Tax day triggers protests all over Chicago

April 15, 2009 8:48:47 PM PDT
One group tried to re-enact the Boston Tea Party out on Lake Michigan. Protestors say taxes are out of control.

There were an estimated 700 protests in cities around the country. But some of the largest were right here in the city and suburbs.

Organizers say the size of the protests is a reflection of unhappiness not only with high taxes but with how the government is spending tax money.

They admit the gesture is symbolic. The crates labeled tea were empty. And they were fished out of the water immediately. But a boat full of Chicago Young Republicans wanted to get their point across with the same dramatic flourish as colonists did in Boston 235 years ago.

"We're mainly upset about the government not managing their money, the wasteful spending that we're seeing coming out of Washington," said Jeremy Rose, Chicago Young Republicans.

"Let it be known to our politicians. We're not happy with what they are doing. Something has to change," said Joy Harp, tax protestor.

Tax day protests took different forms in different communities.

Radio station WVON brought in Republican national committee chair Michael Steele.

"Unleash your frustrations and your fears," said Steele.

In Naperville, the heart of DuPage Country Republican territory, an estimated 500 protestors turned out while at nearly the same time the Federal Plaza downtown was filled with even more protestors, carrying signs and talking tough against government bailouts and stimulus packages.

"People would like to see the government get out of the way and let hard working Americans do what they do best which is unleash the entrepreneurial skill of Americans and let them work through this," said John O'Hara, Heartland Institute.

The protestors, while primarily Republican, include people of diverse racial and political affiliations.

"This is not just Republicans. It's Democrats, it's independents. People feel like taxpayer money is being wasted," said Andy McKenna, Illinois Republican chairman.

Joliet drew about 300 protesters, carrying tea bags and signs. Their message wasn't just directed to Washington but also Springfield where Governor Quinn has proposed an estimated income tax increase.


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