Estimates were as high as 3,000 for the number of people who stood on Meridian Street for several hours yesterday, brandishing signs, waving flags and cheering in an event called the T.E.A. Party; Taxed Enough Already.
Bill Geyer holds an American flag and waits to cross the street. Geyer said that being over 50 years old, he's seen a couple different recessions throughout his life. "If we put these debts on future generations, it will compromise their ability to lead a productive life like I have received."
John Fletcher is 44 and a heavy equipment operator. He owns his own earth moving company. "It's our right to stand here and have a peaceful protest, and the way our country is going, our constitutional rights are in danger."
Protesters stand on Meridian Street in the T.E.A. rally Wednesday, April 15 Protesters gathered on Meridian Street for the T.E.A. rally; Taxed Enough Already
John Kenchenten jumps back on what was jokingly dubbed 'The Magical Mystery Bus,' "because we don't know what the government is going to do next," said Prudence Lockhart, retired teacher. The converted handicapped patrons transport bus is owned by Hugh and Nancy Foulke. The Foulkes are Sandy Point residents who heard about the rally and invited several of their neighbors to ride with them in the rally.
Ron Burges and Rick Lockhart roll flags up in preparation of sliding them through the buses roof escape hatch. Seated are Barbara and Jack Griffin. "We've been politicking for a long time," Barbara said. "It's important to have our voice be heard, I hope we're sending a message across the country. "I'm just havin fun," Jack said.
Nancy Foulke high-fives John Kenchenten as he boards her and husband Hugh's converted transport bus cruising Meridian Street in the T.E.A. rally
Hugh Foulke cruises with a bus load of his neighbors up and down Meridian Street in the T.E.A. rally. Hugh points to the map and said he and his wife have driven across the country twice in the bus, going on various camping, fishing and family trips.
John Kenchenten videos protesters as he drives by aboard Hugh and Nancy Foulke's bus.
Dam Phan, 49, is a school bus driver for Ferndale School Distrisct. His daughter Di holds balloons as they show their support of the opposition of overspending and taxing said Phan. Phan, who is Vietnamese, said he escaped a communist country for a reason. "It's sad to see people move toward a socialist regime, sad and ironic, for me. If we don't slow or stop the current administration it will happen."
Twenty-four year old Kyle Willett is a contractor and volunteered to organize some of the parking at the rally. His wife Eva also volunteered. Kyle Willet said he didn't agree with the amount of money spent in the last administration and still doesn't agree with the current administration. "Just because I'm conservative, people think I have a poster of George Bush that I pray to every night," said Willett.