This post is going to be a work in progress, as I get photos, videos and personal accounts, I’ll add to it, so check back often.
I started out April 15, 2009, in prayer for God’s protection and for the success of the Tax Day Rochester Tea Party. Wow, did God ever answer my prayers tenfold!
We were blessed with a beautiful, rain-free, sunny day with temperatures in the low 50′s. That’s pretty good weather for Rochester this time of year and did we got a turnout of citizen patriots, beyond mine and Erik’s wildest dreams!
I arrived at Genesee Crossroads Park at around 10am and there were already people trickling in for the Tea Party. John Woods, who volunteered to MC the Tea Party was one of the first people that I met, along with Laura Z who’s Dad made the T-shirts. We headed to the rally point at the “Y” of the Sister Cities Bridge. What a great location for the Tax Day Rochester Tea Party! Erik picked the spot and applied for the Special Events Permit and he’s to be commended for this because it was a perfect spot to hold a rally, a natural amphitheater with good sight-lines and dramatic setting alongside the Genesee River, the lifeblood of pioneer Rochester.
People just kept on coming as well as reporters from the various broadcast and print media. I crossed paths with Rachel Barnhart from WHAM-TV-13 and recommended for her to interview Erik and pointed him out. I had great exchanges with so many people and everybody was so upbeat and positive and united in the opinion that “We The People” need to regain the reins of government from the crash course that we’re being driven to! There were Ron Paul supporters, libertarians, conservatives, disaffected Democrats and Republicans present and it was truly a “big tent” event!
At around 11:10am, I put the call out for the Veterans and Patriots Color Guard to assemble across the Genesee River with Eric, our talented bagpiper, so we could work out the details of the march across the Sister Cities Bridge for the presentation of the Colors to start the rally. What a proud and ragtag bunch we were! Anybody who expected crisp uniforms would have been shocked and the Rochester Veterans and Patriots Color Guard were true representatives of the folks who planned and participated in the Tax Day Rochester Tea Party, jeans and t-shirts sort of people, regular folks who care about our Nation! As we were going through our preparations, we heard repeated roars from the rally across the river. I saw a sea of people forming up, flags waving and signs being held up and at that moment, I knew this was turning into something big!
At 11:25am, the Veterans and Patriots Color Guard made our way across the Sister Cities Bridge, to start the festivities. I say festivities because that was the mood of the participants of the Tax Day Rochester Tea Party. Although we’re pissed-off about the passage of the Porkulus Package and the shift towards socialism, everyone was in a festive mood and smiles were in abundance. Just to share my experience, I led the march across the bridge and the march through downtown and it was the experience of a lifetime! Everybody was so cordial and I’m still on a natural high over the whole experience! The way everybody pitched in and things came together was so heartening! I do believe there’s hope for our Nation to turn things around to our Constitutional Republic roots.
By the time the program started, the “amphitheater” at the “Y” of the Sister Cities Bridge in Genesee Crossroads Park was packed with people! Conservative estimates were at least between 1,500 and 2,000 people! Erik and I were expecting between 500 and 1,000 people, so the turnout blew us away!
An opening Invocation was offered.
Marcy “Minutemon” then led us in a rousing rendition of the National Anthem!
Charlie was the first speaker and stoked everyone up! Charlie’s speech was interrupted several times by chants and cheers!
Next up was my blogging partner, Ken and he hit a home run with his speech.
Sonja Rightmyer was our third speaker at the park and she hit a nerve with folks in the crowd about accountability of our representatives, be it in Federal, State, Local government and our school districts.
Our keynote speaker at Genesee Crossroads Park was Rev. Dr. Tommy Davis. He related on his upbringing in responsible economics as a tobacco farmer and neighborhood grocer in North Carolina and how regular folks have to live within their means. We can’t keep on bailing out irresponsible businesses, even if they’re considered too big to fail. If they’re too big to fail, perhaps they shouldn’t have gotten that big to begin with.
The resounding theme amongst all of our speakers and participants was government meddling of our free enterprise system and that they need to butt out! Does anybody here want Obama propping up and running GM?
Laura Jean then led us in a moving rendition of “God Bless America”! Everybody joined in and it was one of those moving moments that brought a tear to my eye… sorry, I’m a sap about this sort of stuff.
Then it was onward to Main St., a march to the Monroe County Office Building, down Main St. I want to commend the members of the Rochester Police Department (RPD) for their service to us today! RPD had mounted, motorcycle, bicycle and foot patrols assisting the Tax Day Rochester Tea Party. I led the march and the communication between RPD and us went flawlessly! When we crossed Main and State Streets, it took 20 minutes and RPD held back traffic so we could all make it across! Many thanks to the Rochester Police Department for their handling of the Tax Day Rochester Tea Party! I took direction from them throughout the event and they were helpful and professional!
I’ve been watching the local news and they described the turnout for the Tax Day Rochester Tea Party to be in the “hundreds” and I dispute that number. I do believe that our numbers were closer to 1,500 to 2,000 and it took 20 minutes for our gathering to cross Main and State Streets and assemble in front of the County Office Building. Our cheers roared and echoed throughout West Main St.!
Stephanie kicked off the rally in front of the Monroe County Office Building by leading us in a few verses of “Amazing Grace”. Everybody joined in with her and it was quite moving. There’s something about “Amazing Grace” that just touches my soul and it’s a song that inspires me.
We heard from some great speakers in front of the Monroe County Office Building and I can attest on how our cheers echoed down Main St. Rochester!
We heard from two young speakers at the Monroe County Office Building, a Ryan Calhoun and Wyatt. Both delivered impassioned speeches on reclaiming our govenment for we the people! Erik also gave a great speech on the wrong direction our government is headed due to wrong-headed energy policies, environmental policies and capital gains taxes!
We the then marched down Fitzhugh St. to City Hall and rallied there. Marcy Minutemom led us in another rendition of the National Anthem and Ken, Charlie and Erik gave relevant speeches warning of the over-stepping of government and how it’s stifling business and working people.
What a great day it was and we definitely got peoples attention for the cause of freedom! Here’s some photos.
Here’s the link to the Tax Day Rochester NY Tea Party announcement page: