Hundreds of tea partiers protest on Alabama Capitol's steps

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - You could say many of the tea party members are tea'd off. Frustrations from the soapbox down the Alabama Capitol steps to the mom with two children.

In this case Ginger Gregg.

"Oh, my goodness. We're all taxed to death," said Gregg.

Gregg says she has always considered herself political but never before has she attended a rally like this one. Gregg felt so strongly about the need to be here she pulled her two kids out of school so they could learn what it means to let your voice be heard.

"I feel like they really are our future. If we don't lead by example, how can we expect them to do a better job," said Gregg.

Supporters of the Montgomery Tea Party Patriots and other like-minded groups say their message is based on fiscal responsibility, lower taxes and a respect for the U.S. constitution.

"I came because I love liberty," said Keith Carl Smith.

Smith for one drove down from the Birmingham area to attend the rally.

"People should keep more of what they earn and I don't like reckless spending," said Smith.

Critics of the tea party movement say the group is racist and violent. Nothing could be farther from the truth, according to members.

"When I come to these gatherings I've never experienced racism," Smith said.

Still, it's been said that if you don't like the way things are, then why not run for office. Smith feels he's a better messenger at the grassroots level and Gregg concedes she's not sure she wants to be under the spotlight of scrutiny.

But then again:

"I don't know. I might,' said Gregg.

As for Ginger Gregg's son Zach? A lot to take in for an 11-year old.

Bryan: (reporter) "What do you hope to learn today?"

"Politics and everything," Zach said.

A field trip to remember for Zach Gregg, a homecoming of sorts for Keith Carl Smith.

It's estimated that around 500,000 people across the country are members of the tea party group. Organizers again strongly dispute the notion of racism.

A bit of history. As you may know the tea party is the reference to the Boston Tea Party back in 1773, a protest by American colonists against taxation by the British government.

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