Report From Little Rock Tea Party Protest (Updated, with links from around Arkansas!)

Just back from the Arkansas Tax Day Tea Party event at the State Capitol in Little Rock and, damn, did those guys pull it off. Crowd estimates are always a dicey proposition (this AP report smartly plays it safe and puts it at “hundreds”), but I was there about 90 minutes and a steady stream of people kept filing in. If it didn’t hit a thousand folks, I’d be surprised.

Overall, the atmosphere was fairly low-key — the speakers were spirited but not angry. Organizer Tom Cox, a local business owner, made an effort to play down the partisan politics and strike an ecumenical tone reaching out to Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians. I mean, yeah, it was mostly right-winger types, but they did make an effort to move the message beyond that. (I kept up a fairly steady stream of Twitter activity here.)

Arkansas Project contributor Rep. Dan Greenberg was the only elected official to speak, and he let loose with a fiery anti-tax speech that was well-received.

I’m still compiling some reports from around the state. I talked to one fellow who had been down at the Hot Spring event and he said they’d had 350-400 people demonstrating at the courthouse there. Breanne writes in from Russellville that 300 people attended the Tea Party event there. Dylan Ferrell twitters from Fayetteville that about 1,000 were on hand there, and Rep. Duncan Baird twitters that “hundreds” were gathering in Rogers.

I’m gonna have to cut short right now because for some reason my Internet connection is buggin’ in and out on me. Let me get that resolved and I’ll come back with more links and info.

Oh, and thanks to John Anderson at the ARCCA blog for the photos (more of which at the jump), because Arkansas Project Girlfriend (APG) spilled a Coke on our camera and it doesn’t work anymore, so I had to rely on the kindness of other bloggers for visuals.

And here’s Twittering Pax Libertas with some video from the event. The Tolbert Report has a short video clip, too.

Valerie Biendara in Fayetteville hasn’t posted yet as of this writing, but check in here at the Val’s Bien blog later tonight for a report and photos. Also no report yet from Mark Moore at Arkansas Watch in the northwest corner, but keep an eye on his blog for more, which I presume is coming soon. (Both have since updated with their reports.)

Red State Conservative hit the Fort Smith Tea Party and offers a short report and photos at his blog.

Meanwhile, down in the southwest corner, it looks like there was pretty good turn-out in Texarkana based on this snapshot from blogging Rep. Steve Harrelson at Under the Dome.

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13 thoughts on “Report From Little Rock Tea Party Protest (Updated, with links from around Arkansas!)

  • April 15, 2009 at 6:54 pm
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    David, I smell a left-wing conspiracy trying to shut you down by messin’ around with your Internet connection. (Or did you forget to pay the bill again this month?)

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  • April 15, 2009 at 7:15 pm
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    Dylan Ferrell was right. 1000+ while we were there.

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  • April 15, 2009 at 8:44 pm
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    Hmm. There were maybe 150 when I was swung by for a few min to see if there were any humorous signs. Though that was around 18:30

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  • April 15, 2009 at 9:06 pm
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    John,
    I believe it was slated to end at 6 p.m. I had to leave around 5 pm and there were several hundred there, with more filing up the street. If they didn’t hit at least 1,000 at the peak, they came damn close.
    D.

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  • April 15, 2009 at 10:25 pm
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    In Batesville, we had probably right at 100 or so. It was a good turnout with 6 speakers.

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  • April 16, 2009 at 11:23 am
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    I say there were 2,500-2,700 people at the State Capitol. I got that from the State Trooper on site who’s job it is to estimate a crowd. Steady stream of people from 2:00-6:00. This was just the first of Rally’s, next one will be around Flag Day, June 14, 2009. We are going to stay on the political scene and keep the pressure up when it comes to voting by our elected officials. They work for us and they will be held accountable to know what “We the People” want, or we can give them unemployment.

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  • April 16, 2009 at 12:25 pm
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    We were there from beginning to end. I would think that over 2,000 sounds right. I was really impressed with how polite, courteous and friendly everyone was.

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  • April 16, 2009 at 2:35 pm
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    WE checked our kids out of school to take them to the great arkansas tea party. They each made their posters, and we stood on the steps and smiled. WHAT A GREAT LESSON IN CIVIS! My parents joined us and as a family we were there to let our voices be heard. THANK YOU ALL so much for showing up and don’t loose faith. Continue on, and know, this grass roots movement grows every day! We spoke to several people at church last night who had not gone, thinking that not many would show up, or that it would do little good, but after hearing the girls talk, they got excited about it, and are looking forward to the next rally….Keep spreading the word, and doing what is right and just.

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  • April 16, 2009 at 11:00 pm
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    I counted 180 in Batesville, but people were still coming in. I’d say 200 turned out.

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  • April 29, 2009 at 3:49 pm
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    White Hall had 200 according to the Pine Bluff Commercial report. We’re ready for the next Teas Party.
    I went online to Chia pets – I have received my Chia Pig and also an Obama chia head. I’m starting to grow my chia grass so I can bring it to the next tea party. This is NOT ASTROTURF it’s REAL GRASS.

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