World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Tea Party protests

Tea Party protests
Part of response to government social and fiscal policies
Date Predominately 2009–2010
Location United States
Causes Government spending and red tape, US national debt, taxation
Goals Government adherence to the Constitution, reduce taxation, reduce spending and waste
Status Ongoing
A Tea Party protest in Hartford, Connecticut, on April 15, 2009.
Tea Party protesters on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall on September 12, 2009.

The Tea Party protests were a series of protests throughout the United States that began in early 2009. The protests were part of the larger political Tea Party movement.

Among other events, protests were held on:

  • February 27, 2009, to protest the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 stimulus legislation signed by President Barack Obama;[1]
  • April 15, 2009, to coincide with the annual U.S. deadline for submitting tax returns, known as Tax Day;[2][3]
  • July 4, 2009, to coincide with Independence Day;[4]
  • September 12, 2009, to coincide with the anniversary of the day after the September 11 attacks;[5]
  • November 5, 2009, in Washington D.C. to protest health insurance reform;[6]
  • March 14–21, 2010, in D.C. during the final week of debate on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[7]

Most Tea Party activities have since been focused on opposing efforts of the Obama Administration, and on recruiting, nominating, and supporting candidates for state and national elections.[8][9] The name "Tea Party" is a reference to the Boston Tea Party, whose principal aim was to protest taxation without representation.[10][11] Tea Party protests evoked images, slogans and themes from the American Revolution, such as tri-corner hats and yellow Gadsden "Don't Tread on Me" flags.[3][12] The letters T-E-A have been used by some protesters to form the backronym "Taxed Enough Already".[13]

Commentators promoted Tax Day events on various blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, while the Fox News Channel regularly featured televised programming leading into and promoting various protest activities.[14] Reaction to the tea parties included counter-protests expressing support for the Obama administration, and dismissive or mocking media coverage of both the events and its promoters.[14][15]


  • History 1
    • Tea bag campaign 1.1
    • "Porkulus" protests and "First Tea Party" claims 1.2
    • Birth of the national Tea Party movement 1.3
  • Protests 2
    • Tax day events 2.1
    • Spring and early summer protests 2.2
    • Independence Day rallies 2.3
    • Taxpayer March on Washington 2.4
    • First Tea Party convention 2.5
  • Tactics 3
  • Reports of abusive behavior 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8


A flyer created by Hoosiers for Fair Taxation to protest mayor Bart Peterson in 2007 explicitly invokes the Boston Tea Party.
A Tea Party protester holds a sign saying "Remember: Dissent is Patriotic" at a Nashville Tea Party on February 27, 2009.

The theme of the socialist agenda of Washington."[125]

Some Tea Party organizers have stated that they look to leftist Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals for inspiration. Protesters have also appropriated left-wing imagery; the logo for the March 9/12 on Washington featured a raised fist design that was intended to resemble those used by the pro-labor, anti-war, and black power movements of the 1960s. In addition, the slogan "Keep Your Laws Off My Body", usually associated with pro-choice activists, has been seen on signs at tea parties.[126]

On April 8, 2010, it was announced that the

  • "Katie Couric interviews Tea Party Leaders", CBS News, January 25, 2010.
  • Video coverage, the Taxpayer March on Washington, by C-SPAN
  • Signs of Discontent: 9-12-09 in DC, slide show by Life magazine
  • Signs of the Tea-Party Protests, photo essay by Time magazine
  • "12 Tea Party leaders to watch", National Journal, February 4, 2010.
  • Tea Party Express Comes To A Head On Tax Day by NPR
  • "The Tea Party and the Economy",, September 30, 2011.
  • "A definition of the tea party",

External links

  • Flanders, Laura (2010). At the Tea Party. New York, New York: OR Press. ISBN 978-1-935928-23-2.
  • Lepore, Jill (2010). The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party's Revolution and the Battle over American History. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-1-4008-3696-3.
  • Gladney, Henry M. No Taxation without Representation: 1768 Petition, Memorial, and Remonstrance, 2014.

Further reading

  1. ^ Katharine Shilcutt Gleave. "Houston Joins Other Cities Nationwide in Tea Party Protest".  
  2. ^ a b "Anti-Obama 'tea party' protests mark US tax day".  
  3. ^ a b Oneal, Michael; Janet Hook (April 16, 2009). "Anti-Obama rebellion poses risk for the GOP".  
  4. ^ "Fourth of July - Independence Day Tea Party Celebrations / Protests - July 4, 2009". Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Tea Party Express Takes Washington By Storm". Fox News. September 12, 2009. 
  6. ^ Allen, Jonathan; Meredith Shiner (November 5, 2009). "Tea partiers descend on Capitol Hill".  
  7. ^ Tea Party Activists Make Last Stand Against Health Care Vote
  8. ^ Brian Lockhart (August 21, 2011). "GOP chair welcomes tea party". NewsTimes. Retrieved August 10, 2014. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Tea Party Convention Gives Boost to Newcomer Politicians". February 5, 2010. 
  11. ^ Thomas, Townshend Duties, 246.
  12. ^ Taxpayers Strike Back With 'Tea Parties'. Special Report with Bret Baier. Published March 16, 2009
  13. ^ Anne Schroeder Mullins (April 8, 2009). "T.E.A. = Taxed Enough Already".  
  14. ^ a b Fox teas up a tempest. By Michael Calderone. The Politico. Published April 15, 2009.
  15. ^ Burgin, Aaron. "Demonstrators decry bailouts, taxes at Tax Day tea parties".  
  16. ^ Libertarians to plan tea party to protest tax
  17. ^ State Republicans call for anti-tax 'tea party'
  18. ^ Tea bag protesters would toss away state's future
  19. ^ Demonstrators hurl tea bags in bid against raising taxes
  21. ^ Smith refuses to defend tax proposition
  22. ^ "Boston Tea Party is protest template". April 20, 2008. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  23. ^ The Rachel Maddow Show' for Tuesday, April 14 - Rachel Maddow show-"'". MSNBC. April 15, 2009. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Tea Party 07 - Ron Paul for President Mass Donation Day". Retrieved August 10, 2014. 
  25. ^ Smith, James F. (December 16, 2007). "Ron Paul's tea party for dollars - 2008 Presidential Campaign Blog - Political Intelligence". Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  26. ^ """Statement on Ron Paul and "Tax Day Tea Parties. April 15, 2009. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  27. ^ Levenson, Michael (December 16, 2007). "Ron Paul raises millions in today's Boston Tea Party event - The Boston Globe". Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  28. ^ Press, Associated (December 17, 2007). "Paul supporters hold Tea Party re-enactment in Boston". Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  29. ^ The Southern Avenger, Host: Jack Hunter, Station: 1250 AM WTMA, Charleston, South Carolina, Date: February 15, 2010, Interview with Ron Paul
  30. ^ Jeff Frazee, "YAL Tax Protest", Young Americans for Liberty, January 28, 2009
  31. ^ Neil St. Clair, "A 'tea party' to protest Patersons taxes", Your News Now, January 24, 2009
  32. ^
  33. ^ JEANNINE AVERSA AP Economics Writer. "Washington offers no relief for savers". Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  34. ^ a b "Homebuyer Helper". Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  35. ^ "MAIL A TEA BAG TO CONGRESS & TO SENATE! [FedUp] - MarketTicker Forums". Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  36. ^ Doherty, Brian. Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, pg. 396
  37. ^ "Single Post Display - MarketTicker Forums". Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  38. ^ a b "Single Post Display - MarketTicker Forums". Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  39. ^ FedUpUSA (November 4, 2008). "About Us". FedUpUSA. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  40. ^ FedUpUSA - About Us; FedUpUSA; July 2013
  41. ^ "DC protest, THIS SATURDAY the 27th TRILLION DOLLAR MARCH [FedUp] - MarketTicker Forums". Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  42. ^ "Pre-Bailout - History". Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  43. ^ "Niet compatibele browser". Facebook. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  44. ^ "TEA PARTY February 1st? - The Market Ticker". Archived from the original on January 24, 2009. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  45. ^
  46. ^ a b "Jane Hamsher: A Teabagger Timeline: Koch, Coors, Newt, Dick Armey There From The Start". May 16, 2009. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  47. ^ "What is the 'tea party' and how is it shaking up American politics?". September 15, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2014. 
  48. ^ "Karl Denninger Calls Out Tea Party | Tea Party Civil War | Video". Mediaite. October 21, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2014. 
  49. ^ Solomon, Deborah (February 11, 2009). "Market Pans Bank Rescue Plan". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 12, 2009. 
  50. ^ "FreedomWorks' Long History Of Teabagging". April 19, 2009. Archived from the original on September 15, 2009. Retrieved March 4, 2010. but they didn't have an explicitly tea-based theme. If they had a theme of any kind it was "pork" and government waste. 
  51. ^ Tom Kuntz (February 8, 2009). "Idea of the Day: ‘Porkulus’". The New York Times. Retrieved February 8, 2009. 
  52. ^ Ronald D. Utt, Ph.D. (November 10, 2004). "Is Pork Barrel Spending Ready to Explode? The Anatomy of an Earmark". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved November 10, 2004. 
  53. ^ a b Ben McGrath (February 1, 2010). "The Movement - The Rise of Tea Party Activism". The New Yorker. 
  54. ^ "FreedomWorks' Long History Of Teabagging". April 19, 2009. Retrieved March 4, 2010. but they didn't have an explicitly tea-based theme. If they had a theme of any kind it was "pork" and government waste. 
  55. ^ "Members Protest President Obama in Fort Myers". FreedomWorks. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  56. ^ Steinhauser, Brendan (March 29, 2009). "Cape Coral Tea Party is ON!". FreedomWorks. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  57. ^ Steinhauser, Brendan (February 9, 2009). "plans to protest Obama in Fort Myers, Florida Tuesday!". FreedomWorks. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  58. ^ George Bennett (February 10, 2010). "One year later: Crist-Obama Fort Myers stimulus rally fueled Rubio campaign, pre-Santelli tea party protest". Palm Beach Post. 
  59. ^ a b "Those outside Harborside in Fort Myers had plenty to see, say". The News-Press. February 11, 2009. Retrieved April 26, 2009. 
  60. ^ "You can't keep a good Tea Party down!". Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  61. ^ Beutler, Brian (April 14, 2009). "FreedomWorks' Long History Of Teabagging | TPMDC". Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  62. ^ "Woman's year-ago protest launched tea party movement in Florida". Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  63. ^ Zernike, Kate (February 27, 2010). "Unlikely Activist Who Got to the Tea Party Early". Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  64. ^ Zernike, Kate (February 27, 2010). "Unlikely Activist Who Got to the Tea Party Early". Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  65. ^ "Meet Keli Carender, Tea Party organizer in Seattle, Washington « Tax Day Tea Party". Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  66. ^ KIRO Tv (February 16, 2009). "VIDEO: Dozens Gather At "Porkulus" Protest". Retrieved March 29, 2009. 
  67. ^ Malkin, Michelle (February 17, 2009). Yes, we care!" Porkulus protesters holler back Updated""". Michelle Malkin. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  68. ^ Malkin, Michelle (February 16, 2009). "From the Boston Tea Party to your neighborhood pork protest". Michelle Malkin. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  69. ^ "President Signs Massive Stimulus In Denver". March 17, 2009. Retrieved April 2, 2009. 
  70. ^ Gary Grado, Sonu Munshi, Hayley Ringle (February 18, 2009). "More than 500 protest Obama's arrival". Retrieved April 2, 2009. 
  71. ^ Wong, Scott (February 15, 2009). "Obama to visit Mesa high school on Wed". Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  72. ^ "Articles - Rebel Yell: Taxpayers Revolt Against Gimme-Mania". RealClearPolitics. February 20, 2009. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  73. ^ Rick Santelli: I Want to Set the Record Straight.CNBC. March 2, 2009
  74. ^ "CNBC: Rick Santelli goes off". Chicago Tribune. February 23, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2009. 
