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‘Tea-d’ Off Protesters Rally Against Government Spending

Carpinteria, Goleta and Santa Barbara residents join West Coast Tea Party in Los Angeles

Members of the Santa Barbara Tea Party & Culpepper Society joined other California tea party organizations in Los Angeles on Saturday to rally against big government. Health care was a hot topic of opposition, as was the government’s growing role in the banking, finance and automotive industries.

Protesters from Carpinteria, Goleta, Santa Barbara and Thousand Oaks made their voices heard through signs such as “TEA=Taxed Enough Already” and “Obama-care makes me sick” while also carrying American and “Don’t Tread On Me” flags.

Similar rallies were held across the country Saturday, including a massive protest in Washington, D.C., that drew hundreds of thousands of people to the west lawn of the Capitol and spread from there. The demonstrators voiced a litany of complaints, including President Barack Obama’s health-care plan, his $787 billion stimulus package, the House-passed “cap-and-trade” energy bill, the $700 billion Wall Street bailout and the previous Bush administration.

The Santa Barbara Tea Party, “a nonpartisan grassroots group of citizens dedicated to defending the principles set forth by America’s Founding Fathers,” was part of the West Coast Tea Party at the Federal Building in Westwood that drew what organizers estimated to be 4,000 to 5,000 protesters. A variety of speakers, such as politicians, veterans and actors, encouraged Tea Party participants to not give up the fight against government control and to resolve to continue fighting for their freedom.

“I don’t want government baby-sitting me,” said Daniel Davies, 29, of Carpinteria. “I feel I need to have my voice heard against government taking over my life. It’s now or never to stand up.”

Contrary to reports of so-called “angry mobs” at Town halls, the West Coast Tea Party represented a diverse group. Old, young and families gathered peacefully along Wilshire Boulevard with their signs, encouraging drivers to honk for liberty.

The rally ended with a Patrick Henry actor declaring “Give me Liberty or give me death.”

— Santa Barbara native, sports nut and former TV reporter Alissa Jesle writes the AlissainWonderland Blog.

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