America, fly your flags. Wednesday marks the 236th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.

On a cold winter day in 1773, risking their lives, a band of Sons of Liberty dressed as Mohawk Indians boarded 3 East India Company’s tea-bearing ships in the Boston Harbor. They dumped 45 tons of tea (worth about $1 million today) into the sea.

How could law-abiding people do this? Anger in the 13 colonies had been building over the years as one tax after another was imposed by their arrogant, overbearing rulers — the British Crown. Concerns of the colonists fell on deaf ears. (Sounds like today.)

The colonists were taxed for essentials — sugar, coffee, wine, printed materials from newspapers, playing cards, glass and paint. The Tea Act of 1773 was the final straw, and the crown’s special favors to the East India Company tea traders pushed the colonists over the edge. They decided to fight for their freedom.

America, please do not forget what happened on Dec. 16, 1773. Do not allow an overzealous government control your lives, health and breath. Speak up. Call Congress. Defend your liberty.

Join the Santa Barbara Tea Party and tea partiers across the country to commemorate Dec. 16, 1773. It is an important part of our history.

Bryan Tari
Santa Barbara Tea Party board member
Santa Barbara