Tax Day Protest at Court Square

Jeremy Aldrich -- April 15th, 2009

“I guess we’re domestic terrorists now,” says Jason Kirby, referring to a recently released report by the Dept. of Homeland Security warning of right-wing extremist threats.

“George Washington and the other founding fathers were terrorists, and thank goodness for them,” adds another man nearby, holding a large flag emblazoned with “Don’t Tread On Me”.  The two men were among the scores of protesters on Court Square this afternoon taking part in the nationwide Tax Day Tea Party demonstrations.

The event began at noon, and co-organizer Donna Davis says that around 400 people had already taken part in the protest by 3 o’clock, with more expected by the time it wraps up at 6 this evening. Davis, of Harrisonburg, says the event was not officially organized through any group, though she spread the word with help and guidance from the American Family Association.  Another planned protest, organized by Lisa McCumsey through the Tax Day Tea Party website, merged with the AFA group for today’s activities.

Davis organized the event because, she says, “I got tired of screaming at my TV, screaming at my computer, screaming at my radio.  I thought this would be a more positive way to channel the anger.”

Judging from the signs (like the one with a picture of Obama’s head superimposed on Lenin’s body reading “Socialismo O Muerte – Virginia Says Sic Semper Tyrannis”) and the discussions among the crowd, people are unhappy with the recent stimulus/bailout packages and concerned that taxes – and government intrusion – will increase during the Obama administration.  Representatives from Matt Lohr and Bob Goodlatte’s offices have already taken part in the gathering, with Goodlatte sending a letter of support which was read aloud.

Co-organizer Lisa McCumsey, also of Harrisonburg, says, “They’re taxing away my childrens’ future.  It’s going to be hard to recover from what they’re doing.”  McCumsey, who leans Libertarian, says local government is better equipped to handle local needs than the federal government is.  She is collecting names from the crowd today to alert them of future events, with another “tea party” planned in July.  She also created a Facebook group.  She says of the participants, many of whom are first-time protesters, that “They don’t really know the nuts and bolts of [what should be done], but they want someone to figure it out.  They’re scared to death of what Obama’s going to do and open to more radical suggestions than they might have been before.”

Participant Diane Lipman says she has been aware of today’s event for weeks, which has been advertised by conservative media giants like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck, and has been planned as the main focus of FOX News coverage today.  Lipman says, “People are tired of government spending.  Even though they say they’re going to lower taxes, it’s not going to happen.  These stimulus packages are ridiculous.  There is too much big government.”

The protest continues at this hour under the watchful eye of several uniformed police officers, and passing cars frequently honk their support.  Jason Kirby says there was a noise complaint from an office building across the street earlier in the day, concluding, “I guess they just don’t like the sound of freedom.”

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59 Responses to “Tax Day Protest at Court Square”

  1. seth says:

    i’m not dissapointed. dissent is patriotic (remember?) and while you may not agree with the muddled masses, there are legitimate objections being voiced. if things don’t work out as the current administration expects, i doubt if the ‘people’ will be so quick to say that their will dictated the stimulus as enacted or any other retroactively unfavorable policies pursued by the obama administration.

  2. Lowell says:

    I’m sorry Seth, where did Bubby call anyone muddled masses?

    Perhaps I missed it?

    And Barnabas, I was going to write the same type of response to you as did Bubby, I just got caught up in the day and forgot…

    Your message is well considered and well penned, thank you!

    Working together, anything is possible…

  3. seth says:

    my categorization, not bubby’s

    too bad you guys weren’t on board 8 years ago

  4. Lowell says:

    on board eight years ago?

  5. seth says:

    with the working together….

  6. Lowell says:

    You must not have been aware of my work on the school board or when I ran for state office twice Seth. But you must also understand my young friend, your side’s idea of working together has been their way or nothing at all. It’s why I ran to start with.

  7. Frankie Boy says:

    “your side’s idea of working together has been their way or nothing at all”…yeah Lowell, we musta forgot, thanks for showing us the way.

  8. Lowell says:

    You’re certainly welcome Frank.

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