Two Tax Day Protests
From the Providence Business News:
From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., a group of activists plan to greet tax filers at the Corliss Street post office to protest the cost of the war in Iraq and the defense budget. The groups that will be represented include the American Friends Service Committee, Ocean State Action, Declaration of Peace Campaign Rhode Island, and the Rhode Island Mobilization Committee to End War and Occupation.
“Rhode Islanders have spent billions of dollars on the war in Iraq and continue to do so,” Martha Yager of the Friends Service Committee said in a statement. “The military budget, bloated with funding outdated weapons systems and 300 percent cost overruns that would be completely unacceptable in any other part of government, continues to suck up over half of our nation’s discretionary spending.”
“With that money, we could have avoided the state’s deficit, funded Head Start, health care and education, and have been ready to help families hit hard by the state’s recession,” she added.
Fiscal conservatives plan to hold their own “Tax Day Tea Party” protest in front of the Statehouse in Providence from 3 to 6 p.m. The event will coincide with hundreds of other rallies that will be held today in as many as 2,000 cities nationwide, organizers said.
The event, which was organized by Pawtucket resident Colleen Conley and will be hosted by WHJJ-AM radio host Helen Glover, will feature more than a dozen speakers. They are scheduled to include the radio host John DePetro; Justin Katz, who writes the Anchor Rising blog; James Beale, president of the Rhode Island Statewide Coalition; and Robert Healey Jr., who ran for lieutenant governor in 2006.
The Tea Party protesters will call on politicians to reduce government spending and cut taxes. “On the part of both state and federal elected leaders, I think they need to take a hard look at what they’re spending our money on, and re-prioritize,” Conley told Providence Business News. “There’s a lot of wasteful spending out there.”
While each group is focusing on cutting spending on different areas of government, the broad sentiment is the same. (Yes, the devil is in the details…). It’s too bad that local progressive insiders couldn’t put away their rank partisanship for an afternoon and lend their voice to a broad-based clarion call.
It’s really not that nefarious or difficult to understand: the Tea Parties are an opportunity for people to advocate for reduced government spending and to rail against the professionalization of politics; all in an effort to exhort our government to spend our tax dollars more wisely.They’re fed up with a political class that is increasingly out of touch with regular American tax payers.
For progressives, this was an opportunity to actually lend their support to a non-partisan, grass-roots movement aimed at doing what they claim they desire: democratizing the political system by “waking up” politicians to the needs of the common man. The truth is, these self-proclaimed progressive political insiders aren’t really keen on changing the system. Instead, they devoted all their time trying to denigrate the effort and looking for George Soros-like conservative funders (I guess you assume what you know, eh?). Ah well, as the kids say, whatev.