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TEA protests brew unsweetened tax message

Marianne Ruiz of McHenry, Illinois holds up a sign at a tea party anti-tax protest in Federal Plaza on April, 15, 2009 in Chicago. Thousands attended the Chicago rally and hundreds of other protests were organized in cities across the country on national tax day to express concern over excess government spending. (UPI Photo/Brian Kersey)
Marianne Ruiz of McHenry, Illinois holds up a sign at a "tea party" anti-tax protest in Federal Plaza on April, 15, 2009 in Chicago. Thousands attended the Chicago rally and hundreds of other protests were organized in cities across the country on national tax day to express concern over excess government spending. (UPI Photo/Brian Kersey) | License Photo

BOSTON, April 15 (UPI) -- Thousands of protesters gathered in cities around the United States Wednesday to protest government taxation policies.

The "TEA Party" protests came on the same day as the April 15 deadline to file federal income taxes in the United States, the Boston Herald reported.

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TEA -- short for "Taxed Enough Already" -- parties bubbled up from the grassroots collaborative organized by Smart Girl Politics, Top Conservatives on Twitter, the DontGo Movement and other online groups and coalitions, the movement's Web site said.

"We see a lot of the same from both (the Democratic and Republican) parties - and that's why people are so angry," said Corie Whalen, who's organizing a Boston Common TEA Party.

The "Taxed Enough Already" party in Boston was also scene to protests objecting to the federal bailout of Wall Street and other private enterprises, the newspaper reported.

"Something is wrong when people do the right thing and get stuck with the bill while the person who did the wrong thing gets the benefits," said conservative radio talk-show host Michael Graham. "Whether it's a bank that spun out a bunch of derivatives or a neighbor who got a subprime mortgage they shouldn't have, people are walking away from debt and leaving (taxpayers) holding the bag."

In Olympia, Wash., the tax rally was the largest protest of the year at the state Capitol, the Seattle Times reported.

Participants said they are sending to their lawmakers the same message the 1773 Boston Tea Party sent to Britain: that Americans are taxed enough already.

At Michigan's state Capitol, Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, also known as "Joe the Plumber," from the 2008 presidential race, urged about 5,000 protesters to urge legislators to bring change to America, the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal reported.

"I'm here to talk about common sense. Common sense does not die. It does not get old," Wurzelbacher was quoted by the newspaper as saying. "Bring common sense back to America."

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