Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tax Day Tea Party Report

On March 23rd, I attended a Tea Party in Ridgefield, CT. At first, I was wondering how many people would actually come out to Ridgefield. It’s such a small quaint little place, far from any major highways. In New England, it’s not easy to navigate and you need to either be a person with intimate knowledge of their maps, or a GPS. I located the Party, parked, and went in. I made several signs for people who may not have brought one, and I also brought extra poster board for anyone who might have had a bright idea, and wanted to make a fresh one. (This is also something liberals don’t understand. Why would I do that? They should have remembered to bring their own signs!) As it turned out, all the signs that I made were taken by other people- as I predicted- and some did take my extras to make their own. And I must say, it was very effective in relaying more of our sentiment!

We started in the memorial park across the street from the library. We then marched to line both sides of the main street, while we chanted and rallied for about an hour. The reception from the town was very positive. We got many people honking- people have very individual types of approving honks! They beep a lot, long mixed with short bursts (like Morse code, almost!) or they just lay on their horn the whole time they drive by. Either worked, and it was fun to watch the reaction from people who had never rallied before, and they followed the lead of the seasoned activists, cheering for the cars as they honked for us.

Afterwards, we went back to the park and rallied there, pledging the flag, singing the national anthem. We had speakers, a music guest, and a bunch of pissed off people- but in good spirits. It seemed as if everyone connected with anyone they hadn’t previously met. The party ended at 2:00pm, but people were around long after that, just getting to know each other, and feeling better that they are not the only ones who feels this way. About 300 people showed up that day- much to everyone’s surprise. We expected 50.

On March 28th, I attended the Tea Party in Stamford, CT, at the downtown library. I picked up my first hitch hiker in Connecticut that day, as while driving down the road, I saw a lady walking with signs in her hand. I slowed down and asked her if she was going to the tea party, and she was. She hopped in and to her humor- she had never been picked up as a hitch hiker, either. We made it to the party and there were about 200 in attendance, due to the threat of weather. The reception was warm again, but we did get some people who would drive by and flip us off. (I guessed they live on our tax dollars, so they’re not happy we’re speaking out against it.) The area was very prominent for pedestrian traffic, so all the passersby were very curious about it.

There are two old people who protest the Iraq war (you know, the one we won…) at the library and were not happy we were there. They went across the street, but eventually gave up when they started getting yells from our crowd. I mean- come on. Life is great for the most part in Iraq, now. I mean, it’s night and day compared to before the war. Anyone with any brains knows this.

Again, there were speakers, sign-up sheets, people passing out information about issues that concerned them, and more people becoming connected. If you’ve never been to something like this, it is simply fascinating to witness and be a part of. Nancy Pelosi should really pay attention. Even if we were paid by someone to be there (that’s really funny they say that. I feel like I was called a doodoo head.) you cannot pay people to connect that way, with full intention of connecting again in the future.

On Tax Day, I attended two parties, the one in Hartford, CT and the one in NYC. Up at the crack of dawn and out the door, I thought I would arrive in Hartford early, so as to find a place to park. Apparently, so did every other person. The police were nice enough to allow us to park at the garage for the armory and the Capitol, for free. When I arrived at about 11:00am (the party started at noon), there were already a couple thousand people there. It was phenomenal- I had never seen such a large crowd in this very blue area. There were republicans, democrats, independents, and people who aren’t political at all. There were young, old, well to do people dressed up in business attire, and people who appeared to be on their last nickel. There were all nationalities, all religions, male and female. I met a man from Kosovo, telling the crowd that where we’re headed is what he left. The only people I could find that were paid to be there, was the local media who came out for reporting.

Now, it must be said that the media that I spoke to- the local NBC affiliate, the Associated Press, Pajamas Media and another radio show (can’t remember the call letters!!) were very polite, in good spirits, amazed at the size of the crowd, and unbiased- unlike their national counterparts. The woman from NBC who interviewed me was very polite, smiled a lot and seemed to enjoy herself, walking through the crowds. She asked me general questions about why I was there, she asked me if I had a political affiliation, and if there was anything I wanted to say in the way of message to anyone listening. How come Susan Roesgen can’t do that?

We had many speakers, and about 5,000 were in attendance! There were so many people, it was really hard to navigate. Everyone felt the same way, and as I was talking to people, they were amazed at this- they said it was like they were talking to themselves, everyone was so on the same page. We were videoed by the Connecticut highway patrol. Goodie for them- hope they got a nice shot of me, because I got one of them! I heard reports of this around the country. My family in Oklahoma that attended said the cops were there filming. In Norwich, CT, they were there. Dunno why… maybe they want something to show their kids… that’s gotta be it!

