Patriotic protesters knock Obama agenda

July 12, 2009 @

Gary Kreep speaks at a Florida anti-tax tea party.

Gary Kreep speaks at a Florida anti-tax tea party.

By Mike Wright
Citrus County (Florida) Chronicle

Not too many President Obama supporters were hanging around the Old Courthouse grounds early Saturday afternoon. Instead, about a thousand people decked in red, white and blue showed up on July 4 to celebrate their independence by blasting the president’s plans on health care, taxation and government reform.

The protest was part of a nationwide TEA Party Day, with TEA standing for Taxed Enough Already. According to the organization’s Web site, nearly 2,000 protests were planned across the country.

Saturday’s event in downtown Inverness brought people carrying signs and shouting slogans. Some sat in chairs listening to speakers, others mingled about visiting tents sponsored by various organizations.

All had one theme: attacking the Obama administration.

Mary Burgess of Beverly Hills, for example, wore tea bag earrings and a tea bag vest.

“This is my protest to Obama’s policies,” she said. “He’s leading us into socialism. People have had enough. He’s done a lot of damage to our country.”

Mike Neace, who lives in Citrus Springs, carried a sign that read, “Freedom or Fascism.” Neace, a machinist, said Obama is ruining the country.

“I’m out here to say that our elected president is not one of us,” Neace said. “He’s a sheep in wolf’s clothing.”

Neace said Obama deserves more blame from the country’s economic conditions than his predecessor, President George W. Bush.

“Everybody wants to put the blame on W., but W. didn’t do anything about what’s going on now,” Neace said.

Neace was concerned that Saturday’s crowd didn’t include many young people. Just a few steps away stood Tracy Miedema of Homosassa and her children Jacob, 12, and Taylor, 9.

Jacob, who carried a sign telling the government, “I’ll keep my guns” along with his freedom, said he is concerned about socialized health care and loss of freedoms. He also said he thought protests make a difference.

“You get more people out who agree with you,” he said. “The more people who get out, the more we’ll be noticed by the government.”

Jean and Bill Brown, who live in Lecanto, said they want their voices heard.

“I’m tired of sitting on the sidelines,” said Mrs. Brown, who carried a sign reading, “Say no to the United Socialist States of America.”

“I knew he was socialist from the beginning,” her husband said. “Everything he’s done proves he’s a socialist. He’s trying to socialize medicine, he’s taking over companies. He fired the president of General Motors.”

The Browns said they had hoped for a better turnout. They also said it’s hard to know if the messages from these protests travel much further than the Courthouse Square.

“You won’t see this in the newspapers,” Brown said. “The mainstream media will not cover it.”

“Or,” his wife added, “they’ll make a joke out of us. All we are, are concerned citizens.”

Citrus County Chronicle Reader Comments:

Inverness Tea Party
We are so glad we drove from Ocala to the Inverness 4th of July Tea Party. It was so well organized. Many thank you’s to Edna Mattos for doing such a great job along with the many volunteers and sponsors. It was great to see a couple of thousand proud to be American’s out there. The speakers were very informative and impressive. Especialy the Hon. Gary Kreep from the United States Justice Foundation and the Hon. Annie Marie Delgado. The ceramony held for the Veteran was so beautiful. Seeing all those Veteran’s there made us feel so proud!

We were all sworn in as “Oath Keepers” and really was a moment that will not be forgotten or taken lightly. This is just the beginning.

We stayed from beginning to the end. The amount of food that was collected for families in need was amazing. What a bunch of generious folks out there. God Bless then all!

The most exciting part was when Annie Marie Delgado talked about Marco Rubio running for the U.S. Senate seat against Charlie Crist….the crowd went nuts cheering for Marco Rubio. She did a great job.

We look forward to the next event in Inverness. We’ll certainly be back.

Thanks again for a great event,

Your gratful neigbors in Ocala, Florida

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