Richmond TEA Party

The Richmond TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party exceeded all expectations. I arrived late to see people already leaving and more arriving. While some estimates ranged as high as 5000 attendees, I would say there were roughly 3500 there while I attended. Even in drizzly, chilly weather, the crowd was energized. They were clearly willing to back up their beliefs with action. Many pledged not to vote for a candidate who raises their taxes. They responded to the speakers with cheers of “U.S.A.,” honored veterans, sang patriotic songs and chanted “thank you” to the organizers. They promised to be ready when called upon to act. Some attended in costume as a founding father. I would estimate that over 1000 homemade signs or banners were present – including dozens of Gadsden flags.

There has been a lot of chatter about why people came out to protest. It’s simple really – and it’s not just about tax rates. It’s about the future of the country. People who have good jobs and families and love their country came out in the rain to say that they believe the country is going in the wrong direction. Spending and borrowing and taxing our way into oblivion stimulates nothing – except the people who are already are wanting a different sort of change.

Senator Cuccinelli was shaking hands until only a few lingering party-goers were left in the twilight. One man was even spotted sporting a “Brownlee” sticker. Many in the crowd and from the podium expressed suspicion of politicians in general. Everyone seemed to know of the MIAC and DHS reports – strangers traded serious and humorous comments over being on the “watch” list.

Pictures below:


Also see coverage on the Family Foundation Blog and Tertium Quids.

Update: More coverage from UCV

  • Kevin

    I love the sign that says “…the ultimate authority…resides in the people alone.” I’m confused. Didn’t the people decide this past November on a president and Congress? This is a representative government and not a true democracy, right? So how does that sign make sense?

    Also, if that person with the sign that says, “Gov’t has me seeing RED” would have put “the last 8 years” after it, I would respect it more.

  • @Kevin, I’ll freely admit to being asleep politically while W and the Democrats in Congress ran up big deficits. Does that negate my right to decide to try to do something about it now?

    The power of the people does not end on election day. We have the right to express ourselves the rest of the year, too. And, by the way, when the people spoke last November I don’t think that many of them thought that they were voting for trillion-dollar + deficits as far as the eye can see.

    Yesterday was not just about taxes. It was about liberty and demanding that elected officials of both parties start upholding the Constitution that they have sworn to defend.

  • Donna Holt

    “We the People” are the source of authority for government at all levels, and we must join together as citizens to hold elected servants (public officials) accountable for their actions of neglect or failure to act to protect and preserve our God given rights provided for in the U.S. Constitution. Our elected officials are voted into office to represent the will of the people. They have failed miserably at doing so. The people who contacted their legislators regarding bailout bills lead by both parties, were ignored while they voted to protect, not the people, but Wall Street and big Corporations. If you or I did the exact opposite of what our bosses told us to do, not once but repeatedly, we would be fired. ANT politician who voted in favor of the bailouts and/or stimulus bills should be fired, as well.

  • Eric Askew

    We in America have nothing short of betrayal by our elected representatives which have subverted the great american experiment at every level. They need to go NOW!! Consider the following quote.

    Quote from Marcus Tullius Cicero

    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”

  • Kevin

    ” I’ll freely admit to being asleep politically while W and the Democrats in Congress ran up big deficits.”

    Hate to break it to you but the Democrats were only in there for two years while Bush was president.

    What part of the Constitution are they not protecting? I agree that debate continues after the election too but I just find it funny that no many on the conservative side of the ailse were objecting to the Bush administration in say October. Where was the Tea Party then?


    Our elected officials are upholding the will of the people. It’s shown in the polling.

    More people are understanding that this is an unprecendented time brought on by people falling asleep at the switch for the last 8 years. We are acting drastically to turn this around. So thank you for your concern. Unless you make over 250k, you will be getting a tax break. Spending priorities, such as infrastructure, are coming in under budget because of transparency and urgency.,0,7458672.story

    The sky is not falling but thank you for finally waking up and noticing that we have problems. I know it’s been a long slumber since 2001. I’m just surprised people are finally finding their voice after Obama was elected.

