Tea parties flood nation on tax day


While some American citizens may have been frantically crunching numbers in fear of the infamous April 15 tax deadline, others linked together in a series of local and national protests known as “tea parties.”

Taxpayers have been organizing these events through grassroots techniques for several months with the hopes of expressing their discontent with the current state of the U.S. economy and its leaders—more specifically irresponsible fiscal policy and intrusive government.

It’s estimated that nationwide, tens of thousands of people in more than 800 cities allied together overall, according a WOKV report.

In Florida alone, there were 50 official demonstrations spanning from Tallahassee all the way down to Big Pine Key.

Club President of the UNF College Republicans Robert Foster felt willed to get in on the action, he said.

“I heard a comment on MSNBC introducing the idea of a tea party rebellion a few months ago, and I thought to myself, ‘I should plan an event on campus,’” he said.

The UNF Tea Party event took place in front of the Library April 15 at 11 a.m. Two students held giant poster boards plastered with affirmations like “stop wasteful government spending,” and others donated a dollar to chuck a cup of tea into the lake.

“We ended up with a grand total of 53 dollars in donations, so I’d say we had a pretty good turn out,” Foster said.

Environmental concerns were assuaged when UNF’s Arts & Sciences department informed Foster the tea would not harm the lake because of it’s neutrality on the PH scale, he said.

Jacksonville’s own tea party—officially dubbed the First Coast Tea Party— attracted thousands from Northeast Florida to the Landing in downtown Jacksonville. An estimated 1,500 to 2,500 took an extended lunch break or entire day off work to participate in the event, and a total 4,500 attended, according to a WOKV report.

Notorious conservative and bona fide “Reagan Republican” Dan Quiggle was a principle speaker at the Landing’s spectacle. He talked about his prior work with President Ronald Reagan and his experience beating tax increases as the Florida chairman of Americans for Prosperity.

Tea was not involved in the First Coast Tea Party’s protests, so elementary-aged children wearing “We’re Too Young to Be in Debt” t-shirts emptied pitchers of river water into the St. John’s instead, summoning chants of “Freedom” and “USA.”

Those chanting and everyone else who participated were not radicals but rather Americans who simply love their country and won’t stand for the U.S. government’s actions, said Billie Tucker, organizer of the First Coast Tea Party.

“We’re tired of them spending money and putting that debt on our children,” he said in a press release.

If those battling the excessive bailouts continue their well-articulated oppositions to President Barack Obama’s plans and put forth good alternatives, then perhaps their stance will begin to carry some weight, Foster said.

Foster’s alternative would be to implement an “all of the above” energy plan, and if tax cuts are extended and expanded, there may be a glimmer of hope for America, he said.

“Considering that the majority of college-aged students are apathetic towards issues like this, what was really gratifying was when someone would come up and ask for specifics,” he said. “[The tea party] demonstrations stimulated a constant reaction.”

Photo courtesy of News4Jax.com