Phila. political protesters crowd LOVE Park Tea Party

By Morgan Miller
April 23, 2009

Chilly air and cold rain did not put a damper on about 200 faithful American citizens from gathering at LOVE Park in Philadelphia.

As a bell rang nearby and the crowd chanted “repeal the pork, cut back taxes,” the petition began.

Don Reimer, husband of the organizer of the Philadelphia Tax Day Tea Party Diana Reimer, held a sound check raising the question if anyone could not hear his words.

Fires brewing within participants’ souls warmed their wet, cold bodies as the unified crowd proclaimed, “Washington!”

Wednesday, April 15, better known as tax day, revealed protesters across the country congregating to express their opinions and views on the government’s actions.

Cabrini College’s Joe Johnson, senior history and political science major, attended the tax day tea party with umbrella overhead.

“I wanted to hear the other side,” Johnson, democrat, said. “My first instinct was that these people just do not want to pay their taxes. But what [they are] really upset about is being taxed too much.”

Local areas of gathering and peaceful protesting included West Chester, Bethlehem, Lancaster, Philadelphia, State College and Harrisburg.

“Americans are tired of watching the amount of spending going on in Washington,” Stacy Mott, founder and president of Smart Girl Politics, said. “Many of them [used] their right to protest to let their voices be heard.”

In total, 50 cities and 30,000 people participated in this historic event that recalled the original Tea Party in Boston, Mass.

Smart Girl Politics, the Dontgo Movement and Top Conservatives on Twitter were some of the groups responsible for the first round on Feb. 27.

The actual organization of the various town-held tea party protests on April 15 was led by average citizens.

Mott explains that the objective of the tea parties is to give American citizens enough of a voice so that Congress can hear.

“We want Congress to put the brakes on President Obama’s current budget plans and to repeal some of the wasteful spending,” Mott said. “We are asking for anyone, regardless of political affiliation, to join us and tell Congress and the White House to stop spending our children’s future.”

Rick Santelli, on air editor for CNBC, sparked this nationwide movement by ranting about the government’s wasteful spending and mortgage bailouts.

Philadelphia’s protesting group consisted of citizens waving American flags and signs such as, “Taxed Enough Already” and “Don’t Tread on Me.”

Other attendees showed different levels of commitment to their beliefs by tying tea bags on their body and sporting colonial garb.

“I’m dressed this way [to symbolize] our original founders who wanted [a system] of checks and balances,” David Assanowicz, 31 of Bensalem, Pa., said.

Assanowicz explained that he believes too much time is wasted by pointing fingers and people blaming the opposing side.

“I am here protesting our non-representing representatives,” Assanowicz said. “I am a Constitutionalist. Shouldn’t everyone believe in the Constitution?”

Johnson and Assanowicz explain that the term protest can be misleading. The Tax Day Tea Party was non-violent and had a strong feeling of patriotism.

The citizens who attended are not anti-American. Rather, these are people who love their country and are using their rights granted by the First Amendment.

What can you do if this revolution is brewing inside your body?

Contact a local representative or congressperson about your concerns. Use your First Amendment right to voice your opinion, peacefully.

“Have faith in your government through these hard economic times. If you’re not happy with them, contact them and voice your opinion,” Johnson said.

“[The government] will start to listen when more people voice opinions. And always vote! It’s wrong to think that your voice won’t be heard.”

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Morgan Miller

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