Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Shreveport/Bossier Tea Party

Our Tea Party was a HUGE success! Our organizers were totally on the ball; so much so that they are already planning the July 4 event!

I arrived about an hour early to see what I could do to help and was able to watch the crowd gather. What a site that was. Thirty minutes before kickoff we had over 200 people easily.
We had picture perfect weather with a nice, cool breeze, and that certainly helped. With rain over many of the protests today, I was glad we didn't have that. Almost everyone brought signs and many also brought canned goods for the Food Bank.

I spent 45 minutes or so wandering the crowd and taking pictures of the great signs. There were so many that were very creative. You can go to my Flickr page to see them all and the shots I don't have space to put here. LOTS of 'em. The Shreveport Times gallery is here.

The La. Outlaws kicked off at 5:00, starting with the National Anthem, beautifully done I might add. They played a mix of songs through the afternoon; of course they played the Martina McBride song "Independence Day." The crowd was a wonderful, diverse bunch. Old, young, black, white, veterans, children, dogs, handicapped, politically active, not-normally-politically active; I saw some people I work with, I saw people I haven't seen in ages....our final estimate was about 5,000 people (that's what we were told from the stage; I'm reserving the right to amend that when the final number comes in!).

Local attorney Royal Alexander was the emcee; he was in costume, of course. He introduced La. Rep. Jane Smith who led the invocation and then La. Sen. Buddy Shaw spoke. He was great and quoted Thomas Jefferson: "America has no greater enemy than national debt." Amen to that.

Another powerful speaker was C. L. Bryant (right) - a pastor from DeSoto Parish. He was loud, fired up and got things moving!

The keynote speaker was Congressman John Fleming. He had some not so nice things to say about what he has seen his first term in Washington and pointed specifically to the all powerful, dictatorial style of Nancy Pelosi. Fleming is an advocate for the Fair Tax and spoke quite a bit on that to a very receptive crowd.

We also heard from Shreveport attorney Craig Smith and some small business owners.

The crowd was respectful, polite, engaged and angry at the wasteful spending coming out of Washington. I talked to both Republicans and Democrats and I talked to people that voted for Obama and for McCain. Across the board, people are angry at the pork and the bailouts. This goes across party lines; it is not a protest against Obama specifically, despite what some may think. It's a protest against stupid, wasteful, irresponsible spending that we never got a chance to speak out about before it was voted into action.

One of the things Royal Alexander did in his opening remarks was to read off a list of some of the items in the Porkulus bill and the Omnibus bill - the honeybee research, the swine odor research, the genetics-for-grapes research project.... The crowd responded with loud "Boo"s to each of them.

So let PMS-NBC call us "whiners" and write this off as "nonsense." What we've seen all across this nation today is that a lot of Americans are pissed off at the representation they are getting in Washington, and these people will remember in 2010.

The worm will turn.

Update: The 5,000 number stands, as per The Shreveport Times. There's also a video here.


G.R. said...

I just finished viewing the pictures, and "WOW!"

It looks like the Tea Party went pretty well for being a "flash in the pan" the Main Stream Media is calling it.
I wish I could have gone, so thanks Pat for sharing.

There were a couple of pictures that really stood out for me. One was the sign in the same of a grave maker stating the birth and death of America, July 4, 1776 to November 4, 2008, Suicide.
The other was about veterans not becoming terrorists if the DHS doesn't become gestapo. Powerful statement.
Remember, veterans at one time, or several times, took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

I don't know if it was true, but at one time there was a rumor going around that Obama was wanting to change the oath where military members would pledge allegiance to the president.

"I fox, do solemnly swear to protect the hen house with my buddy the weasel."

Back to tonight. Thank God for Americans, Americans from all walks of life, who are ready to take their country back from the clowns who hijacked the Washington D. C. Circus.

Sandy said...

I would have gone to that one if we had not had one in Minden. We had between 400-500 people in this little town! Awesome!

The Vegas Art Guy said...

Actually it's MSLSD!

I could not make mine, no way I could get across town in 15 minutes before it ended.

Hopefully they'll do a July 4th one that I can go to.

Anonymous said...

Its great to see that people for any reason can organize themselves and work towards a positive end. I do find it lacking, however, when the real positive end is not known.

I've been to many, many anti-war rallies, and in the end, i feel that its a bunch of people who really hate war and have organized a venue in which to scream into the wind. That's fine, maybe even cathartic, but issues are complex. Sometimes war is unavoidable, as distasteful as it may be. So yelling against war doesn't change the circumstance that may lead to war.

The same applies here. Sure, people may be angry about wasteful government spending, but what does it matter when "PORK", or appropriations, accounts for .01% of government spending. Politicians have used this as a war drum to arouse the masses, but its nonsense.

If ANYONE thinks that the root of our problems is wasteful government spending, they are delusional. If ANYONE thinks that "reigning in government" will solve our problems, they are even more delusional.

Wasteful government spending hasn't led us to our current predicament. And your neighbor, buying a home at 0% down hasn't led us here either. The FACT is, a small segment of the population has grown in wealth over the past decade, and the other 95% of our country has seen their income stagnate, EVEN during a rise in GDP. That has NOTHING to do with government spending.

Governments always have, and always will, waste some money. But that IS NOT the cause of our ruin. Through the years, we've spent money equivalent to these bailouts on weapons that don't work or are never used, on fruitless research, on ineffective schools, on propping up rogue states, etc. THIS has not, and NEVER WILL be our demise. So, what again are we rallying against?

We rail against bailouts, but guess what? IF the economy was allowed to collapse, to "teach those companies a lesson", it wouldn't be the executives who'd be hurt by it. They've made their money, years ago, while nobody gave a damn. The SAME people who profited for the past decade, would be the ones eating steak while the rest of America was mired in a depression. The people who'd be MOST damaged by a failing economy are the EXACT same people at these rallies. Typical, middle and lower middle class Americans. So what again are they rallying against?

The most ridiculous part of today's scene is that its a rally against taxation. Most of these people don't realize that they are rallying against a tax code which at last has a CHANCE to favor them. You want to talk about "generational theft", its already occurred. The tax code of the past 8 years, has ravaged the American middle class. If you want to know why the middle class income has stagnated over the past 8 years while the top earners have seen an increase in wealth, look to the tax code. This rally should've been happening back in 2000.

So, while i applaud the effort, i think the anger is so misplaced. And its simply sad and unfortunate that self-aggrandizing entertainers like Limbaugh and the Weeping Beck, and politicians like Gingrich have leveraged the anger of working class Americans for their own benefit. Seeing typical good-intentioned Americans dressed like revolutionary soldiers and carrying ridiculous signs in protest of governmental efforts to salvage THEM from an even more painful economic fall is really sad. And THAT makes me angry.

BrideOfRove said...

They did a donation to the food bank thing too? I love that! It appeals to the multi-tasker in me. Plus it's needed now more than ever - at least here where I live. That is one green beautiful lawn.

5000 people. Wow. the MSM is reporting that only a few hundred showed nationwide and that it was an epic fail for FOX ;-) They're so cute when they are wrong which is all the time.

BrideOfRove said...

Annonymous - This is nothing like the war protests or anti-Bush rallys. It's a nation suddenly waking up and educating themselves and once you know a thing, you can't unknow it. And knowing what is happening - you can't just let it go on. the silent majority is silent no more.

China is now dumping dollars for copper. Hyper inflation is coming and as the economy deteriorates further this search for information will escalate.