Posted by: ithacaisdoomed | April 17, 2010

April 15, 2010: A Tax Revolting Day in Ithaca, New York

April 15 brought out many Ithacans doing what Ithacans do best:  Making creative signs and holding them up for all the world to see.  Protesting, in short.  Our local newspaper covered only two of the three protests that were happening on Tax Day.  I, however, covered all three.  In the interest of “citizen journalism,” I took a lunch break from my largely tax dollar funded job and went out, posing as a wayward naif in search of belonging, to get the skinny on each group of protesters.  Therefore, you might say my coverage is not only “fair and balanced,” it’s actually triploid!

First up, was a group of Libertarians, Ron Paul supporters, and War Tax Resisters gathered in front of the public library.

The guy in the jailsuit was the only costume I saw all day.

 

I warmed to this group immediately due to the largely non-partisan nature of their protest signs, and the fact that they were against the two issues I consider most relevant:  the unjust wars our nation is fighting and the bailouts.  I approached this woman at random, and asked her a few questions:

I spoke with this woman. I also liked her sign.

“So are you the Tea Baggers?” I asked.  “No,” she replied, “I stand for peace and an end to war.  I also don’t believe we should have to pay for these unjust wars.”  I liked her right away.  We talked of several issues: No Child Left Behind and its requirement that armed forces recruiters be allowed access to high schools  was a biggie for her.  She pointed out that this was a mixed group, composed mostly of Libertarians, War Tax Resisters, and Ron Paul acolytes, one of whom had even run for some sort of office I could not remember.  (I overheard someone asking that guy if he was Ron Paul.)  It should be noted that this group was well-organized and was the only group of the three to hand out any sort of “literature.”  “Have you gone over to Maurice Hinchey’s(D-NY) office?” the woman asked me. “I think you’ll find what you’re looking for there.”  I thanked her for the tip and ran over to the corner of Cayuga and Green streets.

Isn't it disrespectful to use the Flag as a sunshield?

Upon seeing a guy waving a giant American Flag, I knew I had found the Tea Party protesters. However, I sped right past them, over to the other side of the street because: a) I wanted to make sure they weren’t hostile and b) they were being interviewed by the local news channels (unlike the other two groups.)

What I found across the street, in front of the Tompkins County Library, was a group of largely Democrat types who had pro-tax and pro-health care signs.  This guy had the best sign amongst them:

I chose a woman at random (actually she seemed really nice) and asked her a few questions.  “So are you guys affiliated with any group?”  “Some of us are registered Democrats,” she replied.  “Mostly we organized a spontaneous counter-protest to the one over there (indicating TeaBaggers) because we wanted people to know that they do not represent the majority of Ithacans.”  “I feel so conflicted,” I said. “I mean, alot of taxes I support: for libraries, police and fire departments, etc.  I hate public schools, though.  I do support single payer health care.  I just don’t know where to go with this.”  “You belong with us,” she said.  Finally, I asked, “So, have there been any taunts, hostile remarks, or incidents of violence from the folks across the street?”  “No,” she replied. “But I’m ready for them if they get rowdy.”  On the flip side of her sign was written “Cut it out, you RACIST FUCKS!!!!” or something like that.

Finally, I was ready to bag the big TeaBagger game.  I sauntered over to the other side of the street to speak with one more random woman.  “Are you Michelle Bachmann?” I asked.  “No,” she laughed, “but she’s great!”  I told her I was dissapointed that none of them were dressed up like our Colonial American Founding Fathers (and Mothers.)  Her reply was admittedly clever.  “Our taxes are so high here, we couldn’t afford to rent the costumes,” she told me.  “So,” I asked, “Are those “radicals” across the street giving you any trouble?”  “No,” she said. “We’re staring them down.”  Finally, I suggested that their protest might be more effective if they adopted Operation Rescue like tactics and staked out in front of the Post Office, blocading anyone from turning over their innocent tax dollars to the evil federal government.  This brought a laugh.  On the way out, I noticed two guys who work at the public library.  “Hey, you guys work at the library!” I shouted.  “Shhhhhh,” they shushed.  “Oh, I get it,” I replied.  “Obama is from Planet X!” I shouted for good measure. 

With that, it was time for me to get back to work.  I drove by the Tea Baggers and yelled “Corn Pone Fascists” at them.  This brought quizzical looks.  All in all, it was an exciting and peaceful Tax Day here in Ithaca, New York.

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Responses

  1. Ha ha! Love the Kunstler reference at the end. Nice job!

  2. Corn Pone Fascists! They were probably struggling, as I did, with the definition of “Pone”…:-)


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