The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Rapid City Tea Party

In spite of a chill in the air, a crowd of between 600 and 1000 angry, placard-toting, tax-paying citizens converged on Memorial Park in Rapid City to send a message to Congress: Get smart or get fired.

It is a safe bet that many of those in attendance were participating in their first demonstration. The assemblage was peaceful and the message was for the most part one of frustration with a congress that seems hell-bent on spending the country into second-class status.

Demonstrators first lined up along Omaha Street and waved their placards to honking traffic passing by.

The question, of course, is: Will the messages they carried on their hand-made signs get through to their intended audience, or was the exercise one of preaching to the choir?

I suspect our congressional contingent is aware of the proceedings. People from Sen. John Thune's office were there. I didn't see anyone who was obviously from Sen. Tim Johnson or Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin's office.

Shortly before noon the demonstrators made their way to the pavillion where state Sen. Gordon Howie introduced speakers who were there to add redundancy to the placards. The most compelling of the speakers was Ira Taken Alive. I recorded his address and am trying to find a way to upload that here.

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