There were a couple politicians with disdainful looks. I showed them my sign, “Congress’ unemployment rates should go up!” and they gave me dirty looks and turned away. One guy came up to me whose name is Ron Simmons, running for senate. He was happy to be there and happy we were doing this, and in light of it, I don’t know nor care what party he is from. He explained to me that he wanted to speak, but our organizers wouldn’t let him. I replied- respectfully, of course- that we didn’t want to listen to him, we wanted him to just listen to us. We have listened to them long enough, and it’s time they pay attention to what we’re saying. I told him that because of that, I truly appreciated he was there to listen to us.

The organizer said our permit lasted until 2pm and at that time, we would work on vacating the premises, being guests at the Capitol. The crowd went wild, shouting that they owned the building- we paid for it with taxes, we maintain it with taxes and we employ every single solitary person in that building- it’s ours and we don’t have to leave. And they didn’t. The reports I had heard was people stuck around until 3:00 and 3:30pm. (I left about 2:30pm).

From there was my mad dash home, so I could make it to City Hall in NYC by 7pm. My goal was Grand Central by 6:00. Having had nothing to eat, I stopped for a snack on the way to pick up mom at the Port Authority- it’s not easy to eat and rush through Times Square at the same time. Mom and I got to the tea party at about 6:30pm and there were so many people there, it took us damn near 20 minutes to navigate to a spot where we could see anything. People went four city blocks back, packed in like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, on both sides of the street. As far as the eye could see and beyond, there were patriots standing together against the government irresponsibility. My pictures were terrible, because I simply couldn’t get great ones- there were too many signs in the way. Only a couple could convey a percentage of our population, because I climbed on a rail to get people’s heads. Just a sea of taxpayers, sick of this.

We could see people peering out their windows from the upper floors in the buildings surrounding us. It seems as if every person on the ground had a flag or a sign, some both. The cheers were thunderous. They seemed to echo from off the buildings and reverberate down the street, practically begging more to join us! And they did- towards the end of the rally, I asked police what their estimates were, I asked other people, and I made phone calls to the local precincts. I have received estimates ranging from 25,000 to 50,000 people, counting the people who were unable to be gated but instead gathered outside of the official area. I cannot even estimate. Simply put, where I was there were a few thousand people that I could actually see. There's probably no way to really know, but to say ALOT.

Let me add that every single person within earshot of me while leaving, thanked the NYPD for being there. I know mom and I did, thanked them for being there and wished them a good night. They loved it- the ones that I saw. They smiled back, happy. This may have been one of the easiest most peaceful bunch of protesters, ever. If anything got broken, it was by accident, no one was arrested or got in trouble, because no one broke the law. Get that Liberals? We don't break the laws, we don't get in trouble to make our points. I would also like to thank the NYPD for arranging for the obnoxious bus that got in the way of the people across the street, so quickly. some of us were ready to push it- what a horrible place to break down! But New York's finest got on it and got it outta there, so we could ALL party!!

On the way back uptown to catch the train home, Mom and I saw several people on the street recognize us with our Tea Party paraphernalia. Three people on the Subway sat next to us, amazed at what they were just a part of. They couldn’t believe how many different types of people- indeed the sheer numbers of people- come to speak out. They couldn’t believe how this little idea had grown to the proportion it had. Starting with a few bloggers putting out the word that they were going to take Santelli’s idea and run with it. It was beyond our wildest imaginations. When I left Grand Central to catch my train home, there were people on the train who asked me about it- seeing my Tea Bag earrings and necklace set. J They heard about it- they supported it, they wanted to know more about it!! They thanked me for being involved- which is something I’m not used to. I am doing this for others, but I’m also doing this for myself, too.

When I went to work the next day with hardly any voice left from cheering and four whole hours of sleep, I told anyone who listened, and everyone was excited. I want to thank my boss for giving me the day off and encouraging me to do this. Ironically enough, we work in the tax department. She has been very supportive, offering ideas, paying more attention and her own family has gotten involved. Unable to attend a party, she sent Dear Leader some tea bags instead.

This was truly phenomenal and I was proud to be in attendance. Nothing else in the history of the United States has ever happened where so many came together, united, with only themselves to organize- without corporate sponsors, without George Soros.

To Anderson Cooper and Keith Olbermann calling us Teabaggers… it must take one to know one there, pals. Janeane Garofalo needs to get a clue. And to Janet Napolitano- I’ll be calling your office on Monday to turn myself in. If you call the CTHP, they probably have a good picture of me.

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