Thousands of Virginians brave cold and rainy weather to attend the Richmond Tea Party demanding less government and lower taxes.

By Jim Wrenn, 
Editor and Washington Bureau Drawer Chief at PoliSat.Com.

April 16, 2009--

            Despite cold and intermittently rainy weather, thousands of Virginians gathered at Kanawha Plaza in Richmond, Virginia on April 15, 2009, at a rally to demand the shrinking of government and taxes.  It was but one of many hundreds of independently organized "Tea Party" rallies across the country, with the only common theme being criticism of both Democrats and Republicans for fostering the growth, rather than reduction, of the power and spending of the federal government and for failing to responsibly reform the tax system.

            Initial reports estimated the size of the crowd to be two or three thousand, but according to PoliSat.Com's Washington Bureau Drawer Chief, who attended the rally, "the after-rally traffic-jam was more consistent with typical post-game traffic jams at the local minor-league baseball stadium when attendance is around 5,000."  PoliSat.Com's Editor quickly agreed with such estimate.

            Local news coverage via print, radio and television was extensive.  A predicted "counter-demonstration" failed to materialize.  Civility and decorum marked the entirety of the event, but strong hostility to expanding, rather than reducing, the size and spending of the federal government and the weight and disproportionate application of the federal tax burden was manifest throughout the rally.

            There were many creative signs.  The best source for viewing the largest variety of signs  the report by Old Virginia News, which includes an extensive gallery of news photos of the rally.  Perhaps one of the most "timely" (i.e., in the wake of the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips from the Somalai pirates who had taken him hostage) is the one shown above-right.  Another clever sign conveyed a message to the Teleprompter President by saying "My teleprompter tells me to vote [you] out of office."  (That sign, as well as the "pirates" sign shown above-right, appears in PoliSat.Com's brief video clip about the rally-- scroll further down for the YouTube video with the title "Richmond Tea Party 20090415.")


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            The local Channel 6 video coverage included what appears to be the best panoramic view of the rally.  See the embedded video at the left. (Here's the direct link for that video.)  Among the best features of the program at the rally was a stirring rendition of Patrick Henry's famous speech, the end of which is included in the Channel 6 news video.

            Emceeing the program were Richmond radio's top personalities, Jimmy Barrett and "Doc" Thompson.  Also appearing was Scott Lee, one of the famous "Lee" brothers (local talk-radio rising stars), who livened the crowd with a rousing series of questions answered resoundingly by the crowd.

            Probably the only criticism expressed by those attending was the inadequacy of the microphone/speaker system to enable the speakers to be clearly heard.  The crowd was simply far bigger than had been anticipated, so the sound-system which would have been perfect for a much smaller crowd was a source of frustration for quite a large number of those attending.  Nevertheless, they dutifully and patiently stayed as the respective speakers tried to accomodate shouts of "louder" from the crowd. 

            There was also plenty of fun and good humor.  No aspect of the program exhibited the kind of hateful, vicious rhetoric so common at protests staged by professional demonstrators -- e.g., ACORN, Code Pink, ANSWER, Breasts Not Bombs, MoveOn.Org, etc. ad naseum.

The Richmond Tea Party, Richmond Virginia  
from Richmond Biz Sense on Vimeo.

            According to the local NBC affiliate's news report, "What began as three people discussing an idea online became thousands as an event planned just one month ago brewed huge crowds. Organizer Mickey White believes in the event acronym. TEA stands for Taxed Enough Already."   Here's the link to the NBC affiliate Channel 12 news video.  

            I would have embedded the excellent Channel 12 video here, but for reasons not yet apparent to me, whenever the Channel 6 embedded video works, the Channel 12 video doesn't and vice-versa.  Because the Channel 6 video includes not only a better panoramic view as well as the climax of the "Patrick Henry" speech, I chose to embed that one and merely provide a link to the otherwise excellent Channel 12 video.

             RichmondBizSense (see video at left) also covered the rally and has published a news video capturing portions of the program as well as a number of interesting signs. Reminding everyone of the "Don't taze me, bro" incident last year, the RichmondBizSense video shows one of the signs at the rally featured the slogan, "Don't Tax Me, Bro."  

            Is there a non-professionally produced video made at the rally.  Of course there is.  That's why it's not placed higher up in this installment.  (It's the one embedded at the left.)  Even though it's not professional made or edited, it does feature several clever signs.  One directs the "pirates" label collectively at members of congress.  The other mocks the teleprompter-president's excessive reliance on the teleprompter, which had become legendary long before this rally.  It's so legendary that it's led to ingenious engineering of "TOTUS" by the Secret Service to bring the "teleprompter" into the Twenty-First Century.

            Finally, after reading this, you may ask whether there is any particular reason for the redundancies, surplusage and gibberish in the text of this installment.  The answer, of course, is "Yes, there is a reason."  What is it?  Well, the algorithms of the GoogleNews robotic programs that aggregate installments of news and opinion in the GoogleNews database won't include a posting consisting of too many videos accompanied by too little text.  In fact, that's why I'm adding an even more ponderously long and typically meaningless sentence that serves no purpose other than to fool the algorithms utilized by the GoogleBots.  It's a tough job, but someone must do it.  So cut me some slack.    Nevtherless, those algorithms apparently disregard videos appearing below what is obviously the end of the text of the installment.  Therefore, there are two videos below that are worth watching even though they're not directly related to this installment.

--Jim Wrenn, Editor at PoliSat.Com.

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http://PoliSat.Com/RichmondTeaParty.htm .


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