After a 16-month hiatus due to a series of setbacks, Brandon Straka is restarting the #WalkAway campaign, a movement he launched in 2018 to encourage former fellow liberals to #WalkAway from the Democratic Party.
When Straka founded the movement, he posted a YouTube video that immediately went viral. After confessing that he was once a liberal, he explained why he left liberalism and the Democratic Party.
"I reject a system which allows an ambitious, misinformed and dogmatic mob to suppress free speech, create false narratives, and apathetically steamroll over the truth." But most of all, "I reject hate."
He told Newsmax that it began as a Facebook page that eventually amassed 510,000 followers and accumulated tens of thousands of video and written testimonials from other former Democrats who also walked away.
"The heart and soul of the #WalkAway movement was the video testimonial campaign. Those are the stories of people explaining why they are walking away from the left," Straka explained.
And then every one of his followers and testimonials — the "heart and soul" of the movement — disappeared in a flash when Facebook banned the group on Jan. 8, 2021.
The second setback came 17 days later when "an FBI team in tactical gear [raided] my apartment Monday morning, January 25th at dawn, came in and [took] me out of bed, put me in handcuffs, [took] me to jail and [presented] me with a search warrant for a team of FBI agents to start stripping my apartment of computers, hard drives, phones, iPads, camera equipment, clothing, etc."
Straka's crime was accepting an invitation, as the head of #WalkAway, to speak at the Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021. While there, he shot a video at the east entrance to the Capitol.
Straka observed that "It was on the west side that people were breaking windows and struggling with officers."
Moreover, because of the crowd he could see nothing of what he was shooting. He was about 35 feet away from the entrance and had to hold the camera in both hands with his arms fully extended above his head.
Straka said he don't know what was on the video "until I got out of jail and looked at it for the first time."
After shooting about eight minutes of video, he turned around and left.
The camera caught a brief scuffle between an officer and a demonstrator. When Straka got home he posted the video to social media without bothering to look at it.
He told Newsmax that:
• "I never went inside of the Capitol.
• "I was never accused of going inside of the Capitol.
• "They know I didn't engage in any violence, any vandalism, in any theft, or any destruction."
Nevertheless, he was charged with two felonies: knowingly occupying restricted grounds and impeding an officer in the line of duty.
He was also charged with a nonviolent, Class B misdemeanor of disorderly conduct with an intent of disrupting a hearing before Congress.
Then Justice Department lawyers dragged the case out with five continuances during the course of a year before offering to drop the felonies in exchange for a guilty plea on the misdemeanor — but it came with a catch. He had to make several false admissions of "fact."
"I can't even describe into words what that has done to me," he said. "It's just destroyed my reputation."
When Straka is asked why he made the admissions and pled to the misdemeanor, he responds, "Are you paying attention? Are you seeing how these cases are being handled?"
Jan. 6 defendant Matthew Perna is a case in point. His family said he was "bullied to death" by government lawyers despite having committed no violent crime. He eventually took his own life for basically entering the Capitol building wearing a MAGA cap.
Despite the reversals, Straka is set to start over, and not a moment too soon with the midterm primary season heating up.
"We created the #Walkaway Foundation and the #Walkaway Campaign PAC," described as "The People's PAC."
Straka said, "The question then becomes how do we resurrect everything that was already successful? My team and I have spent the last year working with a development company to build our own social platform — #WalkAway Social — which we're going to launch in the coming months."
Its purpose is "to recreate the #Walkaway community on a platform that we ourselves own. This will be a cancel-proof platform where we can rebuild that community, which is the heart and soul of #Walkaway."
In addition, "We're actually launching our first live event in a year-and-a-half." On Saturday, #WalkAway will host a "No Guts, No Glory" rally in Beverly Hills, California.
"We actually did a rally in Beverly Hills in 2020 and it was phenomenal. We had about a thousand people," Straka said. "It's going to be a joyous, beautiful celebration."
He concluded, "We're coming back!"
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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