Thousands Rally Against Government Spending During Grand Junction Tax Day Tea Party

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

More than 200 years after American colonists held the Boston Tea Party, millions across the country held a new kind of Tea Party -- including right here in Grand Junction -- to express their frustration with government spending.

When many people hear the word tea party, the last thing they would expect to see is thousands of people cheering, chanting, and dancing. But members of GJ Result, who organized a Tax Day Tea Party in Grand Junction Wednesday, say that's exactly what they wanted.

"I think first and foremost this is an expression of frustration with the wrong economic policies of the federal government," said GJ Result spokesperson Dennis White.

More than 2,700 people from across Western Colorado and Eastern Utah packed the field at Lincoln Park. While most of them weren't afraid to tell you they are not big fans of the Obama Administration or the Democratic Majority in Congress --

"There needs to be change, but not the change that we've had," said Cal Bilger, who attended the rally with his wife.

-- they say their message is for Republican leaders as well.

"The Republicans have lost track of their conservative roots and they've been spending way too much money, willing to put up with these high taxes," said White. "We've got to turn the Republican Party around as well as the Democratic Party."

Many came wearing tea bags to reference how American Colonists dealt with British rule. They say lawmakers in Congress aren't listening to their constituents and are building up a huge debt that will be passed on to future generations -- and now they need to be dealt with.

"When we got the British out of here with muskets and tea, we threw out over-taxation without representation," said Bilger. "This is what needs to happen again."

"Certainly, you could feel the vibration in the crowd," said Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland, who spoke during the event. "Folks were very, very enthused to do something about this."

And although the speeches, rally, and march along 12th Street only lasted for about an hour and a half, those who came say the real mission of the party was to keep that energy going into the future.

"It's more than a rally," said Rowland. "It's about rallying folks together and making connections with them, so we can continue to draw on grassroots support to fight the fight."

There were rumors that counter protest was also going to happen, but no such event took place.

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