MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Record crowds across the country sent a strong message to Capitol Hill Wednesday; Stop big government spending.
Carol McMullen, an organizer of the Montgomery event, said approximately 1,400 people signed a petition at the state house, a good estimate of how many people she believes were in attendence. It's possible the numbers could be slightly higher because it's not likely every person there signed the petition.
The day's events, called Tax Day Tea Parties, were part of a national grassroots movement and supporters in Montgomery, Wetumpka, Enterprise and numerous other locations jumped in to show their support.
Hundreds of people camped out at the Alabama State House and they even spilled over to the capitol lawn. It harkened back to the original Tea Party held in Boston to protest "No taxation without representation," during Colonial times. The message today was just as strong.
"Stupid, evil and against everything spelled out in the U.S Constitution," was the cry heard during a rally at the state capitol. It was a passionate protest that encouraged a 'factory reset' on government spending, a reset back to 1773 when statesmen dressed like Indians and dumped tea bags off a ship in Boston Harbor to change the course of history.
"It's nice to see the right to actually have a protest," said supporter Andrew Kirby who didn't dress up or even make a sign. Kirby wasn't sure if the movement was a bipartisan effort or a conservative, Christian movement though he leaned more towards believing it was bipartisan. "I don' think reducing taxes is just a conservative, Christian goal," he said.
That goal was shared by supporters who are too young to even pay taxes, but old enough to know the history behind the day's protest. "Give me liberty or give me death," said young speaker and supporter Ashley Johnston, who was just tall enough to peer over the podium. Those famous words were once spoken by Patrick Henry in March of 1775.
Several schools from the tri-county area used the protest as a social studies field trip, teaching students about government and freedom of speech.
"I think there should be more... [parties]," said supporter Benjamin Simon, "That's the sad thing. I'm surprised that a lot of young Americans aren't seeing what's really true about America," he added.
Activists like Adrian Freeman believe the pictures taken during the rally are a snapshot of history in the making. "I want to have them for memories to show my grandchildren," he explained. "I think it's just the beginning...we've got to keep doing this. We can't do this one time and go home and say '...I did my job'".