Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Tea Party Express comes to Mishawaka, Indiana, part one

The Tea Party Express came to Mishawaka, Indiana yesterday afternoon. About 2,000 Hoosier patriots, joined by many of their Michigan brethren, gathered in Battell Park, next to a band shell dedicated to Americans who served during World War I.

It was the twentieth stop of the 33 city tour, which will end on Saturday in Washington--on the steps of the US Capitol.

A few minutes after the Express visited New Lenox, Illinois, --which had 10,000 attendees, I spoke with Blue Star Mom Deborah Jones, pictured on the right, by telephone.

I asked her what had been the response so far to the rallies, and she replied. "Phenomenal. Absolutely, positively overwhelmingly encouraging. A sleeping giant has awakened within people who are finally getting out of their easy chair to come out and say, 'We haven't been proactive in our lives as far as the direction of our government.'" Johns than rattled off every imaginable level of government that citizens can get involved in--the Tea Party movement isn't just about President Obama--although the lion's share of the focus in Mishawaka, and presumably other stops, has been the overreach of Obama and Congress.

The neat thing about these rallies, in my opinion--are you reading this Nancy Pelosi?--is that these are truly grass roots events. Johns told me, "I can't tell you how many people I've heard from that have said that we have never come out to a political event or a protest event in their lives."

I can say the same thing. Several people told me that yesterday, and I heard similar sentiments at the four other Tea Parties I've attended.

The rally began with the Pledge of Allegiance and an emotional performance of Our National Anthem by Diane Nagy. She handed over the microphone to Lloyd Marcus, who sang his "American Tea Party Anthem."

Some of the speakers danced, and well, what they lacked in technique they made up with enthusiasm. Female volunteers, the quickly assembled "Lloydettes," created a line dance.

San Diego radio host Mark Williams spoke first, and although he didn't sing, he hit quite a few high notes, including this "We have an entire city--Washington DC--occupied at the moment by the left extremes of our national mental disease."

Clearly he doesn't like the way our nation is being run, and he declared to those currently in charge, "They can have my country when the pry it from my cold, dead fingers."

He added:

We are a nation of the people, by the people, for the people, not of the politicians, by the politicians, for the politicians. No socialism, no Marxism, no fascism--read the Constitution, Washington!"

Deborah Johns then spoke, and she turned the podium over to Kenneth Gladney, a black conservative who was selling "Don't Tread on Me" flags at an August St. Louis protest. He was confronted by a man, an African American reverend, who hurled racial epithets at him, and Gladney was then assaulted by a couple of SEIU members, "Who knocked me on the ground and started stomping on me." Six people were arrested.

Rivoli Review, a husband and wife musical act, performed "U.S.S. of A.," and later they sang "A Bit Fat No." There they are on the left, with Mark Williams in the foreground.

That's all for now. Look for Part Two tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, the Tea Party Express continues:

Here are the upcoming stops:


Jackson, Michigan-12:00pm Noon
Brighton, Michigan-3:30pm (With Joe the Plumber!)
Troy, Michigan-6:30pm

Wednesday, September 9:

Canton, Ohio-10:00am
Pittsburgh/Cranberry Township, PA-2:30pm
Johnstown, PA-6:00pm

Thursday, September 10:
Scranton, PA-12:00pm Noon
Albany, NY-5:30pm

Friday, September 11:

Hartford, CT: 10:00am
Bridgeport, CT: 1:30pm
Toms River, NJ: 6:00pm

Saturday, September 12:

Washington, DC: Read more here.

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