Tea Party rally attracts support and protest

by mikeflanagan1

The Tea Party rally on the Boston Common yesterday attracted fervent support from the right, protest from the left, and curiosity, if nothing else, from everyone in between. 

Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s speech may have been the main attraction, but it was the conflict between Tea Party supporters and protestors that kept the energy level high for the entire three hours.

“They don’t have any independence of thought,” one anti-Tea Party demonstrator said as he marched toward the far end of the common with his protest group. “They get led around by the nose from a heavy diet of right-wing extremism on talk radio like a bunch of wind-up dummies.”

A Palin supporter a few feet in front of him replied, “Yeah, there are some dummies around here. You guys never left Woodstock, huh?”

The demonstrators marched toward the rally chanting “Palin, Tea Party, we say no! Racism has got to go!” as vendors sold yellow flags along the way that read, “Don’t tread on me.”

“It means, ‘don’t mess with me’,” one vendor said. “It means you’re messing with America. It needs to stop. It’s pretty much saying we’re fed up.”

Some attendees brought misspelled signs to poke fun at the Tea Party that has become notorious for such errors. Others dressed in full colonial gear to comically remember the original Boston Tea Party of 1773. One man made a jest of the entire event by carrying a sign that simply read, “Look at my cool sign!”

But to most in attendance, the rally was not a joking matter. A mother stood just behind the bulk of the crowd with five young children holding signs that read “Stop spending my money!” and “Obamacare makes me sick!” Behind her, a Tea Party protester held a sign that read, “Palin, go home! Crazy Fascist! We luv liberal Obama!”

If nothing else, the rally brought an active political forum to the Common where any American, regardless of their political stance, could speak. As one protestor said, “You can dissent all you want, but I’m going to dissent, too. That’s democracy in action.”

*Occasionally I write about things other than music. This story, along with others of mine, is available at JSONS.org.