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Scenes From A Tea Party: Tax Day 2010

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Apr 16, 2010 4:00PM

Yesterday was, of course, Tax Day, the deadline for us to settle up our taxes with the government. But it's also the day on which the new Tea Party movement has chosen to hold rallies and protests against having a black president high taxes, government spending, and healthcare reform (we - and our pal Eric Zorn - think). While protests and rallies were held across the country, the Chicago rally was held in Daley Plaza, attracting a crowd estimated at over 1,500. Local political figures, including Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica, local Congressional candidate Joe Pollak, and former gubernatorial candidate Adam Andrzejewski were in attendance to support the Tea Partiers.

There were, of course, many signs with references to "communism," "socialism," "Marxist," Obama caricatures, people in patriotic costumes, and shout-outs to the departed President Reagan, reflections of simmering frustration. But for all their efforts to be taken seriously, there were still a few signs that had homophobic and occasionally racist images or messages. There were also several smaller counter-protest groups in attendance, trying to out-posterize the Tea Partiers and adding to the controlled chaos; a scuffle between a counter-protester and some Tea Party members briefly broke out before being settled by the police. Commentator Dan Proft told the Tribune of the 500-person rally in Naperville, "This is the nicest-dressed angry mob I have ever seen. I don't think I've ever seen so many collared shirts in an angry mob." Still, for all the silly signs and costumes, that angry mob is growing though how much effect they have on November's mid-term elections remains to be seen.