Anti-tax activists are assembling around the country today for Tax Day Tea Parties. HuffPost is following these protests with the help of citizen journalists. Check back here throughout the day for new video.
Citizen reporter Jenny Hatch surveys the Tea Party crowd in in Denver, Colorado. One participant tells her, "It's more important to just be American than to be a hyphenated-American ...":
Media Matters has put together a mash-up of the Tea Party media coverage today:
Judd Legum describes the scene in Annapolis, Maryland:
The audience, which was quite large despite a heavy rain, was told that Obama was leading the country toward "dictatorship." The government, we were told, was creating a crisis "100 times as grim as 9/11," the people were being "brainwashed" into complacency by the media and soon "the face of big brother will be exposed and the slogans of a classless one party system are revealed to us."
At a protest in Concord, New Hampshire, one protester held a sign depicting "Obamanism" as a gun robbery, and another sign said "B.O. Stinks And So Does His Big Government Agenda":
One HuffPost citizen reporter, who goes by revhatchell, sent in a video of the Santa Monica, CA tea party, where anti-tax demonstrates were not happy to share their space with Code Pink, an anti-war organization.
Demonstrators in Nebraska sign a petition to send to the state legislature:
In Louisville, Kentucky, protesters sing the national anthem, which segues into a country-music anti-bailout song:
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Several events happened on Feb. 27, less than two weeks after CNBC's Rick Santelli howled about irresponsible government spending and called for a Chicago tea party in an impromptu rant. And several people brought video cameras to those events. Herewith, a roundup of some of the best vids, which hopefully provide clues for what to expect on tax day:
GIANT TEABAGS: A big crowd came out in Dallas, with some protesters dressed up in medieval stocks costumes (attached signs said the protesters were "shackled to the stimulus"). The whole tea party meme presents countless opportunities for fun costumes. These particular getups have the added bonus of a remarkable resemblance to giant teabags:
CONSPIRACY THEORIES: A video by bloggerinterrupted showcases a string of protesters from a Feb. 27 event in Cleveland who don't believe President Obama was born in the United States. Any good protest will have its fringe weirdos, but the birth certificate deniers may be emerging as an undercurrent in the tea party movement -- D.C. tea party organizers booked Obama-birth-certificate-skeptic Alan Keyes to speak at the tax day event outside the Treasury Department.
MICHELLE MALKIN: This video, from a tea party event in Washington, D.C., does a great job transitioning from the Santelli rant to a small protest outside the White House, and with some sweet background music. The crowd might be weak, but it's peppered with conservative celebrities like Michelle Malkin, who is prepared to defend earnest tea partiers from saboteurs:
ANGER: This video from a tea party in Chicago (which Santelli did not attend) shows Dan Proft, a political commentator for a local TV station, stirring up an enthusiastic crowd. He starts to lose them (around 2:45) after insisting that the Republican party ought to get with the program and start speaking up for small business. An angry guy off camera starts cussing up a storm. It gets even worse when Proft talks about reviving the Republican party in Chicago, and the angry guy really flips his wig and a few others start booing. "I don't represent the Republican party," Proft pleads at the end.
MOTORIZED PIGS: Protesters in Fort Worth take the prize for protest flair by riding around on motorized pigs next to a highway. The cowboy hats, boots, and the PORK DC sign make an awesome visual.
The Huffington Post wants to have citizen journalists at as many of these events as possible. If you think you'd be interested in attending one of the Tea Parties and reporting back to us with dispatches, photos, or video, click here to sign up. We'll contact you shortly with further instructions.