  75. ^ "Answer Desk: Housing relief backlash - Answer Desk-". MSNBC. February 23, 2009. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  76. ^ Fang, Lee (2013). The Machine: A Field Guide to the Resurgent Right.  
  77. ^ "Tea Party: Palin's pet, or is there more to it underneath," U.S. Money Talk, October 5, 2010.
  78. ^ a b A Growing "Tea Party" Movement?, Jonathan V. Last, Weekly Standard, March 4, 2009
  79. ^ a b Tam Cho, Wendy K., James G. Gimpel, and Daron R. Shaw. "The Tea Party Movement and the Geography of Collective Action." Quarterly Journal of Political Science 7.2 (2012): 105-33.
  80. ^ Jeff Frazee, "Traders Revolt", Young Americans for Liberty, February 19, 2009
  81. ^ Facebook Group
  82. ^ Berger, Judson (April 9, 2009). "Modern-Day Tea Parties Give Taxpayers Chance to Scream for Better Representation". Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  83. ^ Roesgen, Andy (February 27, 2009). "Protestors Gather for Self-Styled Tea Party". Retrieved February 27, 2009. 
  84. ^ "Tax Day Is Met With Tea Parties". Janie Lorber and Liz Robbins. The New York Times. April 15, 2009.
  85. ^ a b c "Arguing the size of the 'tea party' protest". Patrik Jonsson. The Christian Science Monitor. April 18, 2009. Retrieved June 16, 2009.
  86. ^ "Nationwide 'Tea Party' Protests". CNN. April 15, 2009. Retrieved June 16, 2009. 
  87. ^ "Tea Party Attendance 268,000+". MSNBC. April 16, 2009.
  88. ^ a b "Tea Party Nonpartisan Attendance Estimates: Now 300,000+".  
  89. ^ "The myth of the 15,000". Jim Galloway. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 'April 27, 2009.
  90. ^ "Thousands Attend Atlanta Tea Party". April 16, 2009. Retrieved June 16, 2009. 
  91. ^ 'Tea parties' take place across US against tax increases"". Alex Spillius. The Daily Telegraph (London). April 15, 2009.
  92. ^ Tax protest draws crowd in White Plains, The Journal News, April 24, 2009
  93. ^ Tea Party draws hundreds, The Sun, April 25, 2009
  94. ^ Tea Party supporters protest taxes in Monroe, April 26, 2009, Everett Herald
  95. ^ Knoxville Tea Party, Instapundit, May 5, 2009
  96. ^ "Hundreds attend rally downtown". WIVB-TV. May 9, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  97. ^ "Crapo meets with Tea Party organizers". Associated Press. May 26, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  98. ^ "'"Tea Party 'grass-roots politics at its best. Dayton Daily News. May 29, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  99. ^ "Gov. Gibbons joins tax opponents at rally". Reno Gazette-Journal. May 29, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  100. ^ "Kernersville Taxpayers Hold Tea Party Protest". WFMY News 2. May 31, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  101. ^ "Hundreds turn out for local "Tea Party" rally". Associated Press. June 6, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  102. ^ "'"‘An amazing, patriotic event. The Union. June 8, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  103. ^ "Protesters prepare to parade through State House". The Providence Journal. June 10, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  104. ^ "600 protest Pelosi in Houston". Politico. June 15, 2009. Retrieved June 30, 2009. 
  105. ^ "Flag Day Attracts Patriotism, Political Activism". WLWT-TV. June 14, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  106. ^ "Fair Tax plan wins big at convention". Detroit Free Press. June 14, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  107. ^ "Ravalli Co. 'Tea Party' organizers deliver petitions". KPAX. June 16, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  108. ^ "Tea Party: ‘Give me liberty, not debt’". Bradenton Herald. June 29, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  109. ^ "Tea Party part II". Troy Record. June 16, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  110. ^ TEA Party steeped in messages, The Olympian, June 28, 2009
  111. ^ "Thousands Protest Obama Policies In Nashville". WTVF. June 29, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  112. ^ Teachout, Woden. The Tea Party in Politics: Why the Event in Boston Harbor Keeps on Appealing to Conservatives," History News Network, June 29, 2009""". Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  113. ^ , July 3, 2009The Washington Times"Time for a Tea Party," .
