Tea Partiers protest at Capitol on Tax Day

More than 500 people showed up to the protest.

Sharon Poland holds up a sign at the Tax Day rally at the capitol in St. Paul on Thursday. The event had several speakers and more than 500 attendees.

Jules Ameel

Sharon Poland holds up a sign at the Tax Day rally at the capitol in St. Paul on Thursday. The event had several speakers and more than 500 attendees.

James Nord

Angry conservatives flooded the Minnesota State Capitol Thursday, Tax Day, to protest the current state of government spending, national health care and the American political system at large. More than 500 flag-waving, self-described âÄúTea Party PatriotsâÄù attended the event, which hosted numerous speakers and a roaring crowd. The mixture of people and speakers present were striking, but the principles of freedom and liberty, support for the Constitution and a healthy dose of anger were shared by all. âÄúPeople have been asleep, theyâÄôve taken a higher and higher increase in taxes all along because it didnâÄôt hurt them,âÄù said Colin Wilkinson, a St. Paul resident who was wearing a traditional colonial outfit and beating a snare drum. âÄúBut now it is hurting, weâÄôre now to the point where people canâÄôt survive and thrive the way they should,âÄù Wilkinson said he was impressed by the rallyâÄôs turnout, a far cry from the 50 people attending protests when he began about 20 years ago. A host of right-wing radio hosts and local grassroots organizers spoke at the event. Leon Moe, state chapter coordinator of the Minnesota Tenth Amendment Center , called for the election of a new breed of politician, one true to the Constitution. âÄúWe need to get the cesspools at the state level cleaned out and that should begin to drain the cesspools in Washington, the âÄòDistrict of Criminals,âÄô âÄù he said. Adding to the diversity of viewpoints represented at the event, Donnie Allen, Editor-in-Chief of the Independent Business News Network , stressed the importance of inclusiveness and of attracting minority voters. He also criticized the mainstream mediaâÄôs portrayal of the Tea Party movement as a whole. Matching his angst were numerous signs held by attendees. âÄúThe evil Republican Machine is trying to hijack our tea party,âÄù one sign read. âÄúMarx, Lenin, Stalin, Obama, Pelosi, Reed,âÄù said another. Joe Palawa, who attended last yearâÄôs event, agreed with the message. “We are a free country,âÄù he said. âÄúEverybody achieves based on their abilities and hard work and determination, and I just hate to see all the hard work âĦ I do go to support people that just donâÄôt do anything.âÄù