Teabagging in SLC | Buzz Blog

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Teabagging in SLC

Posted By on April 15, 2009, 4:30 PM

  • Pin It
    Favorite

The ink of their “Don’t Tread On Me” signs running in a downpour of snow and rain, thousands of angry but festive protestors gathered outside downtown’s Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building Wednesday afternoon for one of several “tea party” protests held on the day the country files its taxes. Tea party speakers verbally burned in effigy Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, whose Salt Lake City offices are inside the building named for his father.

“Send them home. Send them home,” chanted the crowd calling for the ouster of Bennett and of Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. They cheered freshman Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz and the prospect that Bennett would face a challenge to keep his U.S. Senate seat from Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff who was on hand working the crowd.

The crowd was a mix of families with children, John Birch conservatives, Ross Perot United We Stand style back-to-basics patriots and self-styled “minutemen” who carried signs that called for the round-up and deportation of immigrants. Some protestors wore tri-cornered hats. Prominently waiving over the top of the crowd were yellow flags featuring a snake and the logo “Don’t Tread on Me.”

Speakers were against the federal stimulus, for property rights and against government regulation of the financial markets. Signs warned of socialism taking over America. One sign carrier had modified the Obama campaign logo with the addition of a hammer and sickle. Other rally signs included “This Christian believes in term limits,” %uFFFD“Don’t Redistribute My Wealth,” “Success is not a crime” %uFFFDand “Obama is stealing your money.” One sign simply read “No More Spending.”

One rally speaker called on the crowd to put its faith not in government, but in “God who is alone able to protect us.” Another called the tea party “the beginning of a movement to save the Constitution.” Speakers were rewarded with copies of “The Five Thousand Year Leap” by deceased Utah anti-communist Cleon Skousen who once counseled Ronald Reagan to abolish Social Security in favor of investing retirement funds in the stock market.

Speaker David Kirkham, an early organizer of Utah tea parties, warned of the dangers of socialism with a story about how his company’s manufacturing plant in Poland was fined for disobeying a government mandate to hire handicapped workers, resulting in a loss of jobs.

As honking cars passed by the Federal Building cheers erupted from the crowd. The protestors are excited, and angry. “If I hear shots fired, I won’t bat an eye,” said a bearded man waiving a “No More Bailouts” sign at State Street cars. “It’s bang-bang time.”

Some of the protestors even had their own flag. Featuring a Liberty Bell, two old versions of the American Flag and a lot of writing, the flags were donated by a Layton outfit, helprescueamerica.org. The organization has sent its “Declaration of Liberty” flag to more than 100 “tea party” rallies across the country and is encouraging Americans to fly the new flag beneath the American Flags.

On close inspection the writing on the flag reads in part, “We the People declare that We will Never Yield to those who would place us in bondage.”

The helprescueamerica.org Webpage says the organization is fighting against “those who want government to control every aspect of our lives ... remove God from our society ... replacing traditional religious values with a state sponsored religion called Atheism ... forcing us to accept evil religious practices and doctrines.”

It’s hard to say exactly what the teabaggers want. But they are angry. And there are a lot of them. On Wednesday, at least, thousands more than have ever gathered at the Federal Building for weekly Thursday evening anti-war protests.

Tags: , , ,

On Topic...

More by Ted McDonough

Latest in Buzz Blog

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

© 2018 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation