Saturday, February 28, 2009

My first protest!

These pictures are all from the Atlanta Tea Party Protest. The little girl's sign read:
Don't Mortgage My Future

By Frances at Machine Politick

I attended the Tea Party protest at the Atlanta Capitol building yesterday. Because this was my first protest, it was very exciting to be there. Hopefully it is the beginning of a much larger movement to restore our country to the Constitutional Republic it was meant to be.

First, let me say how impressed I was by the turnout. It was cold and rainy all day yesterday. When I left home, I was afraid there would not be a significant turnout because of the weather. Boy, was I wrong, and happily so. In the spirit of the original Tea Party in Boston ,people from Atlanta showed up with their tea bags and their signs to protest the recent escalation of government spending that can only lead to higher taxes. I spent all day on Thursday making my sign and getting ready for the protest. When I got into downtown Atlanta, and drove past the Capitol building, the steps were packed. I couldn't say how many people, but it was impressive, given the weather. A gentleman was nice enough to share his umbrella with me on the way over from the parking garage, and everyone seemed in high spirits when I got there. Passers by were honking and waving, possibly in response to some of the protestors' signs. The girl next to me had a sign that read: Honk if you're paying my mortgage. And, honk they did. One of my favorite signs from the rally was a large banner that read: Read Atlas Shrugged before it happens. I couldn't have said it better. I hope to post some of my pictures later today on my blog.

Several Atlanta officials spoke, as well as the organizer of the protest and a few people from the crowd. Many of the participants had video cameras and posted live video to YouTube. I will provide the links at the bottom of the article. Chip Rogers gave a good speech. Some of his points had great impact; encouraging the crowd to raise their voices and their signs. He said, "We owe our Founding Fathers for their sacrifices to build this country, ...It's time to kick out the Socialists in our government, ...The time to stand by and be nice is over, ... and Let's stand up for our Freedom!"

John Oxendine was there as well, and got the crowd motivated with his comments: "This economy was caused by government intervention in the private sector...This bailout teaches irresponsibility... This is a revolution, we are going to take back control..." I was not close to the speakers, and it was too wet for a notepad, but you get the idea. I was closer to the street most of the protest, and was happy to see how well the people driving by were reacting to the protest. In fact, people were honking and waving at me after the rally as I made my way back to the car, soaking wet in a coat that probably weighed as much as I do. I think if it had been held on an evening or weekend, there would have been a much larger turnout. Many people who were discussing the event during the planning stages were unable to attend because of work.

I was very impressed by the level of organization and the number of people involved. Many of the people who were there had only just gotten word of the protest and quickly made signs to join in. I am glad to see that conservatives are learning to network and use the internet to organize events. In the past, we have always been afraid to get in other peoples' business or expose ourselves publicly for political issues. Yesterday, I saw many people who were fed up and fired up. I hope this will lead to future events and spark a movement to have our voices heard. Whether we are the majority or minority, our rights remain the same and we have to stand up for them. Standing quietly by in fear of offending other people will only lead to oppression of our principles and freedom. In a few short weeks, Obama and Congress have shown a willingness and ability to push their agenda with no regard for its effect on the American people or the economy. We must fight back before it is too late.

If we are to save our country and preserve our freedoms, we must return to the principles on which it was built. My sign for the rally read: Give me Liberty or Give me Death, Restore America to a Constitutional Republic. We have to scale back the government to its Constitutionally mandated powers and function. Socialism does not and cannot work. History has proven, the only way to achieve collectivism is through force and tyranny. The productive must be punished in the name of the 'common good'. There is no longer any incentive to be productive, and everyone suffers as a result. Socialism does not raise up the meek and the downtrodden. It brings down the successful members of society who produce the wealth and provide the jobs and services that we all need. People need to learn personal responsibility and the fact that our actions have consequences. If the government steps in and rewards failure, there is no reason to make the right decision.

My favorite sign from the protest was dripping and tattered by the time I saw it, but I was able to get a picture. There was a family not far from me, and one of their little girls had a sign that was dragging on the ground. It read: Don't mortgage my future. As the mother of a five year old boy, that says it all for me. I don't want my child growing up in the kind of country that America is becoming. For that reason, this was the first of many protests to come for me.

Pictures from Dennis in Atlanta

Pictures and News from James Arone in LA

Other sources of information on the Atlanta and National Rallies include: The AJC, The LA Times, Jacksonville, Santelli, and YouTube, as well as a long list on Google.

I have cross posted this article at Modern Conservative

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