Fed up taxpayers rally in protest

April 15, 2009 9:02:29 PM PDT
Close to 800 tax day tea parties were held from coast to coast. Organizers say on the day when Americans are filing their income tax returns, they want the government to hear them loud and clear -- that enough is enough when it comes to government spending.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Organizers are calling the rallies across the Houston area non-partisan events, with no politicians scheduled to speak. At Independence Park in Pearland, independence was certainly the hot topic.

"If you feel helpless to make this difference, then stand up," suggested taxpayer Charla Tull. "Stand up and be counted."

Protest organizer Joanne Juren said, "I feel like they're deliberately trying to destroy this country."

The tea parties held across the nation were fashioned after the Boston Tea Party in 1773, when colonists dumped tea into the Boston Harbor, protesting taxes imposed by the British monarchy. In Pearland, participants were encouraged to write their names on tea bags to send off to the White House.

Taxpayer Jay Hickman said, "I think it's time that people like me, people who are solid citizens, people who obey the law, who vote in every election, it's time for us to speak out."

It's likely no coincidence the rallies were held on the last day of income tax filing. At one post office in Pearland, folks were mixed on the effectiveness of the protests. "I think it's good that people are actually going out and doing something, rather than just complaining about it," said one taxpayer.

Another added, "I don't think that they'll make a difference, but to each their own."

In downtown Houston, Matthew Mendez certainly had his opinion.

"It seems a bit like pouting," he said. "It seems like these people could participate in more functional ways to protest than this."

No matter what side you're on, these tea parties certainly are catching some attention. Scores of people filled Jones Plaza in downtown Houston for an evening rally.

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