The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

April 18, 2009

Hundreds express frustration at Johnstown's 'tea party'

Hundreds of people of people turned out Saturday afternoon in Johnstown’s Central Park for a “tea party” protesting big government and excessive taxes.

The grassroots-organized rally was modeled after national demonstrations that took place Wednesday. The theme was built around the Boston Tea Party of 1773, when American colonists dumped chests of tea off ships in Boston harbor to protest taxes imposed by Britain’s King George III.

Michele Trevorrow of Southmont, one of the organizers, said she was thrilled that so many people participated.

“I’m ecstatic. I was hoping that we’d get at least 50, and look at this,” she said, pointing to the crowd.

Although billed as a bipartisan event, it appeared to be a mostly Republican crowd when one of the speakers asked for a show of hands from Republicans, Democrats and Independents.

Organizers said that about 500 small booklets containing the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence were handed out during the event.

Dozens of red, white and blue flags provided a festive, patriotic atmosphere.

Speakers ripped into the federal government’s huge stimulus package, the bailouts of Wall Street bankers and the growing debt that will burden future generations of Americans.

Herb Ewald of Southmont said that it’s a time “of awakening to what is happening in the U.S.A. We’ve been silent too long. We’ve got to grow this organization. We need to be more visible and more vocal.”

Fearing that America is headed down a road to socialism, Monika Mullen of Richland Township, a former postal worker and German immigrant, said, “It’s time to let the government know enough is enough. No more spending. Don’t sell us short; don’t apologize for us.”

Mullen said she came to America 30 years ago ”with a suitcase and a lot of dreams.”

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