July 4th Rally: Tax Tea Party returns
July 4th fireworks celebrating the nation's birthday also frames an act of patriotism with a Tax Tea Party.
The rally, billed as "Freedom Over Socialism," begins at 6 p.m. Saturday with a Liberty Line of people along Bemidji Avenue carrying tax protest signs and American flags.
The line will stretch from Second to Sixth streets, across from the ongoing Bemidji Jaycees Water Carnival.
About 300 to 400 people participated in the Bemidji Tax Tea Party on April 15, tax filing deadline, which featured a rally complete with characters dressed in 1776 customs, protesting the $787 billion economic stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Saturday's event is more in keeping with the nation's birthday celebration, but scores the same message of over taxation, according to the local rally's Web site.
"If you are concerned about an increasingly bloated federal government, out-of-control spending, the increasing culture of dependence, our legacy of national debt for future generations, the rise of a national socialist state and our discarded Constitution, you must join us on Independence Day to stand up for liberty in America," states the Web site.
The original tea party in 1773 became a protest over British taxation without representation when colonists dumped British tea into Boston Harbor.
Saturday's rally at 7 p.m. on the Beltrami County Courthouse lawn features former Minnesota House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, who next week will announce his 2010 bid as a Republican candidate for governor.
Seifert was recently named co-winner of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota's 2009 Hero of the Taxpayer, according to the Web site. Organizers had earlier hoped to secure state Labor and Industry Commissioner Steve Sviggum, a potential gubernatorial candidate, but is unable to attend.
Other slated speakers include Dan Johnson, Mark Skogerboe and former Beltrami County Republican Chairwoman Kath Molitor and current Chairman Ken Cobb.
An ice tea social will be held after the rally, with attendees also given a free booklet copy of the U.S. Constitution.
The Beltrami County Republicans are sponsoring the Bemidji event, which joins a similar event Saturday at the State Capitol, held by the Tea Party Patriots of the Twin Cities.
"In keeping with the tone of the Tax Day tea parties, we the people are gathering to celebrate our independence," says that group of their 3-6 p.m. rally. "Let's declare the values and principles that have made our nation the greatest in the world! Let's celebrate limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets."
Speakers there include Dennis Madden of the Fair Tax movement in Minnesota and possibly U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-6th District.