Thousands of protesters – many first-timers – gathered on the Indiana Statehouse lawn yesterday to make it known they were fed up with overspending by the government.
The word “enough” was everywhere – on signs handed out by organizers, spelled out in red, foam letters behind a country music band, on the homemade signs held by protesters.
The protest, which state police estimated drew 2,000 to 2,500 people, was part of a series of hundreds of tax-day protests across the country that drew tens of thousands of people.
Protesters complained that government spending puts the nation’s children in debt before they’re even old enough to pay taxes. Ten-year-old Benjamin Ruddle of Indianapolis held a sign that said, “I’m 10 years old … please stop spending my money.”
Indianapolis small business owners Ben and Bree Finegan brought their two children, 2-year-old Kate and 9-month-old Jackson. Two-year-old Kate held a sign from her stroller reading, “In diapers & in debt.”
Ben Finegan said the family, all first-time protesters, came out to show their disdain for lack of government help for small businesses and overspending that could jeopardize his childrens’ future.
Pointing toward his kids, he said, “They’re giving up on their future for temporary gains.”
Several people wore Revolutionary War-era costumes and attached tea bags to hats and signs as a symbolic nod to the Boston Tea Party.
Earlier in Lafayette, protesters dumped a large box of tea bags into the Wabash River. Several hundred people cheered as the tea bags were dumped in a symbolic recreation of the Boston Tea Party.
“I am prepared to pollute today,” organizer Donn Brown told the crowd, a reference to complaints from environmentalists that the tea-bag protest would trash the river.
Tea party events drew protesters to Indiana events from Evansville to Angola, where police officers directed about 100 marchers off the mound where Steuben County’s Civil War monument is located.
Jared Fagan, an organizer of the Lafayette event, said the protest was aimed at making people aware of the constitutional limits on the federal government.