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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Many Americans from coast-to-coast turned Independence Day 2009 into a “counterattack” against what they call the high-spending, freedom-shrinking policies of President Barack Obama and members of Congress, irrespective of party affiliation.


An unidentified couple displays a sign as they wait for the Independence Day tea party to commence In West Palm Beach, Fla., July 4, 2009 (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

With some 2,000 rallies taking place in all 50 states, cities such as West Palm Beach, Fla., were typical of the angst vented against recent government action.

Approximately 1,000 people turned out in this affluent region for an evening featuring brief speeches and hundreds of homemade signs.

Among those carrying a placard was Barbara Allen of Juno Beach, Fla.

Get ready for Sept. 12! Visit the one and only “tea party store” now.

“We have the wrong people in Congress right now,” Allen told WND. “There’s 535 of them and there’s a lot of bad guys in there on a bad mission and we need to counterattack and get ‘em out. The bad mission is we’re gonna be in a state of socialism here if we don’t stop this nonsense of spending [and] spending.”


Barbara Allen of Juno Beach, Fla., displays a message at the West Palm Beach tea party July 4, 2009 (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

She stressed the tea partiers, who take their name from the 1773 Boston Tea Party, are promoting the principles of the U.S. Constitution.

“We’re about common sense. We’re not about Democrat, Republican, Libertarian. We want our freedom. We don’t want to lose our freedom.”

The holiday get-together was a follow-up to the first national tea party that
took place on April 15, the deadline to file federal income tax returns.

Yesterday’s event attracted participants of all ages, including Jenna Wessels, 18, of Fort Lauderdale, and her 19-year-old sister, Katie. They and their father, David Wessels, were inspired to take part in two South Florida tea parties the same day.


Katie and Jenna Wessels of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., take a stand against higher taxes at the West Palm Beach tea party July 4, 2009 (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

“America needs to wake up and realize what’s going on with our country,” Jenna said.

“They’re not going to be able to afford anything after they get taxed,” added Katie. “Our generation is going to be even more in debt than they already are.”

Val Anderson of Lake Worth, Fla., said he showed up to protest “the excessive, obscene government spending.”

Referring to higher taxes on the way, he sported a suggestive sign reading, “Bend over, here it comes.”


Val Anderson of Lake Worth, Fla., warns of impending higher taxes and debt during the West Palm Beach tea party July 4, 2009 (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

“If the cap and trade bill is passed, the taxes on your light bill can go up from $800 to $1,000 a month and your house will have to meet the new green standards if you’re a homeowner,” he said. “If you can’t afford it, what are you going to do? Another government program to pay for it? How much money do we have to put out? How far does government have to go into out lives and we don’t have a lot of choices?”

Lisa Fay and Mern Direnzo of Jupiter, Fla., indicated they were fed up with what they feel is a clear government push toward socialism.

“All of his policies seem to lead that way and it has failed in every other country that it’s been tried in, and we cannot afford it,” Fay told WND.


Lisa Fay of Jupiter, Fla., displays a sign warning of higher health care costs under plans promoted by the Obama administration (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

“Every day they come up with something new to oppress the people,” Direnzo added. “Health care, making us have our houses inspected to sell them, putting in light bulbs that we don’t want to put in.”


Mern Direnzo of Jupiter, Fla., voices her opinion about Congress’ reading habits (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

Juno Copley of West Palm Beach said she showed up “to protest what the ‘Obamanation’ is doing to us as American citizens.”

“We feel that he’s trying to tax us out of the ballpark, and we think he’s trying to take over and be a dictator just like in South America and Honduras,” she said. “We think he’s inexperienced and sophomoric and doesn’t know what he’d doing and he’s got the Congress diddling along right behind him for their own benefits.”


Jeanne Barnett, right, of Royal Palm Beach, Fla., wears gigantic ears to demonstrate that politicians of all parties “are not listening to we the people.” The schoolteacher says she doesn’t want children to suffer when lawmakers “spend all our money and just blow it.” (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

Her fellow city resident, Michael Angelo Pancia, elaborated on the “dictatorship” theme.

“Obama and the Democrats are starting to act like the Kremlin,” Pancia said. “They’re going to tell us what we can eat, what we can do. They’re going to tell us how to run our lives, and we don’t want it.”


A sign voicing colorful opposition to financial bailouts is displayed at the West Palm Beach, Fla., tea party July 4, 2009 (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

Tea partiers hold signs and wave flags in West Palm Beach, Fla., July 4 2009 (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

Did the event give people hope their concerns would be addressed?

“I’ll be optimistic in four years when [Obama's] out of office,” said Chris Zoeller of Jupiter. He’s a one-term president.”


President Obama’s theme of hope and change was the subject of ridicule on this sign displayed in West Palm Beach, Fla., July 4, 2009 (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

After voicing their opinions among themselves, the tea partiers then paraded into a nearby section of the city where a traditional Independence Day celebration was taking place with music and fireworks.

Some onlookers appeared surprised, as they watched with open jaws as they read the messages on the tea party signs.

One man apparently upset by the demonstration shouted, “Stop politicizing the Fourth of July!”

Some 50 miles north of West Palm Beach, some ralliers at a tea party in Port St. Lucie, Fla., claimed the city was harassing them by posting its own sign in front of their displays in “Section B” of a Freedomfest celebration.

The city’s sign stated: “The city of Port St. Lucie does not endorse, support, or condone the views or products of the organizations or individuals in this section. However we are required to make this space available to avoid the cost of litigation in reference to Section B.”

A member of the Treasure Coast Tea Party who posted video on YouTube called Port St. Lucie’s sign “atrocious.”


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