Protesters feeling ‘tread upon’ as tea party lines Long Wharf in New Haven
04.17.12 | New Haven Register
April 16–NEW HAVEN — Long Wharf was awash in red, white and blue Sunday, and patriotic music blared from speakers as a few hundred Connecticut Tea Party Patriots gathered for the fourth year to decry big government, spending and taxes on the weekend before the federal income tax filing deadline of Tuesday.
It was a warm afternoon, just breezy enough for the many American flags to wave in perfect unity — as well as the many Gadsden flags. The latter has a yellow field, the image of a coiled rattlesnake ready to strike, and the words, “Don’t Tread on Me.”
Motorists passing by on busy Long Wharf could quickly surmise the message of the rally by reading the signs that tea party activists pointed their way: “Obama/Malloy, Rats in the Icebox,” “This Tea Party Ain’t Over Yet,” and for walkers getting a close-up of one woman’s hat: “Don’t Believe the Liberal Media.”
The gathering was a chance for folks to sell their wares, hear from political candidates and chew on all that’s wrong with how the country’s run.
Greg Bachand, father of Tanya Bachand, a tea party activist who served as announcer at the rally, said, “This movement is not going away.”
He talked about the “granters, the givers and the getters” of society.
See more photos from the tea party protest here.
The granters, he said, are legislators in Hartford and Washington, D.C., who “grant other people your money.”
The givers are “the vast legions of state and federal employees that actually give away your money,” and the getters are the “untold tens of millions of Americans and non-Americans who gladly get your money and buy stuff for themselves.”
Bachand, a Republican running for the 85th District House seat long held by state Rep. Mary Mushinsky, said, “This entire movement is an ominous message to the granters, givers and getters.
“This movement says. ‘No more,’ and we are here today to say, ‘no more.’” He then roused the crowd, getting them to shout, “No more,” to a series of questions.
Although those at the rally have varying opinions about who should be the nation’s next president, Kay Gray, a grass-roots volunteer for Newt Gingrich’s 2012 campaign, stumped for the candidate, saying he, “stands right along with us,” and has “great vision, bold plans.”
She said front-runner Mitt Romney “has no mandate.”
Chris Lemos of Stratford, holding a huge “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, said he supports tea party principles of smaller government, because “the government is out of control and the economy is stagnant.”
Lemos said he’s planning to move to New Hampshire where there’s no sales tax, no income tax and a $3.5 million home with 400 acres (should he win the lottery) only costs $12,000 a year in taxes.
Mike Sparano of Trumbull says he and his family are also headed to New Hampshire so they can “Live Free or Die,” the message inscribed in his colorful arm tattoo long before he ever considered moving there.
If Barack Obama is re-elected president and the Republicans don’t take the Senate, they’re outta here, Sparano said. He and his wife have heavily researched other states to live, including South Carolina, Virginia, Texas and Tennessee.
The two men don’t like Gingrich, agreeing the candidate is a “globalist.”
Michael Aron, who said he’s from, “The Peoples’ Republic of West Hartford” and belongs to a group called Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, said he feels that as a conservative in Connecticut, his vote doesn’t count. He said if Obama gets a second term, the president will do whatever he wants through executive order.
Aron, also eyeing New Hampshire, said Gingrich and Romney are like Obama, but with Rs, for Republican, after their names.
East Haven residents Anthony Purcell and Michael Enders were there to embrace the tea party as well.
Purcell said taxing the rich won’t help with the deficit, and the goal should be all about cutting spending. Using a local example, he noted how nice New Haven’s newly remodeled schools look, but is aghast at the 44 percent high school graduation rate.
Enders said it’s not fair to put such a huge national deficit on the younger generation who don’t have a vote.
“That’s taxation without representation,” Enders said.