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.