'Tea party' tax protest organizers expect hundreds

April 14, 2009 

Anti-government spending protests are planned across Alaska on Wednesday as part of a national Tax Day Tea Party protest, organized by a wide coalition of conservative groups.

The protest, which invokes the Boston Tea Party in the early days of the American Revolution, was spawned by a televised rant in February by CNBC's Rick Santelli against the Obama administration's mortgage bailout proposals, according to the protest Web site, taxdayteaparty.com.

In Alaska, tax day protests have been scheduled in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Haines, Homer, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Soldotna and Wasilla, according to a national Web site.

Anchorage organizers Cameron Barrows and Keesa Labahn say they expect at least 100 people to show up at the federal courthouse between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The Anchorage protest -- to which participants will bring tea and signs -- has been organized in part through a 75-person Facebook group on meetup.com dedicated to the philosophies of Fox News host Glenn Beck.

Cheryl Brooks, the organizer of the Wasilla protest, said she expects a turnout of several hundred at Wasilla Lake, based on the number of calls and e-mails she's received. The protest is meant to send a message that Alaskans want to stop "excessive spending, bailouts and taxation," she said.

Find Julia O'Malley online at adn.com/contact/jomalley or call 257-4591.

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