Protest of government

Published 10:42 pm Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Approximately 150 persons used the July 4th holiday Saturday to protest higher taxes, unresponsive politicians and a double-standard that permeates in government.

Handing out bags of tea or having tea bags pinned on hats, many of the protesters adhered to the theme of “Taxed Enough Already,” or TEA.

The protest was under some oak trees next to the tennis courts are Cheney Griffin Park.

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Organizers held a similar protest at Seminole State Park prior to the fireworks display on Friday night. They said another 100 persons had attended that event.

“It is time for politicians to match deed with word; to be measured by their actions and not their scripted words,” said Bob Lane, a retired biology professor at Bainbridge College, who received numerous applause for his speech. “There should be no more talk of patriotism by politicians who avoided the draft, no more demands on educators by those who send their children to exclusive private schools, no more demands for greater diversity by those who live in tasteful seclusion, and no more demands for higher taxes by those who do not pay them.”

Some of the protesters carried signs, one saying “Washington, D.C., District of Corruption.”

Speaker after speaker spoke of the same basic theme—the average American feels left out of the process.

“We, the average Americans, are only included when it’s time to pay to support programs we don’t want, don’t need and can’t afford,” said Roy Zimmerman, another speaker during the hour-long event. “While we may be represented in Washington, we’re not being listened to.”

Zimmerman also spoke of the bureaucracy his father and daughter, both veterans, encountered while being treated by government-run health care services. His father died of cancer while waiting for treatment, and his oldest daughter suffered failing kidneys, pneumonia and severe anemia while wading through red tape. She is now recovered, Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman urged those attending to ensure that their voices are heard by their U.S. representative and that each of those signing a petition or attending the rallies stay connected.

“Let our voices be heard not just on April 15th or July 4th, but whenever there is proposed legislation that is too expensive or just doesn’t pass the common sense test,” Zimmerman said.

He said that members of Congress simply go along with what their political party dictates, claiming only one Georgia congressman—a Democrat—refused to follow party lines more than 90 percent of the time.

“Remember that the ballot is the most effective weapon we have against the elitists who put what the party dictates over our wishes,” Zimmerman said.

Other speakers included local attorney Eric Gay, Thea Burke and others who read poems, sang songs or offered prayer. Vicky Newton and Sheila Lane were among the main organizers.