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Worcester County Tea Party Rallies Against Government Spending

Monday, April 16, 2012


Hundreds gathered at Lincoln Square on Sunday April 15th as the Worcester County Tea Party held its fourth annual protest to voice their concerns about many issues including government spending, constitutional fidelity, and liberal bias in the media and academia. Information booths were set up offering pamphlets and demonstrators were giving out free t-shirts and American flags.

The event was abbreviated by speeches from various individuals on related topics and also included a demonstration that laid Obamacare to rest. A funeral march played in traditional New Orleans style preceded a coffin that read “Obamacare” as five men dressed as Supreme Court Justices carried it through the area.

A crowd full of tricorner hats and colonial flags looked on as The Star Spangled Banner was sang by Brian O’Malley, Worcester resident who is currently running for the state representative in 2012.

While attendees included a range of people from retirees to activists to students, each group agreed on key issues that brought them together for the rally.

The Issues at Hand

“This is a general protest for the Tea Party – against heavy taxation and spending. We’d like to see people stand up and vote against Obama. If he’s in office for another term, this country’s lost,” said Richard B. Nieber, one of the several protestors dressed in Colonial regalia. In celebration of tomorrow’s Patriots Day, he will be involved in reenactments, starting at 3:00 a.m. “just like the real minutemen.”

He and his wife both stood at the forefront of the group, surprised that no opposing protestors were greeting them on the other side of the street, as in years past.

“We’ve only had one negative response, which was a surprise this year. I think it shows that people are coming around; there’s no one on the other side protesting,” he said.

During the event, a voice over the loudspeaker asked attendees not to engage counter protestors, but to talk to someone organizing the event.

Marie Nieber, who has done her share to read up on what the Founding Fathers originally wrote, said that the movement is less about partisanship and more about the problems.

“We don’t back a candidate. We battle issues, not the people,” she said. “We educate the people. People need to take the time to educate themselves on the issues and research what’s being said in the media.” She spoke about the media’s leftist bias and the importance of individual involvement in the issues. “I have such an insight to how it began and how off the mark it is now. We won’t have a country left if they don’t pay attention to the constitution,” she added.

The Meat and Potatoes

Christopher Maider, one of the event’s speakers, spoke about how capable Americans are without the help of big government organization. He ran the WCUB radio show, Meat and Potatoes, since 2009 until he was “fired for political views.” The show featured conservative viewpoints.

“The show was run off of philanthropy from Mr. Robert Goddard. It shows us that it’s the individual, not the government. He didn’t receive tax payers’ money to launch his rockets, and he chose to donate to causes when he could. His money was not taken,” Maider said.

Maider made a case from Goddard about how Americans are plenty capable on their own “When there’s a crisis, Americans roll up their sleeves, grab a shovel, and write a check. This is a system that works well… until the government shows up,” he said.

Goodbye Big Government

Scott Francis was one of the many protestors gathered, holding up the end of a seven-foot sign that faced passing traffic and honking cars. Although its message of “Repeal the Income Tax” seems like a lofty goal, Francis said that they can dream.

“I think the government is broke. Tax Day is the best way I can think to protest and bring it to life. I don’t think a $3.8 trillion budget and a $2.1 revenue is going to work for anybody,” said Francis as cars honked at the group. “I don’t see the income tax being repealed anytime soon. It’s not going anywhere.”

Some of his more obtainable goals matched those of other protestors and start with reminding voters to take control.

“I want to see Obamacare repealed. I want a return to smaller government and constitutional fidelity,” he said. “People in Worcester can demand more from representatives. The handouts from society need to stop. Everything you’re getting is coming from someone else’s hard-earned money.”

Concerned Retirees

Many attendees were concerned about government spending due to retirement issues. Jake Hagopian from Holden spoke about rising cost of living and transportation and how difficult it is as a retiree.

“People like me on fixed income… I’ve been out for twenty-two years. I’m retired, and spendable income is going down for seniors. I’m concerned for my daughters and their kids. There’s a deficit, and someone’s got to pay for it,” he said. “Eventually China is going to end up owning us.”

Hagopian encouraged voters to remember that they have the power. “I’m an activist. I always have been,” he said. “We want less government intrusion. I’d like to see less government spending and respect for the constitution.”

An Eye-Catching Cause

Another table at the rally was plastered with signs that read “No Doctor Prescribed Suicide!!” which is an issue that Fitchburg physician Mark Rollo is highly concerned with.

The Massachusetts Death with Dignity Act will be voted on in November, and Rollo is concerned that the group advocating for this bill, Compassion & Choices, will give physicians a bad name. The bill would allow doctors to give lethal prescriptions to patients with terminal illnesses. A similar law has already been passed in Oregon.

“I’m a physician, and it’s not compassionate to kill your patients,” Rollo said. “When we have budget deficits, it’s tempting for governments to use this tactic. This legislation is rationalizing killing people in Oregon, and I don’t want to see that happen in the country. It’s a dangerous bill, and it will lead to physicians getting a bad name – both healers and killers.”

While many issues brought together the crowd that gathered at Lincoln Square, they all rallied against the premise that big government is something that is crippling the country.


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