In The News

Hundreds Spend Holiday Protesting Government’s Actions, Spending

Tyler Morning Telegraph

An estimated 1,800 to 1,900 people gathered in and around the park's amphitheater Saturday to protest the federal government's actions, including out-of-control spending.
An estimated 1,800 to 1,900 people gathered in and around the park's amphitheater Saturday to protest the federal government's actions, including out-of-control spending.

The event was organized by volunteers Kevin Hard and Darryl Roberts, along with other concerned citizens, as a follow-up to the April 15 Tea Party.

Organizers said between 1,200 and 1,500 people came to the April Tea Party in Tyler, and they were pleased with how everything turned out this time around.

"I think what we're really finding here is that all of the people here are united in a cause, and we all understand that we're all on the same page," Hard said. "The number one issue of the day is the out-of-control government spending. If we could harness that in, there (are) a whole lot of other issues that could work themselves out. We're very concerned, especially for our children and grandchildren, the generations to come. We want to leave this a great place just like we had it when we were kids."

Attendees held American flags and displayed signs expressing their views. The signs around the amphitheater contained phrases such as "Stop Punishing Success to Reward Failure," "End the Fed," "No Cap Trade" and "You Can't Spend Our Way Out of Debt."

"We need to stand up and tell Washington enough is enough. We feel like it's almost like taxation without representation," Hard said.

After audience members said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the national anthem, they heard from Gerry Donaldson.

Donaldson said people need to hold public servants accountable to the oath of office.
"When a public servant violates the oath of office, it's a crime against the people," he said, adding that the goal is to have a citizen grand jury in every county in Texas within the next three months.

Toward the end of his speech, he encouraged people to have "the same kind of guts" as the American founders who signed the Declaration of Independence.

"Step up. Don't let it go any further than it has already. We've let it slide way too far. We've got God-given unalienable rights, but only if we recognize them and hold our public servants accountable," Donaldson said.

Hard referenced the Boston Tea Party when he addressed the crowd.He said the country is once again seeing taxation without representation because the amount of money being spent by the federal government cannot be paid back in four, or even eight, years.  "We cannot keep spending money thinking it will solve all of our problems," Hard said. "The responsibility for repaying the money being spent today will fall on our children and grandchildren, and that is taxation without representation." Hard then told audience members they need to get informed, get involved and get educated in order to effect change.

For example, they could come to a Tyler Tea Party planning meeting at 6:30 p.m. July 21 at Heartland Ham, he said.

Community members also can get involved with Grassroots America-We the People, a group that offers educational training on the Constitution, activist training and watchdog groups, among other things, Hard said.

Audrey Rindlisbacher, who has a college degree in statesmanship, said public and private virtue are being lost in America and then defined the two terms."Private virtue means that you understand there (are) absolutes in this world and you submit to them," she said. "You submit to a book, maybe a Bible (or) maybe the Torah. You submit to a book that is the absolute standard of truth for you, and you strive to be a virtuous individual."  Public virtue means "You understand that if some people do not sacrifice for the public good, then change will never happen, (and) liberty will not be able to be sustained," Ms. Rindlisbacher said.  Later in her speech, she also said the three branches of government -- legislative, executive and judicial -- are not performing checks and balances on each other.

U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, could not be at Saturday's Tea Party, but a letter from him was read.  "You are the conscience of the past that provides us with the hope for the future," Rep. Gohmert wrote. "If you as the faithful remnant fail to stand and make your common sense contagious to others of like-mind across the country, we will lose our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."

The keynote speaker was Texas Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, who talked about the Constitution, freedom and God.  "Freedom comes to us from God. Our forefathers acknowledged that in the Declaration of Independence," he said.

Berman later said, "We can't let God leave our nation ... the First Amendment to the Constitution was not to prevent us from influencing the federal government with our religion. It was to prevent the federal government from influencing us with the state religion."

Everyone who had attended the opportunity to sign a scroll that will be sent to President Barack Obama.

As they participated in the Tea Party, audience members talked about their own reasons for attending.

"I'm fed up with the bailouts, (and) I'm fed up with the money being spent," Tyler resident Alice Spurlock said, adding that she is unhappy with Republicans and Democrats. She said she has written e-mails to Gohmert and state senators expressing her opinion.

Longview resident Kelly Lovelady said she felt it was more important for her to be at the Tea Party on the Fourth of July than at home barbecuing.

Ed Smith, who will be moving to Tyler from Mesquite, said he wanted to spend time with his mother and attend a Tea Party in Tyler. "(Today), it's important to remember the sacrifices of our Founding Fathers and the intent they had," he said.

For more information about tea parties in Tyler and getting involved, visit