If you asked someone from the United Kingdom, and America, what they thought a tea party was, you'd get two completely different answers. For the British it's sitting down with friends sipping tea and eating crackers. But an American will think about the Boston Tea Party in 1773, a revolt against the British Monopoly on tea, or even the recent tax protest tea parties. Whoever came up with the idea to throw a national tax day protest on April 15, 2009 the due date for filing taxes, and call it a tea party, was brilliant. Not because the first tea party had anything to do with taxes, but because Americans love a good themed protest.
T.E.A. stands for Taxed Enough Already, or a billion other acronyms of your choosing.
"On April 15th, hundreds of thousands of citizens gathered in more than 800 cities to voice their opposition to out of control spending at all levels of government. Organized in all 50 states by Americans from all walks of life, these "tea parties" were a true grassroots protest of irresponsible fiscal policies and intrusive government." (Tax day)
"Chants like 'Give me liberty, not debt' and 'Our kids can't afford you' were heard across several U.S. cities as anti-tax 'tea party' protesters took to the streets to voice their opposition to big government spending." (Fox news)
I went to one of the tea parties, and saw some pissed off Americans protesting anything from the bailouts, taxes, or government spending. My experience mirrors that of the national feeling that protesters displayed across America.
In Rexburg, Idaho, a couple hundred people showed up for a peaceful demonstration above the Teton River with signs you'd expect at a picket line. Rexburg Police even barricaded one of the lanes on the street so protestors wouldn't get hit by cars. Unfortunately traffic got backed up so much they just had the protesters spill onto the other side of the bridge.
"It's every American's right to have a peaceful demonstration," said Rexburg Pd's Troy Dameron.
Signed ranged from, taxation without representation to I am not your ATM.
"We have representation, but how often does someone say oh I'm so glad that the Senate and Congress is working so great for me," said Chris West, who organized the event.
"I don't feel like they have the Constitutional right to step in and bail companies out... My great grand children will be paying this deficit back," warned protester Jesse Allen.
"Raising taxes and wanting to raise more taxes, we're just sick of it," said protester Joel Young.
Rexburg police were concerned about people throwing tea bags into the river, so what they decided to do was rip them open, and dump them out instead.
Young continued, "I'm hoping it will let our local politicians know that we're not for big government, we're not for growing the government."
Of course, there wouldn't be a government without taxes. These people just want some tax relief, or at least a government that won't rack the deficit up trillions of dollars.
I'm not the only noder to have attended one:
(r) Lometa says re tea party: I went to one here in Tucson. There were around 4000 protesters.