The Alton Tea Party began with a prayer from a local minister, Jamie Cagnie. The National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance followed. Elijah Condellone (pictured above), co-organizer of the Alton Tea Party, kicked off the speeches with a call for smaller government and more personal freedom.
Jonathan West, of GettingAmericaBack.org, spoke next. After remarking on the prevalence of the Gadsden flags and how they have become a symbol of the Tea Party movement, he spoke about cultural decline and the huge fiscal deficits facing the Federal Government.
Kathy from the Alton 912 Project followed Jonathan West. She encouraged the audience to take their activism to the next level and discussed the three priorities of the 912 project: education, unification, and election.
The Saint Louis Tea Party's very own Bill Hennessy was the next speaker. His message was that at its founding America marginalized the talents of women and minorities and we were ill served by this. While the elite of modern America are not universally male and white, they are consistently ivy league ivory tower dwellers. This elite retains its power by deriding middle America and traditional American values. More importantly, they marginalize even more people than their white male predecessors. Bill also invited the tea partiers to attend a meeting at Forest Park Community College Monday evening at 7PM with Senator McCaskill's regional director.
Rhonda Linders, co-organizer of the event, closed out the Tea Party by naming the Representatives from both Illinois and Missouri that supported and opposed the Cap and Tax bill. She called on attendees to call their Congressional delegations and get active. She closed by thanking the many people involved with the day's events.
Photos Around the Tea Party
There was a good size crowd at the event...
Gadsden flags were featured prominantly.
...as were flags commemorating 1776.
Before the Tea Party kicked off, I got this picture of Elijah and Bill.
There were other area bloggers there including SharpElbowsStL.blogspot.com (left) and Patch Adams of P/OedPatriot (right).
Rhonda with her son, Elijah, and daughter-in-law.
Event volunteers gathered email addresses for follow-up. I'm not sure of the name of the man in the hat, but he's standing with Bill Hennessy.
I shot this video before the event with my cell phone and emailed it to YouTube. For some reason it didn't go through and I didn't know that it had gotten lost in the ether until I got home.
More to follow--including better video...