  114. ^ "TEA Party activists rally at Capitol -". CNN. July 4, 2009. Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  115. ^ "Tea Parties Protest Health Care Bill". WXIA-TV. July 17, 2009. Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  116. ^ Sherman, Jake (September 13, 2009). "Protesters March on Washington".  
  117. ^ Keefe, Bob (September 12, 2009). "Georgians lead protest at Taxpayer March on Washington".  
  118. ^ "ABC News Was Misquoted on Crowd Size". ABC News. September 12, 2009. 
  119. ^ Zeleny, Jeff (September 12, 2009). "Thousands Rally in Capital to Protest Big Government".  
  120. ^ Weigel, David (September 14, 2009). "Beltway Conservatives Comb Tea Party Movement for Converts".  
  121. ^ Weigel, David. "Media at the Tea Party Convention « The Washington Independent". Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  122. ^  
  123. ^ "Palin's tea party raises eyebrows - Kenneth P. Vogel". Politico.Com. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  124. ^ "Whose Tea Party Is It? Nashville Convention Stirs Debate - ABC News". February 4, 2010. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  125. ^ Debates Turns Hostile, New York Times, August 8, 2009
  126. ^ "Conservatives use liberal playbook". Retrieved September 18, 2009. 
  127. ^ a b Kathleen Hennessey (April 8, 2010). "Tea parties form a federation, but don't call them organized". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  128. ^ a b , National Tea Party Federation, April 24, 2010Letter to the Congressional Black Caucus from Tea Party Federation: Please Provide Evidence of Cannon N-Word Incident
  129. ^ Bob Cesca (March 3, 2010). "The Tea Party is all about race". Huffington Post. 
  130. ^ David Weigel (January 4, 2010). "‘N-Word’ Sign Dogs Would-Be Tea Party Leader". Washington Independent. 
  131. ^ Michael Tomasky (March 21, 2010). "Cat Slithers Out of Bag". London: Guardian News. 
  132. ^ a b McAuliff, Michael & Bazinet, Kenneth R. (March 20, 2010), "Make That the Nas-Tea Party",  
  133. ^ a b Tea Party Protestor Sorry for Mocking Man With Parkinson's Disease; CBS News; March 25, 2010
  134. ^ Health-reform rally heckler says he's sorry and scared The Columbus Dispatch; March 24, 2010
  135. ^ a b c "Racist epithets fly at tea party health protest". McClatchy News. March 20, 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2010. 
  136. ^ a b Alexander, Andrew (April 11, 2010). "Allegations of spitting and slurs at Capitol protest merit more reporting". Washington Post. Retrieved April 14, 2010. 
  137. ^ Protesters hurl slurs and spit at Democrats; CNN; March 20, 2010
  138. ^ "Tea Party Protesters Dispute Reports of Slurs, Spitting Against Dem Lawmakers". Fox News. March 22, 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2010. 
  139. ^ "AUDIO: Origin of Rep. Carson's racism accusation toward health care protesters". Washington Times. April 6, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2013. 
  140. ^ a b c d e Tea Party, Dems Row Over N-Word Video "Evidence"; CBS News; April 13, 2010
  141. ^ , April 2, 2010Big JournalismAndrew Breitbart,
  142. ^ , March 26, 2010Atlanta Journal-Constitution"Political Insider" by Jim Galloway,
  143. ^ AFL-CIO's Trumka knocks down Breitbart's denials of racism at Tea Party protest; MMfA; April 8, 2010
  144. ^ AFL-CIO President Stresses Important of Labor Movement; The Harvard Crimson; April 8, 2010
  145. ^ AFL-CIO Head vs. Andrew Breitbart On Tea Party Racism, Alleged Labor Attacks; Huffington Post; June 8, 2010
  146. ^ Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America; Kate Zernike; Macmillan Publishers; November 2010; Pgs. 138-139
  147. ^ "Tea party not a racist movement, Biden says". MSNBC. Associated Press. July 19, 2010. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  148. ^ Montopoli, Brian (May 31, 2011). "Herman Cain: I prove Tea Party isn't racist". CBS News. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  149. ^ Gibson, Jake (August 4, 2010). "'"Black Political Activists: Tea Party 'Not Racist. Fox News. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  150. ^ McCartney, Robert. "Tea Party: Not racist, just wary of government's reach". The Herald Sun. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 


