2009-04-16 / Community

Protestors demonstrate against federal, state tax hikes

By Nancy Needham nancy@theacorn.com

JANN HENDRY/Acorn Newspapers DEMONSTRATING AGAINST BAILOUTS AND HIGHER TAXES—Protesters line Thousand Oaks Boulevard in front of the Thousand Oaks Post Office on Tax Day, April 15. The bipartisan event attracted an estimated 500 participants in the early going, and it may have grown even larger. JANN HENDRY/Acorn Newspapers DEMONSTRATING AGAINST BAILOUTS AND HIGHER TAXES—Protesters line Thousand Oaks Boulevard in front of the Thousand Oaks Post Office on Tax Day, April 15. The bipartisan event attracted an estimated 500 participants in the early going, and it may have grown even larger. As last minute taxpayers dropped tax returns at the T.O. post office yesterday, about 500 people stood on a nearby corner protesting taxation and overspending.

Seniors with canes, children in strollers, toddlers, teens and all ages inbetween came with handmade signs to the "TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party on Tax Day" rally that took place from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Thousand Oaks Post Office, 3435 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd.

Democrats, Republicans, independents and those too young to vote came together peaceably. SUVs, sports cars and Prius hybrids were among the vehicles that honked as they passed. Most protesters wore red, white and blue. Some had teabags pinned to their shirts or hanging from their eyeglasses. Historic flags with "Don't Tread on Me" were waved. There were veterans from WW II and Vietnam. No two signs were the same—"Silence is Consent," "Born free—taxed to death" and "No goose, no eggs."

Even babies had signs. Elijah Harkless, 5, of Newbury Park held up a sign that said, "Mom, that socialist is scaring me." Little sister Eva, 3, displayed "Once upon a time, America was free." Josiah, 8months-old, was held by their mother, Kristen Harkless, who said, "I'm afraid for their futures."

There were also signs on dogs and pizza boxes. A man wearing stilts and dressed like Uncle Sam made an appearance.

"I don't mind paying taxes, but I don't like how the money is being squandered," said Simi Valley resident Jim Rodriguez, who works in Thousand Oaks.

"I'm tired of taxes and earmarks. Pork spending shouldn't ever be in there," said Dale Edwards of Thousand Oaks.

When event organizer Carolyn Guillot of Thousand Oaks asked over the loud speaker system, "How many of you are protesting for the first time in your life?", almost everyone in the crowd raised their hands.

The event was for citizens concerned about higher taxes and reckless government spending, Guillot said.

The event had the feel of a Fourth of July picnic, with flags everywhere until post office customer service representative Marshallyn Brown came out and tried to order participants off of the grass and onto the sidewalk. People in the crowd shouted at her, "Who do you think you are? This is public property." At that, Brown turned away saying, "Everything looks good to me."

Guillot is planning another rally for Independence Day. For more information, call (805) 2622477 or contact her at cguillot@roadrunner.com.

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