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April 15, 2009

Boston Tea Party reborn in Anderson

ANDERSON — Grant Wells thrust his sign high into the air Wednesday, hoping to catch the attention of passing motorists.

The 9-year-old’s sign was competing with dozens of other colorful posters protesting taxes and government spending, but the Anderson student was determined to grab attention.

“You keep your change and I’ll keep mine,” the sign read.

An obvious reference to the “Change we need” campaign of President Barack Obama, the poster drew knowing smiles and raised eyebrows from those who witnessed the protest. But Wells admitted he had no idea what the sign meant.

His mother, Brenda Fillmon of Anderson, said she brought her son and herself out in the cold to the corner of 8th and Main streets in Anderson on Wednesday to make a statement about the government’s misuse of tax dollars.

Fillmon and her son were only two of the nearly 100 local residents who filled the corner near the Madison County Courthouse touting signs of protest as part of the national tea party inspired by Fox News host Glenn Beck.

The event took place in cities across the nation as people protested high taxes and wasteful government spending in homage of the 1773 Boston Tea Party where American colonists tossed tea into the Boston harbor to protest British taxation without representation.

Picket signs raised by protesters ranged from angry to comical:

• “Next time, read the bill. I can spend my money better than the government.”

• “Socialism will destroy America.”

• “I’ll take my freedom, my money and my guns. You can keep the change.”

• “Obamanomics: Trickle up poverty.”

Though no one threw tea into the White River on Wednesday, protesters adorned their hats, eye glasses and clothing with tea bags attached to strings.

Jan Boaz of Middletown wore her tea bags in a blue hat meant to shelter her from the cold wind that beat against the faces of her fellow protesters.

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