No government officials ended
up in bodies of water or tarred and feathered, though the message was clear.
Tea Parties of April 15 brought out citizens of all stripes on
April 15, with a common message to the federal government: “Don’t
tread on me!”
The Tea Parties, which have
been organizing and galvanizing for about two months now, saw thousands
of participants turning out around the country, and around California,
for the April 15 “celebration” of sorts, or protest, depending on
how you look at it. With rising deficits and recent news of more than
$1 trillion in borrowing and government spending, many citizens have
become firmly opposed to the idea of unbridled spending against future
revenues, without having their voices heard at the metaphorical bargaining
According to FreedomWorks.org
(one of the big organizers of the Tea Party events), protests were set
to take place throughout all of California, mainly concentrated between
San Diego in to the South and San Francisco in the North. Santa Monica
(with 181 protestors RSVPing in the affirmative), Santa Barbara, Hollister,
South Bay, Merced, Atascadero, Los Angeles/San Fernando/Santa Clarita
Valley, Lodi, Glendale, Walnut Creek, Redding, Sacramento, Temecula,
Ventura, Bakersfield, Oceanside, San Jose, Chico, Napa, Orange County,
Simi Valley, and Redondo/Manhattan Beach: these are just some of the
cities which held Tea Parties on April 15.
One attendee posted on the
FreedomWorks Web site that 7,500 people attended the Central Valley
Tea Party, while another alerted readers to a Tea Party in Santa Monica.
Groups met throughout California,
protesting recent announcements of huge spending increases, funded by
American taxpayer dollars, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act, noted by many for its many questionable earmarks (tattoo removal
as stimulus? Really? Water park for economic recovery?) .
The well-organized Tea Parties
hearken back to days of lower taxation and less federal government reach
over the lives of individuals. One California Tea Party group met (very
appropriately) at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. Some
protestors carried signs protesting high taxes, one wore a Joe Biden
mask while holding a sign designating the high taxes as the work of
fools, while one member even protested the Federal Reserve (though that
individual did not appear to be part of the main Tea Party itself).
In Ventura County, Tea Party
attendees had planned to meet around the county government office, and
had expected various media outlets to also arrive on scene.
In Santa Barbara, the Tax Day
Tea Party met at 1:00 p.m. along the downtown State Street
at Alameda Park. Live music, protest songs and a half mile march to the
IRS building on State Street were highlights of the schedule.
If citizens continue to be
taxed beyond their means, more tea parties are sure to be expected in the future.