Thousands rally at college for tea party protest
April 23, 2009 | Written by Ryan Koenig
Passing cars sounded their horns for the estimated 10,000 people sounding their voices at the “tea party” protest on the corner of College Boulevard and Quivira Road on April 15. Similar tea party protests are occurring across the nation and carry a resounding message.
“We are protesting the huge increase in the size of federal and state government under both Republican and Democratic administration,” Amanda Grosserode, tea party co-organizer said. “We feel that the government is overspending, and in the process, creating a huge national debt that we will be paying off for years to come.”
The 10,000 protest attendees placed the tea party in a three-way tie for 6th place in attendance nationwide. The protest’s size was reflected by the police vehicles scattered around the college and was so large that traffic at the intersection of College Boulevard and Quivira Road was directed by Overland Park Police officers.
Protestors held signs that read, “Liberty not tyranny,” “Freedom Yes, Socialism No,” “Stop stealing from our children,” and “Mr. resident, preserve, protect and defend us. Don’t apologize for us.” “[This protest is] not about political parties, Democrat or Republican, it’s not about politicians,” Dave Redel, protestor, said.
“It’s not right for our government to be spending our children and grandchildren’s money before they get a chance to earn it.” The protest was comprised of a variety of people. Parents brought their children along so their voices could be heard. Linda Coffey, protestor, brought her 3 year old great niece who held a sign that read, “Stay out of my piggy bank.”
“[We are] tired of all this [government] pending and the representatives don’t listen to us,” Coffey said. Coffey’s sign read, “Politicians are like dirty diapers, they need to be changed.” The protest lasted approximately three hours and the participants were respectful of the college’s property.
“We brought trash bags to pick up any trash left over, because we assumed we would have trash to clean up and there was not one piece of trash for us to [collect],” Grosserode said. “I think that says something about the type of people who came to the protest. Which plays into the philosophy we have, we believe that people can and will take care of themselves.”