See also

Kate Zernike, author of Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America, has observed, "Rather than explain it as a fringe of the movement, which they plausibly might have, they argued that the ugliness had never happened. Wasn't it suspicious, they asked, that there was no video of spitting or slurs, in an age when everyone's cell phone has a camera? It was difficult, if not disingenuous, for the Tea Party groups to try to disown the behavior."[146] Politicians from both political parties, black conservative activists and columnists have argued that allegations of racism do not reflect the movement as a whole.[147][148][149][150]

Representative Heath Shuler of North Carolina, who is white, backed up his colleagues, telling the Hendersonville (N.C.) Times-News that he too heard slurs.[140] Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, corroborated Lewis' version of events during a confrontation with Breitbart at a Harvard Institute of Politics forum by saying, "I watched them spit at people, I watched them call John Lewis the n-word. [...] I witnessed it. I saw it in person. That's real evidence."[143][144][145] One of Representative Anthony Weiner’s staffers reported a stream of hostile encounters with tea partiers roaming the halls of Congress. In addition to mockery, protesters left a couple of notes behind. According to the New York Daily News, one letter "asked what Rahm Emanuel did with Weiner in the shower, in a reference to the mess around ex-Rep Eric Massa. It was signed with a swastika, the staffer said. The other note called the congressman "Schlomo Weiner."[132]

Conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart, who wasn't at the protests,[140] said the incidents reported by Cleaver, Lewis and Carson were fabricated as part of a plan to annihilate the Tea Party movement by all means necessary and that they never actually happened. He offered to donate $10,000 to the United Negro College Fund if Lewis could provide audio or video footage of the slurs, or pass a lie detector test. The amount was later raised to $100,000 for "hard evidence."[140][141][142] In addition, the National Tea Party Federation sent a letter to the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) denouncing racism and requesting that the CBC supply any evidence of the alleged events at the protest.[128]

On March 20, 2010, it was reported that protesters against proposed health care legislation used racial and anti-gay slurs. Gay Congressman John Lewis and his chief of staff, amid chants of "Kill the bill" he heard the "n-word" about fifteen times coming from several places in the crowd: "One guy, I remember he just rattled it off several times. Then John looks at me and says, 'You know, this reminds me of a different time.'"[135][139][140] Congressman Emanuel Cleaver said as he walked several yards behind Lewis, he distinctly heard "nigger", and he was also spat upon by a protester while walking up the stairs of the Cannon Building, although whether the spitting was intentional has been questioned.[135][136][140]

On March 16, 2010, at a Tea Party protest at the Ohio offices of Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, a counter-protester with Parkinson's disease was berated by one of the protestors and had dollar bills thrown at him with additional protesters also mocking the individual.[134] The man initially denied the incident, but later apologized for his "shameful" actions.[133]

There have been allegations of racism and abusive behavior by Tea Party protesters.[129][130][131][132][133]

Reports of abusive behavior

[128][127] Tea Party activist Mark Skoda noted the slow response to critics who have charged the protesters with racism, stating: "It took us 72 hours to respond to John Lewis... We're not needing to meet every week. But there will now be a way to have a call to arms to respond to attacks with a crisp and clear message."[127]


