The biggest New American Tea Party protest rally yet took place at Fountain Square in Cincinnati on Sunday. Police estimated the crowd to number about 5000 people, which may make the Tea Party protest the biggest in Cincinnati since the Vietnam War.
Word of the protest was spread via local talk radio and the Internet, proving once again the power of the new media to generate political protest. Coverage of the protest was sent in real time by people with cell phone cameras and text messages to sites like Instapundit which posted photos and updates.
As with previous New American Tea Party protests, the people gathered in Fountain Square were angry at the Obama administrations plans to spend money on stimulus programs and bailouts of failing corporations. People carried signs, hand-made, with messages such as “Just Say No to B.O.”, “I’m Only 8 and Already $36000 in Debt”, “The Audacity of Socialism”, “Hey, Obama, Go Stimulate Yourself”, and “You Can’t Fix Stupid, but You Can Vote it Out.”
There was one rather lonely woman staging her own counter protest carrying and Obama sign and shouting, “Yes We Can!”
The New American Tea Party Movement takes its inspiration from the original Boston Tea Party during which patriot protestors, dressed as American Indians, boarded British merchant ships and dumped tea into Boston Harbor as a way to protest the tax on tea and the monopoly given to tea to the British East Indian Company. The grievances of the New American Tea Party protestors are a little broader that the original Sons of Liberty in the 1770s. They oppose the Obama administration’s spending plans and the huge debt and high taxes that will result.
The New American Tea Party Movement also seems to be one of those spontaneous, bottom up upwelling of discontent that have occasionally risen in American politics. The New American Tea Party movement has no leadership as such nor is it affiliated with a particular political party. Using modern information technology, people of like mind connect with one another, and following their Constitutionally granted right “peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The founding fathers who first wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights likely never imagined the Internet, talk radio, cell phones, and the other implements of information sharing. One cannot help but think that they would approve of the use that those technologies are being put to.
Nationwide New American Tea Party protests are being planned for April 15th, tax filing day. One can only imagine what President Obama thinks of this form of community organizing.
Source: Thousands join “Tea Party” on Fountain Square, WAFB, March 16th, 2009
Cincinnati Tea Party Protest Coverage, Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit, March 15th, 2009