Northville Township police arrest Tax Day protester (Detroit’s WXYZ News)
SACRAMENTO – As many as 1 million Americans showed up at nationwide tea parties on Tax Day – and reports are still pouring in – but what’s the next step for the movement?
The vast majority of protests were organized and respectful. Even with so many people in attendance, WND found reports of only one arrest.
A protester in Northville Township, Mich., stood in the middle of traffic, stopping cars with a sign that said, “We want our country back U.S.!”
She was arrested and put into a squad car by Northville Township police.
In Lafayette, Ind., officials with the state’s environmental agency threatened protesters with fines if they followed through with their plans to dump tea bags into the Wabash River.
Spokeswoman Amber Finkelstein told USA Today the tea would hurt aquatic life by depleting the water of oxygen. She said the act would be a fineable offense, and that the agency would not allow the protest because the river would not meet minimum water quality standards.
Tea party in Olympia, Wash.
Nonetheless, protesters rallied and enthusiastically dumped a large box of tea bags from a bridge into the Wabash River.
Karen England, executive director of the Capitol Resource Institute, reported that police discarded U.S. flags when citizens attempted to enter the California Capitol building in Sacramento.
“We could not believe that they would prohibit the American flag in the Capitol,” England said. “I am still not clear why this is prohibited. The guard at the door originally cited safety concerns, but after consulting with his superiors the rationale became a general prohibition on signs and banners.”
In Washington D.C., a plan to unload 1 million tea bags in Lafayette Square was reportedly disrupted when organizers were told they lacked the proper permit. Protesters were also evicted from the Treasury Department when Secret Service officials said they did not have permission to rally there.
One protester tossed a box of tea over the fence onto the White House lawn, so Secret Service evacuated the area temporarily and sent a robot to examine what they believed to be a suspicious package.
But with just a few disruptions, organizers say the event was a resounding success.
Tea partiers dump tea in Wabash River (photo:TMQ Fanboy of the Dread Ilk)
Now many people are asking, “What’s next?”
Tax Day Tea Party national event coordinator Amy Kremer told WND, “People are pumped up, and they’re ready to move on. They all want to know what the next step is. That was the first step; it was a baby step.”
Kremer said organizers didn’t expect Tax Day miracles, but they believe more and more people will get involved and awaken the government to its spending addiction.
“It’s just like an alcoholic or drug addict,” she said. “Before they can ever get help and get well, they have to admit there’s a problem. Right now, our government is on this tax-and-spend binge at our children’s and grandchildren’s expense, and they just keep spending and spending and spending. Before we can ever find solutions, we have to admit there’s a problem.”
Kremer said the main goal of the protests was to have citizens’ voices heard, to force elected officials to be accountable and to hold their feet to the fire.
“Earlier this year, when they were voting on the second stimulus, we melted their phone lines,” she said. “We burned down their e-mail accounts. We faxed. We did everything we could, and they didn’t listen to their constituents. They continue to vote the way they want.”
She said politicians are in their own bubble in Washington, D.C., and haven’t listened to the voices of the people.
“We hired them; we can fire them,” Kremer said. “If that means we have to go after every incumbent in office from now until 2012, we will do that. But the American people are tired of sitting by, and they are starting to step forward and take notice.”
The American Majority, a non-profit political training institute “committed to individual freedom through limited government and the free market,” is prepared to replace those politicians with new American leaders. It launched its “After the Tea Party” plan to keep the revolution going and train people to run for office.
“There are events in history that impact the direction a nation takes,” wrote Ned Ryun, president of American Majority. “This could be one of those moments.”
He is calling for “implementers of freedom and limited government” to channel their passion into a long-term approach and run for public office or become more effective activists.
“If people are really fed-up with the current elected leadership of this country, then they should think about becoming the next generation of leadership,” he wrote.
Not even the snowy weather could keep these tea partiers in Bozeman, Mont., from joining nationwide protests against government spending. (photo: Dick from Bozeman posted this photo to Tax Day Tea Party website)
Ready for the next round?
