The Spirit of Independence lives, in Northville, Michigan!

As regular readers know, I've been talking about the Tea Parties for some time. So today I decided that it was high time I went to one.

The nearest Fourth of July Tea party event I could find was this one at the Northville Community Park in Northville, Michigan (about a half hour drive from Ann Arbor).

I have no experience in estimating the size of crowds, but I'd say it was a pretty good turnout, at least a couple of thousand people. Here's a very brief video I took:

And some signs and faces in the crowd:







A lot of people are saying that these Tea Parties are organized by political lobbyists or other fat cats. I've been around long enough to spot that sort of thing, and I saw no evidence that this was anything but a true grass roots event. People made and brought their own signs, and they were as genuine and individualistic as the real people, ordinary people who were there. The event did not have any sort of organizational feel that I could discern. Just people who are fed up with high taxation and bureaucracy, and who fear American socialism as much as I.

It was a nice reminder that the spirit of Independence Day lives.

MORE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for linking this post and a warm welcome to all!

posted by Eric on 07.04.09 at 06:50 PM


Hi! Nice post and pics. Thanks for attending. You represented others who couldn't. I was stuck on Drummond Island with a bunch of liberal family members and Sarah Palin bashers and couldn't get away to a tea party on the 4th. But I attended two on April 15th and I will be attending the next ones! Keep up the good work and the spirit of '76.

Binky   ·  July 5, 2009 8:42 AM

Sorry I missed you. I was also there. I have to say I was not entirely happy with the opening invocation "in Jesus' name," which I hope was not a message for me and any other Jew who might have been there.

I was also not happy that they allowed Mike Cox, the state attorney general, about half an hour to make a speech that was in good part a political stump speech. I think it's important that the movement concentrate on this issue and not allow itself to get sidetracked, or to allow itself to be sidetracked, into any other issue.

Remarkably good-natured crowd, didn't you think? I have noticed that leftist rallies tend not to be so.

Alex Bensky   ·  July 5, 2009 11:14 AM

I was there too, from 12:30 to about 1:45. Signs were very entertaining. Crowd was indeed very well behaved (no lefty raging lesbians in attendance, it seems). Seemed like a little too much christianity in the opening invocations and songs - I chalked it up to the organizers grabbing available entertainment, not that I know anything about it.

I would have liked a little more effort made in the direction of connecting, networking, or organizing. I have had trouble finding like-minded people to connect with.

Webspinner   ·  July 5, 2009 12:07 PM

Other politicians than Mike Cox were invited, but declined to attend (Democrats didn't even have the decency to respond to the invites). I have not been a fan of Cox in the past, but his message did resonate with the crowd, that message being we need to reduce taxation on the public.

Businesses in Michigan have literally been "blown away" by Governor Jenny Granholm. She's as bad a governor as Obama is a president.

I too, thought the organizers should have been more inclusive of other religions. Most likely just an oversight on their part, as I'm sure they would welcome anyone who wants to take back control of the government from the tax-and-spenders.


chicopanther   ·  July 5, 2009 1:18 PM

Hey! That's me in the Great Lakes Objectivists booth. We gave away most of our material and had a fantastic response. Regarding religious representation there, the organizers new that we were non-religious, and one of the speakers, James Keena, is also a non-religious Ayn Rand fan.

I agree that Christianity, and its agendas (prayer, gay marriage, abortion), should not be invoked at a Tea Party event. But I have to give tremendous praise to the Northville organizers -- they were very conscientious about ensuring that people of all backgrounds were represented. So to the comment regarding Jewish people, they would probably be open to a Jewish speaker.

In communicating to attendees, they emphasized that protest signs focus not on denouncing specific politicians, but on denouncing policies (like cap and trade), which was a great strategy. I hope they can have another rally this year, but it looks iffy as they are in need of funds.

Mike Cox actually approached them about speaking, and they accepted his proposal. He sounded very much like a bromide-generator. Oh, well. I did get a jab at him. He was at our booth, and no one recognized him -- he asked when they might be starting the event, and I said that they probably have Mike Cox back there getting his nose powdered. :-) He didn't say anything in response, but were we ever surprised when he got up on stage and revealed who he was! (he-he!)

We had friends who attended the Lansing Tea Party, and it appears that they have been taken over by fundamentalists. There was a very good doctor who spoke about the evils of socialized medicine, but the rest was basically a Christian religious revival, one Reverand explicitly calling for our country to be governed by Christian ideas.

So the Northville event, in comparison, was a bastion of reason and enlightenment. We really enjoyed ourselves and, despite many Christians knowing that we were non-religious, every visitor to our booth was super-nice and enthusiastic to either learn about Ayn Rand or tell us that they were reading Atlas Shrugged. From our perspective, this was an overall great event!!!

Amy Nasir   ·  July 6, 2009 9:24 AM

I was at the tea party, bub did not arrive until about half way through Mike Cox's speech. I enjoyed what I heard from him, but enjoyed the other speakers much more. I did not, however, catch their names. Could someone blog back their names and any websites for them? Also, what is the name of the book on Thomas Jefferson? I would like to look into buying a copy.


Tim   ·  July 6, 2009 6:26 PM

The speaker you are referring to who wrote the book on Thomas Jefferson is James R. Keena. The book is called "Insurrection Resurrection". The author's website is:

Jim Keena   ·  July 7, 2009 7:17 AM

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