Leslie Turk

Lafayette joins Wednesday's 'tea party' demonstrations

by Leslie Turk

Lafayette and Acadiana area residents are forming their own “tea party,” part of a national Republican movement aiming to send an antitax message to Washington, D.C. The Lafayette event takes place across the street from the federal courthouse downtown this Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. The antitax demonstrations are intended to evoke memories of the iconic Boston Tea Party.

“On April 15, millions of grassroots voters will assemble in cities and towns across the country for the first National TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party to register their displeasure with our government’s addiction to wasteful spending, bailouts for big business, and higher taxes,” says U.S. Sen. David Vitter in an online appeal to attract more participants to the movement. “Help me force the Senate to recognize this day as a formal protest by the people against these policies,” Vitter continues.

Here’s what Glenn Ellerbe had to say in an e-mail press release sent out today on behalf of the group Acadiana Tea Party:

Just over two weeks ago, I set about doing what I could to bring the SILENT MAJORITY of Acadiana together so that we too could peacefully express our discontent with Washington D.C. I was quickly joined by others who felt the same way. As we set out to spread the word of our informal TEA Party, we were informed that in order to have a permit to use a P.A. system or any kind of elevated platform to address whoever showed up, we would have had to give a 30 days advance notice. At that time, we were (22 days) already too late. And that was okay since initially we were only expecting to draw a few hundred people.

But as we quickly realized, many more than that would in fact be showing up. So we have since attempted to gain some kind of leeway so that we would be permitted to use a P.A. system and/or an elevated stage from which guest speakers could be seen and heard by the crowd. This would also aid in quickly passing any relevant information that anyone might need to know in some event. But it is not to be. There will be no public address. There will be no “organized event”. At least, not at this point in time. There WILL however, be a great many citizens who have decided to make their own little signs, bring their own non-alcoholic beverages, and their own VOICES to Richard Putnam Park on April 15th, from 4pm to 7pm. They will respect the law and will NOT demonstrate on the grounds of the Federal Courthouse itself. But will stay across the street from it, in the park. They will be PEACEFUL. And they WILL practice their Constitutional Right as put forward in Article 1 which states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” So, on public ground where they are permitted, in large numbers, they WILL be heard. Our Federal Government may have forgotten about the Constitution. But the people, have not! And there will be continued expression in future assemblies. Until WE, the people, have our country back!  And perhaps this is the purest way it should be. Additionally, other citizens of Acadiana have individually chosen to meet here in Lafayette at places I am unaware of. Their intentions are to form a convoy and travel to Baton Rouge and attend the TEA Party there from 1pm to 3pm. I certainly wish them well and a safe return back here to Acadiana. And I hope to see and hear you all. You know where I will be. Where will YOU be?