tired of Obama not doing what’s right. This country has the greatest freedoms that too many soldiers died to give us.”

One of the protest signs urges Americans to remember Benghazi, referring to the Sept. 11, 2012, terror attack on the American diplomatic mission at Benghazi, Libya, that killed four people, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Obama has since been accused of engaging in a cover-up of the events surrounding the attack and failing to launch a timely rescue effort.

“He left Americans there to die,” said McTiernan. “That’s unconscionable. He’s repeatedly violated the Constitution. He’s a criminal. He’s out of control.”

Whether the national effort against the president will lead to his impeachment is yet to be seen.

“People ask us if we really think we’re making a difference,” said McTiernan. “Well, I believe we can make an impact. I personally plan on doing this until Obama is impeached.”

The chapter will launch its next protest at the County Line Road overpass on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 5 p.m. Participants are urged to park in the McDonald’s parking lot at County Line Road, exit 25, and walk to the overpass.

For more information, email McTiernan at [email protected] or Bridges at [email protected]