Crowds line Hartz Ave. in Tax Day Protest

Danville Tea Party one of hundreds around the U.S.

April 15 is normally a pretty busy day at the post office, but Wednesday it also brought crowds to downtown Danville as more than 250 area residents converged on the intersection of Hartz Avenue and Diablo Road to take part in the nationwide Tea Party event.

A grass roots movement organized almost entirely online, the Tea (which stands for Taxed Enough Already) Parties were held to protest government spending and issues like the massive bailouts of AIG and Wall Street.

The Danville Tea Party was broken up into two events, one from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. and the second from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., with residents from all throughout Contra Costa County taking part.

Former Congressman Bill Baker manned a corner during the afternoon, holding a sign reading, "Change is all you'll have left". He said he felt it was necessary for residents to send a message to their representatives in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. "I think it's time the people stood up to congress," he said.

Baker said the Fed has been working to stabilize the situation, but Congress just keeps on spending, which makes the situation worse. He also said he felt the stimulus package was not going to solve the problem. "Only 12 percent goes to infrastructure and the rest is going to more government. And that doesn't put people back to work."

Baker's wife Joanne also attended the gathering. "The budget's way out of control," she stated, "and they have no intention to bring it under control."

Nick Contompasis is the organizer of the Danville Tea Party and he said it really required very little in the way of "organizing."

"It took very little effort on my part," he said. "There's a real need here. People want to let the government know that they've had enough."

Contompasis is no stranger to organized protest. In the 1960s, he was a part of Students for Democratic Society (SDS), a movement protesting the Vietnam War that grew to 100,000 strong at it's peak.

"I've basically switched sides," he said, adding, "I'm using the tools I learned in the streets of Washington, D.C. here on the quiet streets of Danville."

While the SDS protests were at-times raucous affairs, the event in Danville was festive, with little or no conflict.

"I was a little worried," said Contompasis. "I was concerned that there might be an element of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) out here today but so far it's been nice and peaceful."

Wednesday's protest is not the last to be seen of the Tea Party activists. Contompasis said they may be putting on another demonstration in the next few weeks, and they are already working on an application for the group to walk in this year's 4th of July Parade in Danville.


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Posted by R. A. Williamson
a resident of Danville
on Apr 16, 2009 at 10:56 am

The protest was supposed to be about taxation. I do not understand why there were anti abortion activists there. Do they just show up anywhere with their view? Or just hoping to be on TV?

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Posted by confused
a resident of Danville
on Apr 16, 2009 at 11:20 am

What anti-abortion activists were in Danville? I attended both the protests and didn't see anybody saying anything about abortion.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kristin Ford
a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm

I am not sure what picture you are looking at,but no one was there with any anti-abortion sign. I was at both protest and it was only about the taxes.Sorry!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sandy
a resident of Danville
on Apr 16, 2009 at 5:16 pm

But there were a lot of Obama-bashing signs, and I didn't understand that. the problem is government inefficiency - he's supposed to solve that in 4 months?

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Posted by Ralph Hoffmann
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Apr 17, 2009 at 6:51 am

Ralph Hoffmann is a registered user.

I was at the Walnut Creek Tea Party, on YVR, at N California Blvd. but it stretched all the way over to Broadway. I passed out free tea
bags from a large Lipton Tea box I waved, instead of a sign or flag.
I saw no anti-abortion signs, or get out of Iraq and Afghanistan signs, either, even though the latter issue is a certain way to reduce taxes, by reducing expenses for Wars half-way around the world. Homeland Security begins at home, and on the seas to keep shipping lanes open. FDR(D), got us into WWII, HST(D) into Korea,
JFK(D) got us into VietNam, and GWB(R?) got us into Iraq. Tea parties have been going on for years by anti-war Libertarians!

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Alamo
on Apr 17, 2009 at 2:12 pm

I don't understand a couple of things. How was this a grass root protest when FOX news and limbah worked so hard to drum up attendance. Secondly why did some of the protesters, Bill Baker included, do Obama bashing when the taxes we paid on April 15 were the result of eight years of W's mismanagement?

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Posted by ThanksforNothingObama
a resident of Green Valley Elementary School
on Apr 17, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Oh people, the best is yet to come.. Wait until you see your tax bills in the next few years. In only a few weeks, Obama has obliterated any chance of a tax refund for your family. He has spent himself (and us) into oblivion bailing out all the crooked bankers and businesses. The tea parties were protesting the FUTURE taxes, and bills that our children are going to pay for decades.

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a resident of Danville
on Apr 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm


Web Link

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Posted by Nan
a resident of Danville
on Apr 18, 2009 at 1:07 am

I am in Kauai and there were two protest TEA Parties, one at the Lihui Airport, the other on the corner of the large mall and Costco. Even though Obama claims to be from Hawaii, the people here aren't all behind him either. They are mad and the high school kids are envolved with their families. There are no political lines here only fed up Patriots.

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Posted by Caroline
a resident of Danville
on Apr 18, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Where were all these folks when George Bush ran up the government deficits? Why are these folks opposing taxes this year with pictures of President Obama when the taxes that we paid on 4/15/09 are the taxes we owe under George Bush's presidency?
If folks are going to protest, at least protest with integrity of intention.

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Posted by steve
a resident of Alamo
on Apr 18, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Talk about sore grapes. this President has done more to address our problems in 4 months than the Republicans did in eight years!!Bush spent more time on vacation than any other president before him..What did the tax breaks do for us under his administration??and who got them?? the fat cats did, thats who.I love to hear from this group how we are in trouble yet they were so silent under bush, who got us into this mess to begin with. It's is time for the fat cat Republicans to stop campaigning for president.Give this guy a chance

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Posted by Dawn
a resident of Alamo
on Apr 18, 2009 at 3:01 pm

My video of our organizer, Nick C., at the DANVILLE, CA Tea Party...

We had about 100 people at the noon rally, and at least that many again in the evening! GREAT TURNOUT for a tiny town with absolutely zero advertising or advance notice!!! The vid is from early in the evening event.



Web Link

PS to 'steve -'

Sore grapes??? LOLOLOLOL You likely meant 'sour' grapes, yes? Might want to check your syntax and punctuation while you're at it... LOLOLOLOL

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Posted by Ralph Hoffmann
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Apr 20, 2009 at 6:35 am

Happy 100 days of the Obama Administration! It's only 1361 more shopping days to the next Inauguration!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Danville
on Apr 20, 2009 at 11:20 am

Where were all of you at the last election? You voted in a great speaker. I don't expect to see anything over the next 4 years, but I know I will hear some more great speeches.

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Posted by Gene
a resident of Danville
on Apr 20, 2009 at 1:27 pm

to where were you.. He already is head and shoulders better than the buffoon you elected to be president for the past 8 years.Who clearly ruined our economy,got us into a war and diminished our standing in the world.I guess you yearn for those good old Bush days.
Like Steve [above]said "this new president has done more in 4 months" than Bush did in 8 years

 +   Like this comment
Posted by R Morris
a resident of Alamo
on Apr 20, 2009 at 11:08 pm

Wake Up Danville citizens. It is the current and prior Assemblymen, and Senators in Sacramento that are breaking the back of the citizens of California. It is the Democratic controlled Congress since the 1930's and especially the Johnson, Carter, and Clinton years that our country is in Bankruptcy. Now our new President in charge of CHANGE and California's Senators and Congressmen that have put our country in jeopardy of debt and interest for the rest of the future.

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