>> Saturday, April 18, 2009
I loved the Tea Party here in Rochester, Minnesota. To be honest, this was the first rally of this type I have ever attended. It was time well spent.
Attendance far exceeded that of what I expected going in. I joined the local interest group via Wiki & Facebook about five weeks ago and monitored the progress. This is how I arrived at "exceeded expectations" label; for it was hard to gauge organizational progress from the activity level the aforementioned social realms alone.
It became apparent to me that organizing this type of event still takes a roll-up-the-sleeves, get actively involved mentality. Facebook, Wiki, and Twitter all very useful tools indeed, but it still takes 'firecrackers' to get the party started, if you know what I mean!
I originally considered becoming actively involved from day one, but the way it turned out, shooting some photo's at the event would be my prime contribution.
I did, at several points in the five-week period, drop a reminder to local mainstream television media.
Only once did I get any response, and that was once from the so-called, self-proclaimed NBC "news leader" in the market. Here is the news director's quote:
"Thanks for the tip, I believe we are already aware of this planned protest. This is the one sponsored by Fox News Channel, no? We will try to be there for some coverage, if manpower allows".
~Noel- News Director, KTTC-DT
My response to Noel
Noel...thanks for getting back!
Noel, I'm sorry to say you have been misinformed! (This is the NEWS DIRECTOR!)
This event is NOT sponsored by FOX News, but rather, being sponsored by the American people! Those of us who are tired of OUT-OF CONTROL TAXATION and SPENDING in Washington!
BTW...attendee's to the above are being encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to Channel One food bank! (I've got a LOVELY can of PORK & beans to donate!)
See you there Noel!
~Steve, NW Rochester
The Point I'm Making
The mainstream television & newspaper media's level of arrogance continues to bounce off the charts while their revenues and various ratings continue to 'tank.' They continue to gush and drool over the Obama's use of smoke and mirrors. Lemming-like kook's running amuck. It is truly sickening and this is a very small market! As you know, it only gets worse as the market gets larger!
As mentioned above, rally goers were encouraged to donate a non-perishable food item (IE: pork & beans or spam). The collection barrel was over flowing when I walked
past it, as I left the site. Our event was staged in a city park. I did not see any trash or litter. Two police officers were dispatched to the area before the start of the
event as folks were assembling. (See photo) Those officers were not present an hour into the demonstration.
I saw a nice cross section of the community on hand, including self-proclaimed democrats who made their presence known. I was surprised that there was a nice slice of younger citizens on hand. That impressed me!
Our event had six formal speakers, all touching on a different main topic point. KUDOS to those who spoke and to those who selected the speakers. No professional politicians spoke at our event.
Before the program started, there was vibrant conversation and a 'buzz' in the air. For the NEXT event, which I'm hoping will happen on July 4th; I'm personally going to make sure there is a way of playing music. I had prepared a recording prior to start of this event, hoping there was a CD player on hand (I assumed there would be...I was WRONG). I ended up giving the CD to a kid after the event. It contained some versions of the Star Spangled Banner; along with some harder-edged offerings from some well-known rockers.
Local television news reported "several hundred" in attendance, but if I had to make a good guess, I would say there were 600-700 people on hand.
The weather was beautiful, under a nearly cloudless sky with the temperature around 62 degrees when the assembly began at 5:30pm. The event permit allowed for an assembly from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Even though the site was located on the far east end of Silver Lake, an inner-city body of water, no tea bags or tea leaves were dumped in the water, nor was is part of the formal program.
A Little About Myself, Steve Richards
I am a fifty-something boomer and an unemployed retail manager by profession. I have been looking for a full time gig since late November 2008. I do have a part time radio job with Cumulus Broadcasting of Rochester, Minn. at KWWK FM. As you may know, commercial radio has been decimated by the current state of our economy, so I'm thrilled to have a part time gig! I am a divorced father of three lovely daughters (who reside in WI), and am also blessed with the company of my girlfriend and domestic partner, Karyn, for the last ten years. We moved here to South East Minnesota after a four and a half year stint in the Valley of the Sun, Ariz.
Richards has made a wonderful slide show of the photographs he took at the Rochester Tea Party to share with all of us. Thank you.
Images Courtesy Steve Richards