April 20, 2011

A Matter of Protest Perspective

Justin Katz

Did you hear that this year's middle-of-the-workday Tea Party rally last Friday attracted fewer people than in past years? According to the Providence Journal's historically low estimate, about 400 people made it, and the article on the rally concentrated on that point:

The tea party rally at the State House Friday brought out a lower turnout than previous years, and for some attendees that brought frustration.

Stephen Struck, of Cumberland, remembered the marble plaza being "mobbed" with people during the first tea party rally in 2009. He says last year's crowd was about half that amount, and this year's crowd is about half of last year's.

Another rally, which arguably represents the opposing view, got quite a different treatment:

Tax Day rallies around Kennedy Plaza, one during lunch and the other at rush hour, drew some of the same participants and aired similar themes: that hard-working Americans pay more than their fair share of taxes.

Protesters who started gathering at 12:15 p.m. at the statue of Ambrose Burnside warmed up by chanting "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Wall Street greed has got to go," and "I pay, you pay, why doesn't Bank of America pay?"

This rally attracted a whopping 40 people, and since comparing that turnout with the rally just a few days earlier apparently wasn't relevant, reporter Donita Naylor spent most of the article conveying the talking points of the speakers. By comparison, based on the Projo's report, readers wouldn't be able to name a single one of the folks who spoke at the Tea Party event, much less what they said.

By the way, look who turns up in the second article:

Tax researcher Tom Sgouros said "problems are not going to be solved if we cut services" and stop doing preventative maintenance.

Tom's becoming like David Bowie. One week, he's an economist, the next he's a "tax researcher." He used to be a "consultant."

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

It says a lot about the Left that their rallies are centered around mindless chanting of silly slogans. And that they can hardly get anyone to go unless they offer course credit or cash payment.

Posted by: BobN at April 20, 2011 6:37 AM

"problems are not going to be solved if we cut services"

Wrong. If you're trying to do too much with your budget, you need to do less; i.e., cut spending.

In fact, he has turned the truth on its head: Rhode Island's problems are not going to be solved by raising taxes. This is easily demonstrated by the level of our taxation: fifth highest state and local tax burden in the country.

Posted by: Monique at April 20, 2011 8:15 AM

The Tea Party rally was "middle of the work day"?

Wasn't it 4:00-6:00 on Friday?

Where do these tea partiers work?

I guess it would be a whorehouse if 4:00-6:00 pm would be the middle of the work day. Funny, I thought I saw a bunch of middle aged and older white people, not young Asian women.

Posted by: Swazool at April 20, 2011 8:51 AM

"centered around mindless chanting of silly slogans."

It cracks me up when you hear the same sorts of chants as they used in the 60s. You can just tell that many of these graybeards are standing there with their signs and Dunkin Donuts coffee just grinning at each other and remembering the "good ol' days" of Kent State, Berkeley, etc. How good it is to be back on the protest trail. Burn those bras grandma!

And "Wall Street must go!"? Seriously? I'm guessing a large number of the protesters have their own sizeable 401k funds being managed by those same Wall Street folks.

Can I put "tax researcher" on my 1040 as my profession? Is that real?

I wonder where the line is for Sgouros on "enough" services. There has to be a point where even he'd agree that there is enough, unless he really thinks that everyone should just make $30,000 a year, regardless of profession and have free health care and free pensions. Then again, that might be what he thinks.

Posted by: Patrick at April 20, 2011 9:04 AM

I've no idea the hours of a whore house. That you do speaks volumes.

Posted by: Mike Capelli at April 20, 2011 10:30 AM

"...middle-of-the-workday Tea Party rally?!!"

Why not just admit the rally was poorly attended as compared with prior events, Justin. That kind of fabrication just makes you look dishonest.

Posted by: Russ at April 20, 2011 10:44 AM

Next thing you know Tom will be saying he runs a public policy think tank or something, right, Justin? The nerve of that guy.

Posted by: Russ at April 20, 2011 10:57 AM

Russ-the left wing OSA rally really drew 'em in,didn't it?
A bunch of spoiled brats and some 60's retreads-about 30 people,right?
And the whore media buzzed around them like flies over sh*t.Well,that's appropriate I guess.

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 20, 2011 1:09 PM

Neither side has a monopoly on the chanting thing. It's political rally 101.
I was fascinated to see so many '60s-era guys with ponytails and biker gear at the Statehouse Friday. Some of these guys looked like Peter Fonda's and Dennis Hopper's characters in "Easy Rider" had they not been shot in the end.
I guess the libertarians (and Bob Healey) are allowed to be seen but not heard.
As for the numbers, I was expecting 5,000 instead of 500 given the promotion this has been getting for weeks on radio and the beatdown Chafee took at the hearing. Maybe these people were too busy taking victory laps to bother showing up.

Posted by: bella at April 20, 2011 2:43 PM

We weren't taking victory laps Bella, we were working. Yes, even Friday afternoons and even after 5 pm. It's amazing how much people who have jobs are working these days, just trying to keep the roof over their heads, food on the family table, or keep their businesses from going under.

It's your "out-of-touch with the hardworking private sector" that is beginning to make me sick to my stomach when I hear Chafee speak, see his idiotic antics on youtube defending the indefensible, and read comments like yours.

How out of touch the privileged class in RI is, and how very generous you all are with our tax dollars - giving our tax dollars away to the non- and never-working welfare "class" and the public employee unions. It's so easy to give away other people's money when it doesn't hurt you.

You turn your snotty backs on the people who are working their butts off, not having time with their families, becoming sick living and working under the financial stress of the last 4 years. You make fun of them, abuse them. Who the hell cares what the people at the rally look like? Sorry for not getting all dressed up and putting a tie on as though I'm invited to cocktails at the Chafee ranch afterward.

When there is no one left in RI to fix your car, provide dry cleaning services, bring fresh fish in from the ocean, plow your driveway, bring you your drinks at Capital Grille, build your house or unplug your ice cream-filled toilet - who will you make fun of and look down on then?

Posted by: riborn at April 20, 2011 7:39 PM

I think Joe would be interested to know not all the '60s retreads do OSA events. Or if these guys were infiltrators, they were a helluva lot more convincing than the people with opposition signs.
Funny, Riborn, if what you say is true, there were A LOT fewer people working two years ago, which would serve to refute your argument blaming Chafee for dragging our state off a cliff. And being an indie, it's not like he has any friends in the Assembly. Would you rather have a Democratic governor with lots of backslapping party mates there?

Posted by: bella at April 21, 2011 11:50 AM

bella-the 60's retreads I'm thinking of are the scroungy looking old farts who are there bragging to the hairy armpit Brown coeds about how they shut down Columbia University back in the day and wouldn't it be nice if they could discuss it further in a nice apartment with patchouli censers and maybe some medical marijuana.
I'm also an old fart but I don't cruise for women younger than my daughter(who's 35).These guys(and some women)never got a life-they lived to protest.
What empty lives they must have.
It's obvious that the whole OSA demonstration was underwhelming at best.
The Tax Day rally wasn't that well-attended from what I could see on television,because I wasn't there,but it dwarfed the leftist event.
For the level of taxes we pay in RI I don't think we receive much back that is worthwhile unless we're political hacks.Go tell me I'm wrong there,bella-put on your thinking cap(I love to get a chance to use that term)and really try hard.

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 22, 2011 7:32 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.