It was cold and windy as citizens gathered with posters and pitchforks at the Campbell County Court House last week.
Two hundred and thirty-six years after the original Boston Tea Party, the message was the same-change and freedom from unfair taxes or revolution.
Around 220 people gathered near the Veteran’s Memorial at the courthouse to show their disfavor of recent political actions and especially new tax policies.
But these feelings were not isolated to Campbell County. Nationwide tea parties were held across the Unites States to protest political decisions.
Dubbed a grass roots effort, these nationwide tea parties united to some extent Democratic and Republican parties, as both sides were present at the rally.
“We’re really proud we have a representation in Campbell County in what appears to be a nationwide grass roots effort,” said co-organizer Bill Claiborne. Claiborne, along with Dennis Powers helped organize the courthouse tea party.
“It’s humbling to offer a free forum opportunity that’s been well received,” said Claiborne. He said the outcome had been bigger than anything he dreamed of or anticipated.
The passion of the people showed a merging sense across the nation that the government needs fixed, according to Claiborne.
People came from all municipalities to hear speakers protest recent government decisions such as bailouts, mass government spending and alleged constitutional violations of rights. A petition was drawn up with citizens given the opportunity to sign it before it is sent to the government.
“I think this silent majority has decided we’ve been silent too long,” said Kitty Brousseau from LaFollette as she proudly held up a “Honk, if I’m paying your mortgage” poster.
“We want the politicians to actually look at the constitution,” said Powers amidst a roar of applause.
“It’s not about being a Republican or a Democrat, it’s about being an American,” said Vietnam War veteran and honor guard member David Skulstad as he waved a “Don’t tread on me” flag.
“When I was in the military I took an oath to protect and preserve the constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic. Now the people who are supposedly representing us are tearing up the constitution,” Skulstad said.
Elvis tribute artist Eddie Queener performed a patriotic trilogy of songs for the crowd, eliciting cheers of approval and patriotism.
“I truly feel like this is the beginning, not the end; it’s a sea of change across the political sphere,” Claiborne said proudly.