Antitax protesters bring sound and fury to Love Park.
Soggy “teabaggers” braved steady rain and wind to unite Wednesday afternoon in Love Park, to voice their disgust with corporate bailouts, the efforts of the Obama administration to spend its way out of a recession and any other hot topic.
“The pork barrel spending and over-the-top spending is getting ridiculous and if it needs a tea party to stop it, just like they did in 1793 [sic], that’s what we’ll do today,” said Steve Stanton of Willow Grove, who held a homemade sign reading: "CLINGING TO MY GUNS AND RELIGION."
“It’s a general comment,” he said before trailing off into the Pledge of Allegiance that was being led over the loudspeaker system.
The soaked crowd was dense, holding a combination of umbrellas, yellow “DON'T TREAD ON ME” flags and homemade signs containing such slogans as "WASHINGTON: STOP THE INSANITY" and "NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION"—the latter sign, of course, ignoring that elected officials are making federal tax policy.
Emotions were boiling as high-energy speakers criticized the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Reserve.
Many in the crowd say that they heard of the tea party via Fox News. Even local organizer Diane Reimer read an excerpt from the National Tax Day tea party website and asked gatherers to text the word “teaparty” to 69302, so that they could do a head count to see how many people were in attendance.
“That way [national organizers] will know how many patriots came out today,” said Reimer to the crowd.
William Webb, who is helping organize another protest Saturday at Independence Mall, said the protests were rooted in history.
“I’m a libertarian,” he laughed, suggesting the original Boston Tea Party protesters were against tax cut—one that benefited the East India Company. “The original tea party was a protest against corporate bailouts! Same thing here!”
“Centralized economic planning is doomed to fail,” said Webb.
“It’s this crazy, run-amok Congress we got. They’re out of control!” said Heather Mentz of Penndell. “They’re violating the Constitution, they’re stealing our rights, they’re indebting our grandkids!”
“They’re just totally out of control,” says Mentz. “Every single thing they’ve done since they’ve mentioned the bailout has been a nightmare."
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