Despite the date conflicting with Missouri Lincoln days, a 2nd Amendment Rally, and an event with State Rep Icet, St Louis Tea Party Coalition organizers staged an event at the St Louis Riverfront under the Gateway Arch, to commemorate and celebrate the one year anniversary of the very first Tea Party, at the very site where it all began.
This gathering was different from previous Tea Party events, however. It was not primarily intended to protest, to make a statement, to get the attention of Washington or the Media. This was a celebration. This was a fellowship of the like-minded. This was a motivational challenge to the movement.
The album of videos from this event can be seen at: http://www.vimeo.com/album/188245
When questioned about the small turnout at this event compared to other recent St Louis Tea Party events, Organizer Gina Loudon (http://drginaloudon.com/) stated,
“This was much larger than we intended it to be. Bill (Organizer, Bill Hennesy) wanted this small and low key. Our goal was to gather everyone who could be there from last year in Feb (and anyone else who would like to be) just to commemorate the day in a low key way. It was a great crowd, they were in a great mood, and it was about twice the # of people as last year with ZERO pumping or marketing of any kind. We were actually surprised at the #’s because of Lincoln Days, the 2nd amendment rally, The Icet event, etc etc. We had offers of free national speakers that we are saving because Bill wanted this low key.”
That’s not to say it wasn’t a well-attended or lively event!
Though a far cry from the 10,000+ attendees filling Keiner plaza on tax day, several thousand did crowd the steps under the Gateway Arch to hear organizers including Dana Loesch, Jim Hoft (perhaps better known as the “Gateway Pundit”), Gina Loudon, and others.
One might point out to MSNBC that 2 of the speakers, Stephanie Rubach and Jay Stewart, are African-American conservatives! (Folks like Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews seem to believe that the Tea Parties are monochromatically white.)
The speakers came with a common theme: to equip and motivate and encourage the grassroots to be PERSONALLY active. Jim Hoft brought the message “You Are Not Alone”. He highlighted how from the very first Tea Parties a year ago, St Louis patriots were united with those in numerous other cities, and that the combined voices of many common-folk individual have been effective in holding the Progressive Agenda at bay.
One year ago, after the first Tea Party, I wrote: “Whether this “Tea Party” movement has legs, or is simply a vent of frustration by a decimated and impotent conservative constituency remains to be seen…” One year later, it would appear that question has been answered!
The Tea Party movement is now a year old. It continues to grow. It continues to be a force to be reckoned with. And it’s not going away.
Copyright © 2010 by Doug Edelman
Doug Edelman is a conservative political analyst and commentator, and has been a contributing editor for The Conservative Voice. His work is also seen on Western Front American, Small Government Times, Western Journalism, News By Us, The American Daily, The Post Chronicle, New Media Journal, Capitol Hill Coffee House and more. Mr. Edelman is also an IT Consultant/Contractor and owner of a Computer Services Business. He has taught PC Maintenance & Repair and Networking at his local Community College, and maintains a blog at http://starboard.blogtownhall.com.