On February 4, 2010, the first Tea Party national convention was held in Nashville, attended by 600 people.[121] The convention received broad media coverage as former GOP Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin was the featured speaker. Some tea partiers condemned the event, questioning the main sponsor, Tea Party Nation, a for-profit group, as well as the several hundred dollar ticket price. The former Alaska governor was criticized[122][123] for receiving as much as $100,000 to address the convention.[124]

First Tea Party convention

Using the counts of those in attendance, the march may have been the largest conservative protest ever held in Washington, D.C., as well as the largest demonstration against President Obama's administration to date.[119][120]

On September 12, 2009, Tea Party protests were held in various cities around the nation. In Washington, D.C., Tea Party protests gathered to march from ABC News station had reported attendance of over one million, but he retracted the statement after ABC News denied making any such report.[118]

Protesters walking towards the United States Capitol during the Taxpayer March on Washington, September 12, 2009.

Taxpayer March on Washington

On July 17, 2009, there were additional Tea Party protests around the nation organized by a group called Tea Party Patriots, this time against President Obama's proposed health care overhaul that they labeled socialized medicine.[115]

A number of Tea Party protests were held the weekend of July 4, 2009, coinciding with Independence Day.[112][113] "The rally followed a national effort that drew thousands of activists to Tea Party events across the country on April 15, 2009 when income taxes are due."[114]

Independence Day rallies

Tea Party rallies continued in various locales around the nation. Many of these events were focused on opposition to state or local taxes and spending, rather than with national issues. Late April saw Tea Parties in Annapolis, Maryland, White Plains, New York,[92] Jackson, Tennessee,[93] and Monroe, Washington.[94] In May, there were six more Tea Party events in Tennessee,[95] New York,[96] Idaho,[97] Ohio,[98] Nevada,[99] and North Carolina.[100] During June 2009, another dozen events were held in North Carolina,[101] California,[102] Rhode Island,[103] Texas,[104] Ohio,[105] Michigan,[106] Montana,[107] Florida,[108] New York,[109] and Washington State.[110] On June 29, 2009, in Nashville, Tennessee, four thousand people rallied against proposed emissions trading (cap and trade) energy in Congress and universal health care.[111]

Spring and early summer protests

On April 15, 2009, a Tea Party protest outside the White House was moved after a box of tea bags was hurled over the White House fence. Police sealed off the area and evacuated some people. The Secret Service brought out a bomb-detecting robot, which determined the package was not a threat.[91] Approximately one thousand people had demonstrated, several waved placards saying "Stop Big Government" and "Taxation is Piracy".[2]

[85] Some of the gatherings drew only dozens.[90][89][88] Estimates of protesters and locations varied. [84] April 15, 2009 is said to have been the day that had the largest number of tea party demonstrations reportedly in more than 750 cities.

Tea Party protesters in Louisville, Kentucky on April 15, 2009.

Tax day events


Also on February 19, Americans for Prosperity. Soon, the "Nationwide Chicago Tea Party" protests were coordinated across over 40 different cities for February 27, 2009, establishing the first national modern Tea Party protest.[82][83]

The following day after Santelli's comments from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, roughly 50 national conservative leaders participated in a conference call that gave birth to the national Tea Party movement.[77] In response to Santelli, websites such as, registered in August 2008 by Chicago radio producer Zack Christenson, were live within twelve hours.[78] About 10 hours after Santelli's remarks, was bought to coordinate Tea Parties scheduled for the 4th of July and within two weeks was reported to be receiving 11,000 visitors a day.[78] However, on the contrary, many scholars are reluctant to label Santelli's remarks the "spark" of the Tea Party considering that a "Tea Party" protest had taken place 3 days before in Seattle, Washington[79] In fact, this had lead many opponents of the Tea Party to define this movement as "astroturfed", but it seems as if Santelli's comments did not "fall on deaf ears" considering that, “the top 50 counties in foreclosure rates played host to over 910 Tea Party protests, about one-sixth of the total”[79]

