by Guy Blasi
WALSENBURG- Waving American flags and signs of protest, approximately 130 citizens gathered at the courthouse on April 15. They were taking part in a new nationwide protest movement called TEA (“Taxed Enough Already”) Parties, held nationwide in concert with the IRS deadline for income tax filing.
The movement was started to protest excessive federal and state spending, but the issue has become very personal in Huerfano County. Folks told stories about losing their jobs, or closing their small businesses. Some feared for their children in the military with cuts in defense funding. “My wife Carol and I thought it was about time we had our voices heard,” said organizer Bill Belt. “This is not about an issue of what political party you support. It’s about where America is going.”
Former Walsenburg Mayor Tom Powell had his own take on the meaning of the protest. “I think this is great that we can use our right as Americans to protest the things we do not like in Washington, DC,” Powell said.
When asked if he would lead another tea party protest in the future, Belt said, “You bet … these will continue until Congress and the President get the message we’re concerned for our country and our children’s and grandchildren’s future.”