Tea Party organized to get government's attention

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By Bryan Marshall

John Souder never thought he would be a political activist.

“Sometimes, you have to stand up and be for something,” the Dry Ridge resident said. “It’s become my belief that the folks we have in charge of government are spending us into oblivion.”

Souder hopes other Grant County residents will stand up with him and speak their minds during a Tax Day Tea Party he has organized at noon Wednesday, April 15 at the Grant County Courthouse.

Originally taken from the famous Boston Tea Party, Souder got the idea after hearing about other similar events across the country,

Tax Day Tea Party is a national collaborative grassroots effort organized by Smart Girl Politics, Top Conservatives on Twitter, the DontGo Movement and many other online groups/coalitions.

The Tea Party protests, in their current form, began early this year when Rick Santelli, the On Air Editor for CNBC, talked about the recently passed “flawed” stimulus bill in Washington D.C.

While many politicians voted for President Barack Obama’s stimulus package, Souder said none of them actually read it.

During Santelli’s rant, he called for a “Chicago Tea Party” where advocates of the free-market system could join in a protest against out of control government spending.

A few days later, grassroots activists and average Americans began organizing what would soon become the Nationwide Chicago Tea Party effort.

An estimated 30,000 Americans took to the street in more than 40 cities across the country Feb. 27 in the first nationwide “Tea Party” protest.

Organizers pledged to continue on with an even bigger protest in conjunction with the tax deadline.

More than 350 cities across the country are expected to participate, including Williamstown, Bowling Green, Paducah and Louisville.

Souder said he hopes that every Grant County resident attends the rally.

“The government’s not going to listen to just one person, but if a lot of people stand up and say that this is not the right thing, they start listening,” he said. “They want to keep their jobs.”

“We want the people to speak,” Souder said. “We can hear politicians speak anytime we turn on the TV or radio. We want to hear Mr. and Mrs. Joe Average who are out here working hard everyday to make ends meet and having a tough time with all this stuff going on, all this greed and spending and bailouts.”

The exact details of the event are still being worked out.

Souder said he is willing to move the Tea Party to the evening if he receives enough feedback that more people would attend.

In case of inclement weather, the event will be held at the American Legion Hall on US 25 in Williamstown.

A petition that will be sent to Washington D.C. likely will be available for attendees to sign.

The Tea Party will be peaceful and not affiliated with any political party, Souder said.

“We’re not interested in it being a Democratic or Republican or Libertarian or whatever else thing,” he said. “We’re just people who love this country and don’t want to see it go down the toilet.”