On February 19, 2009,[53] in a broadcast from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, CNBC Business News Network editor Rick Santelli loudly criticized the government plan to refinance mortgages as "promoting bad behavior" by "subsidizing losers' mortgages", and raised the possibility of putting together a "Chicago Tea Party in July".[73][74] A number of the traders and brokers around him cheered on his proposal, to the apparent amusement of the hosts in the studio. It was called "the rant heard round the world".[75] Santelli's remarks "set the fuse to the modern anti-Obama Tea Party movement," according to journalist Lee Fang.[76]

Birth of the national Tea Party movement

[72] By February 20, Malkin was using her nationally syndicated column in an attempt to present these three protests as a movement to her fellow conservatives, continuing to call for more. "There's something in the air," she wrote, "It's the smell of roasted pork."[71] A protest at the Denver Capitol Building was already scheduled to coincide with the bill signing. Malkin reported that it was organized by the conservative advocacy group

Carender contacted conservative author and Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin in order to gain her support and publicize the event. Malkin promoted the protest in several posts on her blog, saying that "There should be one of these in every town in America," and that she would be supplying the crowd with a meal of pulled pork. The protest was held in Seattle on Presidents Day, 2009.[66] Malkin encouraged her readers to stage similar events in Denver on the following day where President Obama was scheduled to sign the stimulus bill into law.

Carendar organized what she called a "Porkulus Protest" on President's Day, a few days before Rick Santelli used the phrase "Tea Party" in what has been characterized as a "rant" broadcast from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.[64][65]

credits Carender as "one of the first" Tea Party organizers. The Atlantic An article written by Chris Good of [63]

Competing claims have emerged over which protest was actually the first to organize. According to Fort Myers, Florida, calling it the "first protest of President Obama's administration that we know of. It was the first protest of what became the tea party movement."[58] Rakovich, along with six to ten others, protested outside a townhall meeting featuring President Obama and Florida governor Charlie Crist.[59] Interviewed by a local reporter, Rakovich explained that she "thinks the government is wasting way too much money helping people receive high definition TV signals" and that "Obama promotes socialism, although 'he doesn't call it that'".[59] She was invited to appear in front of a national audience on Neil Cavuto's Fox News Channel program Your World.[60] Regarding the role Freedomworks played in the demonstration, Rakovich acknowledged they were involved "right from the start,"[61] and said that in her 212 hour training session, she was taught how to attract more supporters and was specifically advised not to focus on President Obama.[62]

The dominant theme seen at some of the earliest anti-stimulus protests was "pork" rather than tea.[50] The term "porkulus" was coined by radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh on his January 27, 2009 broadcast,[51] in reference to both the 2009 stimulus bill, which had been introduced to the House of Representatives the day before, as well as to pork barrel spending and earmarks.[52] The term proved very popular with conservative politicians and commentators,[53] who began to unify in opposition against stimulus spending after the 2008 General Election.[54]

"Porkulus" protests and "First Tea Party" claims

On February 11, 2009, talk radio host and Fox Business Network personality Dave Ramsey appeared on Fox and Friends, waving tea bags and saying: "It's time for a Tea Party."[34] He was on the show criticizing the newly confirmed Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, who that morning had outlined his plan to use the $300 billion or so dollars remaining in the TARP funds.[49]

[48][47] The founder of,

Forum moderator Stephanie Jasky helped organize the group and worked to "get it to [38]

On January 19, 2009, Graham Makohoniuk, a part-time trader and a member of Ticker Forum, posted a casual invitation on the forums to "Mail a tea bag to congress and senate,"[35] a tactic that had first been attempted by the Libertarian Party in 1973.[36] The idea quickly caught on with others on the forum, some of whom reported being attracted to the inexpensive, easy way to reach "everyone that voted for the bailout."[37]

Tea bag campaign


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.