July 4, 2009

TEA PARTY UPDATE: GARY TIETJEN SENDS THIS PHOTO FROM ALBUQUERQUE and reports, “This demonstration was 0.3 mi long, on both sides of Alameda Blvd with people standing shoulder to shoulder. A continuous stream of people passed by, honking.”

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Here’s a CNN report on the Washington Tea Party rally:

Instead of celebrating the Fourth of July holiday with barbecues and sparklers, about 2,000 small-government advocates, toting signs and chanting slogans, rallied outside the U.S. Capitol Saturday. “They are wasting all of our money,” said Sean Albert of Richmond, Virginia. “They’re not running our government like we would run our own checkbooks. When I’m out of money, I stop spending the money.”

The rally followed a national effort that drew thousands of activists to TEA Party events across the country on April 15, when income taxes are due.

Organizers said similar July 4 rallies were planned for nearly 1,500 cities.

Of which I’m just scratching the surface here! Here’s a report from Fresno, California, where 15,000 showed up:

Organizers said 15,000 ralliers showed up in Tulare Saturday morning demanding limited government, fiscal responsibility and free markets, something they believe they are not getting.

Thousands of people from all over the central valley gathered at the Tulare Agri-Center Saturday morning for a 4th of July “Freedom Rally Tea Party.”

“This is the most patriotic thing I could be doing on this 4th of July,” said rallier Michelle Riddle.

And here’s a report, with pictures, from Oklahoma City.

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Here’s a report from Bismarck, North Dakota.

And here’s one (via cellphone) from Peachtree City, Georgia. Reader Cheryl Drury, who sent it, writes: ” I don’t know exact attendance, but Mr. Cain said about 2,000 during his speech. (I had thought a little less, at least 1500, but whatever). Peachtree City is about 35 miles south of downtown Atlanta. We have a population of about 30,000. I’ve attached a couple of pictures. It was HOT! Not too many signs, especially compared to the earlier Atlanta party, but a real emphasis on getting organized quickly and taking action now, rather than just waiting around to vote for someone else. Glad to go and glad we took our kids.”

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Jim Borchert sends this from Louisville, Kentucky:

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And Matt Barker sends this from Asheville, NC:

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Here’s a report, with photos, from Reno. And Alex Bensky emails from Detroit:

I did not stay for the entire program. My offhand guess is that they had about 600-700 people. Except for a few JROTC young people and one speaker the crowd was entirely white. Mostly middle-aged but some younger people who were clearly not with their parents, The crowd was very good-natured.and the unison responses to various speakers’ points did not strike me as particularly rancourous. I have wandered into a few leftist demonstrations in the last few years and seen others on tv or Youtube, and certainly the venom and viciousness that characterizes such events was entirely absent.

Groups with information tables included the Libertarians, Objectivists, Fair Taxers, someone doing a documentary movie on Detroit during the Second World War, and of course the organizers selling t-shirts. I noticed only one sign regarding immmigration and a couple about the Tenth Amendment…nice to see someone at least is reading the constitution. Otherwise the signs were nothing beyond what you’d expect and only a couple were overwrought, the kind calling Obama communist, etc. You’d get that sort of thing at a progressive function, a certain number of people from groups that are more or less out of touch with reality…ACORN, ANSWER, the Democratic Party…The Libertarians had a table but I only saw one sign I could identify as Libertarian; it was specifically promoting Ron Paul.

There was a singer who sang something I’m delighted to hear, conservative protest songs, someone from a veteran’s assistance foundation, the Pledge, the national anthem, Michigan’s attorney general spoke at some length and other than standard but not necessarily unwarranted jabs at Gov. Granholm and the president it was a typical political stump speech–he flattered the crowd’s patriotism and acumen, came out for lower taxes, more jobs, and a strong America.

Although the organizer who spoke said that the group was not endorsing any political party, she did make a brief plug for a local Republican congressman. On the other hand, she said that a local Democratic congressman and Senator Stabenow had been invited. They didn’t show up, which didn’t surprise me. They didn’t have the courtesy to respond to the invitation, which I regret to say didn’t surprise me either.

Also, here’s a report from Philadelphia. I’ll round up some more reports tomorrow if I can.

Philly pictures below from reader Rich Gonzalez:

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Finally, Michael Silence of the Knoxville News-Sentinel emails: “Went through ‘downtown’ Crossville, TN, about three hours ago, and on Main Street there were about a half-dozen people holding tea party signs. Some cars honked in support. Certainly not the volume you’re hearing about, but the symbolism certainly significant on this day and in this small town.” Indeed.