US taxpayers protest bailouts with Boston-style tea partyApril 16th, 2009 - 10:23 am ICT by IANS
By Arun Kumar
Washington, April 16 (IANS) Borrowing a leaf from the famed Boston Tea Party, tens of thousands of Americans greeted the deadline for filing income tax with a nationwide “tea party”, protesting what some view as excessive government spending and bailouts.
Turning TEA into an acronym for “Taxed Enough Already”, demonstrators at over 750 rallies across the US Wednesday protested government spending, namely the Obama administration’s $787 billion stimulus package and $3.5 trillion budget.
“Some people wore tea bags hanging from their umbrellas or eyeglasses. Others simply tossed them on the White House lawn,” noted the New York Times. “And there were those who carried cardboard signs to express their frustration over the sagging economy and burgeoning bailouts.”
In Massachusetts, hundreds cheered as people dressed in 18th-century style wigs and clothes tossed a few crates of tea into Boston Harbour, harkening back to the pre-Revolutionary War protests in that city, CNN reported.
In Chicago, hundreds more gathered outside the federal building, carrying homemade signs with messages like “no taxation without deliberation” and “stop bankrupting America.”
People who wanted to find a tea party widely promoted by conservatives on videos and blogs, needed only to text “teaparty” to 69302 or search Twitter or Facebook, according to teapartyday.com, which lists organizers and their phone numbers.
To promote the gatherings, conservatives borrowed a page from President Barack Obama’s Web-savvy style, which he leaned on heavily during the 2008 campaign and still uses to push initiatives.
Boston wasn’t the only place where protesters played off the pre-Revolutionary War tea-dumping protests. As many Americans rushed to file their tax forms Wednesday, cheering crowds across the country heaved huge coolers with “Tea” painted on the side into bodies of water.
In the 1773 protests, colonists dumped tea into the harbour in a show of defiance against British rule and the British parliament’s attempt to levy taxes on the American colonies without allowing them representation in the body.
But in remarks in Washington Wednesday, President Barack Obama said he’d been true to campaign promises to lessen the tax burden on most Americans. A tax cut enacted April 1, Obama said, “will reach 120 million families and put $120 billion directly into their pockets.”
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