Meanwhile, Michael DiPrimo, special counsel to American Family Association President Tim Wildmon, told WND the AFA has already started making plans for more tea parties on May 30 and July 4 on its National Tea Party Day website.
The organization called for new tea party plans today and has already signed up four organizers for three U.S. cities.
“Our goal is simply to keep the grass-roots organizations mobilized,” he said. “We want to keep people pumped up and excited, and we want them to continue to knock on the door of Congress and the White House.”
DiPrimo continued, “We don’t want people to think of it as a one-time event and then have it fall by the wayside. Every time you look in your wallet, think that 40 percent of what’s in there goes to the government in taxes.”
WND has been hosting its own tea party forum so citizens can exchange ideas, information and announcements about the “revolution.” WND readers have been sending information on upcoming tea parties, including the following 25 protests scheduled in 16 states:
Buena Park – Saturday, July 4, 12 p.m. at city hall, 6650 Beach Blvd., bring flags, banners, signs; lunch to follow
Los Angeles – Saturday, July 4, from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Santa Monica Pier
Inverness – Saturday, April 18 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., at the old historical courthouse, One Courthouse Square
Walton Beach – Sunday, May 17 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at Emerald Coast Convention Center, 1540 Miracle Strip Pkwy
Atlanta – Saturday, July 4, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the capitol building located at 206 Washington St.
Watkinsville – Saturday, May 9, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Oconee County Veterans Memorial Park
Chicago – From Saturday, July 4, at 7 p.m. to Sunday, July 5, at 5 a.m. at Belmont Harbor on Lake Shore Drive
Fort Wayne – Saturday, April 18 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. downtown at Courthouse Square on Main Street
Mishawaka – Saturday, April 18, 10:30 a.m., in Beutter Park, call 574-257-1415
Boston – Saturday, July 4, from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Griffin Harbor on Congress Street Bridge
Petoskey – Friday, May 1, 2 p.m., downtown in Pennsylvania Park
St. Paul – Saturday, May 2, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., state capitol building
Jackson – Saturday, May 16, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.on the steps of the capitol building
Billings – Saturday, July 4, location to be announced
Marate – Saturday, July 4, time to be announced, Washington and Amherst Avenue
Buffalo – Saturday, April 18, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., 199 Deleware Ave
New York – Saturday, July 4, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at South Street Seaport and Pier 17
White Plains – Saturday, April 25, time to be determined, at county office building at 148 Martin Ave
Medford – Saturday, April 25, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park
Bucks County – Saturday, April 18, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., at General Greene Pavilion
Philadelphia – Saturday, April 18, at 10 a.m. on Market Street across from Independence Mall
Philadelphia – Saturday, July 4, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Independence Mall
Valley Forge Park – Saturday, April 25, 11 a.m., Valley Forge Rd and Gulph Rd., in grassy location behind arch near bus parking lot
Jackson – Friday, April 24, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Liberty Gardens, 38 Channing Way, people should bring tailgate items such as grills, food, tea
Austin – Saturday, July 4, time and location to be announced
Dallas – Saturday, July 4, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Victory Park
Fort Worth – Saturday, July 4 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Cowtown Bar & Grill
Kerr County – Friday, April 24, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Guadalupe River at Louise Hays Park pavillion, speakers, barbecue, please feel free to bring children
Midland – Saturday, April 18, 10 a.m., Vietnam memorial at Midland International Airport, local and state politicians will be present with “open mic” time for citizen
Waco – Saturday, July 4, time and location to be announced
Annandale – Saturday, April 25, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Mason District Park, 6621 Columbia Pike
Vancouver – Saturday, April 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Clark County Courthouse lawn
Washington, D.C. – Saturday, July 4, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at Upper Senate Park adjacent to Capitol building on north side
Washington, D.C. – Saturday, Sept. 12, march on the capitol
Cheyenne – July 4, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the state capitol building
Are you planning a tea party? WND is your place to launch the tea party revolution. If you would like to include your tea party in this list, send the city, date, time, location and point of contact to WND.