Protesters gathered around the county and around the nation on Wednesday as part of a National Tax Day Tea Party.
Organizers asked people to take a stand against "tax increases and increased government regulations and told them to gather at the regional post office on Midway Drive and the main post office in Carmel Mountain, as well as outside post offices in El Cajon, Ramona, Oceanside and Escondido.
"It is important for everyone to come here and show solidarity, that we are sending a message to Washington," one woman said. "We are not going to stand for all this taxation. We are overtaxed."
A couple months ago, after CNBC's Rick Santelli launched an on-air rant against government bailouts of homeowners, a spontaneous movement took off: Grassroots "tea parties" protesting the stimulus package and other government spending. In New York City, a couple hundred people gathered in downtown Manhattan to vent. Addressing the group were, generally speaking, a few leaders of anti-tax groups, local Republican clubs and heads of related causes.
Across the country, there are expected to be, literally, thousands gathering in hundreds of sites. Why the big change? Well, it's partly political physics -- every action creates an opposite, if not equal reaction. In February, it was primarily the stimulus package and bank bailout that garnered attention. Since then, Congress has passed a $410 billion supplemental spending bill and Obama has introduced a $3.6 trillion 2010 budget.
More significantly, big-name Republicans and conservative organizations have grabbed onto the grassroots nature of the tea parties and taken it to a new level. In February, only the Dick Armey-affiliated Freedom Works was connected to the tea parties. Today, Americans For Tax Reform, the National Republican Congressional Committee and other groups are showing their support for the concept.
And the speaker role includes the speaker -- Newt Gingrich, who will be attending the Manhattan event. Other guests include South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (in his home state), Fox anchor Sean Hannity and columnist Michele Malkin. Many Democrats and liberals are dismissing the events as lobbyist-organized "fake" grassroots gatherings.
In February, San Diego's waterfront was crawling with rebellious Republicans when more than 300 people showed up with bags of "tea" -- which really clear plastic bags full of shredded paper.
But hang on: Don't add your comment below complaining about the lack of respect for the environment. These angry protestors attached strings to the bags so they could retrieve them when they were done, well, protesting.