  • Ya know, we bloggers need to coordinate better. Where were you at? I stayed late myself. Would have loved to have a beer with you. I really need to get a banner or bright identifying T-Shirt…..maybe send up flares…..

    Great party. Got pics over at UCV. You can borrow them if you wish.

  • Steve Waters

    It can’t be laid at the feat of W and Obama. Republicans at all levels of government, and democrats, led us to this point in our history. Lack of leadership at all levels of government is the problem and a citizenry that is far more concerned with their individual wealth than that of the constitution and the good of our nation are all at fault. Let us now hold all representatives at every level of government accountable for their actions or inaction. And may we all be stewards of our freedom and liberty and not leave it to politicians and administers of government.

  • I posted some photos from the Tea Party. Feel free to share.

  • Kevin this isn’t about Obama. Sorry, you missed all the infighting and people leaving the GOP due to fiscal craziness. It does get far easier for conservatives to do this with a Dem President in office. They can’t be called traitors now.

    Some conservatives thought the fiscal irresponsibility couldn’t get worse than Bush. Obama is off to a fast start to prove that wrong. It is too early to judge Obama but, so far what I see is a scary stepped up continuation of Bush economic policy.

    You’re taking that quote about the power of the people out of context. Vain Obama fans need to realize this is about the financial health of the country and not the Obama election.

    As for polls, they can be manipulated. Sometimes it depends on what question was asked and how it is spun out of context.

    Yes, there may be tax breaks for lower incomes but, stifling the job makers won’t help “Joe six-pack” when he gets laid off. Again this isn’t all about taxes. Just because budgets may or may not be reduced from what was intended does NOT mean that the ACTUAL spending is going down. It just isn’t increasing as much as originally intended. At this moment in time Obama is making it worse not better. That said, it is early and his political capital to get whatever he wants will soon be drying up.

    Let us be clear. This is not about Obama personally however, don’t bother to pretend that Obama is a fiscal conservative. His current policies make that clear. If it makes you feel better, I don’t think McCain would be too much different. If it makes you feel better, I say Bush is a big government socialist.

  • Chester Patriots continue to work in their community after Richmond Tea Party Success.

  • EJ

    what cnn didnt show you…

  • A group of over 30 Americans, who reside in the Commonwealth of Virginia, hand delivered to their federal citizen representatives’ Richmond offices a Petition for Redress of Grievances. A copy of the Petition can be found here…

    The results and reactions varied by federal office. It ranged from a cordial and frank conversation about the status of our country to muffled conversations behind a bank teller window.

    The bottom line is Americans deserve answers and these citizen representatives were formally asked to respond in a forum that is appropriate to reach their constituents.

    Here is a copy of the cover letter submitted with the petition.

    May 8, 2009

    To:Citizen Representatives
    Citizen Rep. Eric Cantor
    Citizen Rep. Randy Forbes
    Citizen Sen. Mark Warner
    Citizen Sen. Jim Webb

    From: Your Constituents

    Subject: Our Petition for Redress of Grievances

    On April 15th of this year, We the People posted in our local paper, the Village News, our Petition for Redress of Grievances. We addressed it to you as our citizen representatives. As this practice is protected by First Amendment, we expect your thoughtful, written response to each of our concerns.

    We the People are watching and are taking steps to protect our liberty. We wanted to make sure that our citizen representatives heard our concerns loud and clear. Therefore, we decided to hand deliver our message to you such that you make no mistake about our grievances and our unwavering mandate. We are requesting the following four actions:

    1.To cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of the constitutionally delegated powers;
    2.To formally and publicly recognize the natural and Constitutional rights of the American People in a manner appropriate to your branch of government;
    3.To answer, point by point the questions contained herein;
    4.To honor your oaths to support the Constitution or resign immediately from your positions.

    We the People will continue our march toward liberty, not looking left or right, until they are heard and responded to.

  • Here is video shot of two of the four deliveries of the Petition for Redress of Grievances to our federal citizen representatives…



    Also, here is this week’s commentary from the Village News Editor…

  • Pingback: The Metaphor of Tax Day Tea Party, 2009 « Sara for America()

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