Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Report from the Nashville Tea Party

Nashville Tea Party Photo from Bob Krumm

What a Party!
4/15/2009 4PM
My wife and I attended the Nashville Tea Party today and it was great! It was a cool, overcast day in Nashville and thousands of people turned out for the event. I was down near the front, near the stage which was on the north side of the plaza with the capitol building in the background. From where I was located, it was hard to estimate the size of the crowd, but the plaza was packed with people, there were people across the street behind the stage on Capitol Hill looking down on the event and people spilling out of the plaza onto the sidewalks and side streets.

Rousing speeches, loud applause, cheering crowds, waving American flags, and home-made protest signs marked the event. The event was peaceful. There had been a fear that planted provocateurs would make an effort to cause embarrassment or foment violence, but the event went off without any significant disruptions. While people were serious about the reason for the protest, the event was festive and cheerful. The crowd ranged in age from toddlers to elderly and was a cross section of Nashville with everyone from men in business suites to a sprinkling of beaded bikers and young people in ragged jeans. The signs ranged from the standard anti-tax message signs, to humorous, to a handful that addressed everything from border security to ant-abortion to abolishing the Federal Reserve, and the esoteric signs that referenced Atlas Shrugged and John Gault. I saw a couple people in full revolutionary war soldier uniform and several people wore funny hats with teabags hanging off of them.

It was a fun event that sent a serious message. I anxiously await to see if the press will give the event the coverage it deserves. This is probably one of the biggest protest ever in Tennessee. This movement has been pretty much ignored by the mainstream media, and I ran into someone last night, who is generally an informed person, who did not even know the event was occurring today. Bloggers and talk radio have made this event possible. The day when the mainstream press can pick what is newsworthy is over, thank goodness.

Photo from Bob Krumm

For more on the Nashville Tea Party:

The People have turned to themselves for leadership

Beneath a cold steel sky, between two and three thousand protesters gathered on Nashville’s Legislative Plaza this April 15th Tax Day to protest high taxes and even higher government spending. The Nashville Tea (Taxed Enough Already) Party was part of a nationwide movement of at least 500 Tea Parties, a name that harkens back to the 1773 Boston tax protest that ushered in a decade of lasting and significant change. [Full article]

Nashville Tea Party (view from the capitol building)

Here is another report from the Nashville Tea Party posted on Webutante:

Nothing Prepared Me For the Tea Party Turnout in Nashville Today

IF SOMEONE HAD told me of the enormous turnout that could be expected today at Legislative Plaza in Nashville, I simply would not have believed them. But I would now. This Tea Party was the most heartening, energizing event I've been to in years---if ever. Simply stupendous. [full article]

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  1. The Akron Beacon Journal reported about 2,500 in Canton, 4,000 in Cincinnati, and even 800 in the smaller city of Medina! Someone from Cleveland reported on Twitter that there were about 5,000 there. I just hope this is the first step in getting Washington to listen to the people and that we're tired of being ignored!

  2. I took my family down. We homeschool our children and figure it was a good opportunity for them to see what a civil protest is about and understand why dad is always in a bad mood :)

    I hope the movement continues.

  3. I've been listening to Dave Ramsey talk about these. It's been refreshing--usually all I hear about from Stateside news is bailouts and spending.

  4. The total number of participants nation wide has been put at approximately 250,000. There are about 330,000,000 people in the United States. If we assume that 1/2 the population is democratic then simple math shows that 1/8 of 1% or .0125% of the potential republican population showed up. Considering the amount of publicity these tea parties received from Fox and other right wing news media, I'd say the showing was poor at best.

  5. PS- The Boston tea party was not considered to be a significant moment in our nation's history until many years after the fact. Actually it was considered an act of vandalism and that the tea company should be compensated for the destruction. It was the British response to the tea party, the "Intolerable Acts" which brought the people of Massachusetts together for revolution. The British lowered taxes on tea in England to help the British East India company while raising taxes in the colonies to offset the loss in revenue. What irked the colonists was that they had no say in the matter because they had no representative in parliament. Who among you out there has no representative in congress??? Taxes pay for police, fire departments, roads, schools, and other amenities that we all enjoy. It's the price of living in a civil society. If your opposed to how your tax dollars are being spent talk to your congressmen unlike the men in 1773 Boston yall have representatives. Why not use them?

  6. The estimates according to organizers in the major cities was well over 550,000 and that doesn't include a lot of the smaller towns and cities. Also, it wasn't just about taxes, it was about how those in Washington, both Democrats AND Republicans, aren't listening anymore and the people there were speaking out because they are sick of it!

  7. Even if you take 550,000 it's still 1/3 of 1%

  8. Anon 1:25AM, 1:37AM, 11:28AM: You are obviously trying to down play the Tea Party protests, perhaps due to you believing that increased taxes will solve our financial and social problems. Since increased taxes and increased government intervention in the private economy achieved neither during the 1970's, you're grasping at wishful thinking. But you are not alone, many wishful thinkers pulled the lever for Barack Obama believing as you do.

    "Even if you take 550,000 it's still 1/3 of 1%" ----So what? Many Americans that sympathize with the protests couldn't show up for their own reasons. But the many that did show up means that there is a movement against taxes and excessive spending--this alone means that the protests were a smashing success. Furthermore, if the coming 2010 mid-term elections kick free spending democrats out of power, the Tea Party protests will seem like a great political catalyst just like the Boston Tea Party.

    "If your opposed to how your tax dollars are being spent talk to your congressmen unlike the men in 1773 Boston yall have representatives. Why not use them?"----Because aside from representative government, protests are part of the American political/social fabric. It's another way for citizens to voice their opinion and solidify support for their view. You might not like the Tea Party protests because they did not subscribe to your view but that's too bad. Our right to protest isn't dependent on you, your tastes, or your political preference.