In the Antelope Valley, on April 15th of 2010, there were two tea parties. They were at different locations and had different organizers.
It is hard to say if either of them were successful.
The first was a demonstration in a parking lot at a busy intersection. People held signs and waved banners. Observers honked their horns in encouragement as they went by. Due to all the good cheer it was considered a resounding success.
The second was a table at the post office that had after-hours service. A patron could go into the post office and buy a dated stamp that, since it had the date, guaranteed your income tax forms were mailed before midnight even though there were no postal employees there.
At the table, a very small group of people handed out reading material to the people in the very long line. This material included the Libertarian Party’s Cut Taxes brochure, stuffed with political quizzes and with the Obama 1040 for entertainment value.
We had over 200 pamphlets, and we handed out all of them. People read them in line, and took them home as well. We actually got information into peoples’ hands.
The protest ran from about 7 pm to 10 pm when we ran out of materials.
We were also very helpful to those who didn’t know what was going on. We explained about the date-stamps, why people were waiting in line, about how if you simply dropped your mail in the box then it would be post-marked the next day. People were really appreciative of our help. It is somewhat ironic that we were helping people file their taxes on time, but it made a big difference to the people involved.
While nobody honked their horns at us, it was from our point of view a success, perhaps more of one than the larger rally that accomplished nothing. Lesson learned? If you want a Tea Party to mean something, and you know that the announced parties are Astroturf, go ahead and do your own Tea Party.