Hundreds protest tax & spend policies at Gulfport tea party

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Hundreds of South Mississippians joined the tens of thousands across America protesting at Tax Day tea parties.

The rallies were named in honor of the 1773 Boston revolt against British taxes. But, more than 200 years later, the focus isn't just on taxes. Those who came out said they're just as concerned about government spending, bailouts and the bad economy.

Krystal Allan was at Wednesday night's event at the Gulfport Sportplex.

"It's time for that voice to be heard," Michael Strickland said.

"The last election, if it didn't prove nothing else, it showed that individuals matter," Kristina Higgins said. "You and I have to seek our resources that we believe to be reliable, and you and I have to seek to become informed."

Taxes are a concern, but many who came out say there are more pressing concerns driving the rallies, in particular government spending and the recent bailouts.

"How in the world are we going to be able to pay back all this money? And I just see a big deficit growing," Judy Boudion said.

"I don't want future generations to pay for our mistakes and the mistakes of the people who are serving for us right now," Higgins said.

Though focused right now on what needs to change, those rallying say their work won't end on April 15th, 2009.

"This is just the start for me," Boudion said.

"We're proud Americans and that's why we're here," Higgins said. "We're not here because we disagree with the country. We're here because we disagree with the direction of the country right now."

Similar rallies were held across Mississippi in Picayune, Jackson, Natchez, Hattiesburg, Tupelo and Greenwood.

Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant said the rally in Jackson was like an inauguration because something new was about to occur and change is coming. He said what's new is that conservatives will not go away.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.