Salisbury Tax Day TEA Party in pictures and text

Well, this was definitely an interesting exercise in airing our grievances for redress. And let me warn you: there’s a LOT of pictures which go with this post. Let’s start with this one.

This dexterious young lady had several messages for those in the government.

As was the case last year, a number of speakers took the podium. Unlike last year, they weren’t being rained upon. It started with ten of us reading the ten amendments of the Bill of Rights (I read the Ninth Amendment) and one of our featured speakers, author and internet radio host Dr. Gianni Hayes.

Dr. Gianni Hayes spoke early on about the 'new world order' and lack of assimilation by recent immigrants, contrasting it to her childhood experience as the daughter of immigrant parents.

Speaking early because she had another commitment, Hayes went on at some length about the “new world order” and lack of assimilation from today’s immigrants. As a first-generation American herself she proclaimed, “to be American you must be assimilated,” otherwise “we are losing our identity.”

After a short pause to bring us up to the 5:00 hour and formal beginning to the program, Joe Collins led off and served as a master of ceremonies.

Local AFP co-chair Joe Collins served as master of ceremonies and had his own remarks addressing the possible infiltrators.

Collins cautioned infiltrators to “free your mind…be not wicked on this day.” He equated control with votes, but more importantly compared the deregulation of health insurance with the deregulation of airlines, including the example of Salisbury being a small market whereas larger airports provide more choice due to their larger market.

He was followed by a number of other scheduled speakers, including event organizer Chris Lewis and Joe’s AFP cohort Julie Brewington.

Chris Lewis told us he was 'not concerned or worried' about the political situation, now he was 'mad as hell.'

AFP co-chair Julie Brewington read from remarks she prepared and preposted on her website.

Conveniently, Julie posted her remarks on her website.

Other speakers included Dr. Greg Belcher on taxes, Dave Parker of the local GOP on their relationship with the TEA Party, and author Patrick Samuels, who noted, “if we’re going to put the genie back in the bottle we need to stop wishing to it.” Dustin Mills also spoke about being an educator and political activist, as you’ll note on his shirt.

Dr. Greg Belcher advised us on how to get the 'tools to fight back' against oppressive taxation.

Dave Parker, vice-chair of the Wicomico County GOP, told the crowd that under President Bush 'the GOP let us (conservatives) down.'

Patrick Samuels spoke of the chains which bind us, and proclaimed 'I am not a slave!'

Dustin Mills advocated that we get behind a candidate. Obviously he is.

Surprisingly, there was a media presence at the event. Channel 16’s Ko Im arrived early on to get some still shots for voiceover and a soundbite or two.

Our event didn't merit live coverage according to WBOC, but at least they sent a reporter.

Like sharks to chum, the media flocks to any controversy. Let’s tell the tale of local radio host Matt Walsh.

Local morning show host Matt Walsh began his remarks in reasonable fashion.

Things went along all right until he told the crowd “don’t vote Republican” and lashed out at Sarah Palin.

Joe Collins talks to Matt Walsh and asks him to tone things down a notch. Walsh was allowed to finish his remarks.

After a verbal volley where an observer called Walsh a “young punk” and Walsh retorted that the man was a “senile old fart” there was no question Matt would be the center of media attention, like a Daily Times reporter.

Like moths to a porch light, the local reporter needed to interview Matt Walsh.

While Walsh may have a point, the stunt seemed more to attract attention to his radio show than to contribute to the dialogue.

Of course, a number of local and state political campaigns had a presence too. People advocating votes for U.S. Senate candidate Jim Rutledge, Congressional hopeful Andy Harris, and State Senate hopeful Michael James circulated through the crowd.

This young lady was sporting the message of Jim Rutledge. The Senate candidate had been active in the TEA party movement but didn't appear at this one.

A Rutledge supporter engages a couple members of the voting public.

Andy Harris supporters took to Division Street with their own message.

Salisbury University College Republicans came out for the affair, many sporting the logo of State Senate hopeful Michael James along with their flags.

Another minor controversy erupted over this table, as the TEA Party wanted to maintain a neutral tone. But the table was allowed to stay as anyone who wanted to be civil regardless of political affiliation was welcome.

Andy Harris supporters had a table to get supporters to volunteer. The table aroused controversy early on but was allowed to stay.

Frankly, I found the attendance disappointing because I expected a crowd about 3 times as large. The final pictures are a view from the back I took a little after 6:00 and four panoramic pictures taken at around 3:20, 4:30, 5:30, and 6:30.

Looking from the lawn in front of the courthouse as a judge a crowd size. It was roughly the same as last year but the weather was far better.

This shot was taken at 3:19 p.m. just as the event started.

I took this picture shortly after 4:30 as the crowd began to file in.

Shortly before the peak of the crowd, I took this just after 5:30.

My last shot was taken around 6:30 as the crowd began to thin.

My thought on the TEA Party movement is that perhaps it’s beginning to be a little more celebrity-drawn. Other TEA Parties with “name” speakers did well yesterday while this one didn’t have that same attraction. Also, there’s competition from surrounding areas such as Ocean City, who will have its event Saturday.

I spoke at the event as part of the “open mike.” Tomorrow I’ll post my remarks for all to read.

Author: Michael

It's me from my laptop computer.

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