OKANOGAN – Approximately 400 people gathered at the Okanogan County Courthouse for a Tax Day Tea Party on Wednesday, April 15.
“The people viewed this as an opportunity to voice their concerns about the direction of the federal government and also the fast-track expansion of the size and scope of government,” a post event press release states.
“The homemade and very creative signs they displayed told their frustration. These are solid citizens who obey the law, pay their taxes, help their neighbors and now they are being burdened with high taxes, forced on them, their children and grandchildren, because of out-of-control spending approved by both Congress and the past and present administrations. Logically, they know that individuals have to be able to pay off debt in the time required; and if in debt, spending less – not more – is the key to reaching a balance between income and expense.”
One organizer, who preferred not to be named, said this many people helped to propel this gathering.
“The purpose of this gathering was to give opportunity for people to voice the growing concern they feel about the aggressive change of direction in government and in the growth of its size, scope and cost, especially in the federal government, but in the state as well, with the renewed threat of a state income tax,” the organizer said.
During the tea party, an open microphone was available for anyone who wished to speak to do so. Gatherers listened intently while holding homemade signs with statements such as “Taxation with bad representation” and “We can’t spend our way out of debt.” One attendee even brought her donkey to stand beside her while she held a sign stating “Don’t even think about taking my ass!”
“Loss of freedom and the erosion of the meaning of our founding documents were themes often expressed,” states the release. “The obvious obsession with gaining power under the guise of immediate action in a crisis was cited. These people believe in the time-honored principles and values which built this great nation. Each one spoke from his/her own heart and soul out of concern for the heart and soul of America.”
According to the statement by event organizers, attendees paraded from the courthouse down to the main street of Okanogan and back to the courthouse. The national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America” were sung as an accordionist played. After the parade, the seldom heard third stanza of “The Star-Spangled Banner” was sung. The gathering ended with the following quotation from the Gettysburg Address by President Abraham Lincoln in Gettysburg, Pa. on Nov. 19, 1863:
“…that we were highly resolve…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”