Tea Party plans Tax Day rally in Bangor

Posted April 11, 2010, at 9:39 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — To Robert Shaffer, Thursday’s Tea Party Tax Day Protest in Bangor will be a bit like a reunion.

About 300 people participated in a rally in Bangor last April 15, including himself, and he hopes to see more this year, Shaffer said.

“It’s really strange,” Shaffer said Sunday. “We had 400 at one of them once, and 200 and 300 at the next rally. People just sort of appear out of nowhere. Most of these people have never done anything politically before. It’s the strangest thing I have ever seen.”

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The rally starts at the Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building on Harlow Street at noon. No speakers are scheduled, but John Frary, a college professor and former GOP candidate who unsuccessfully opposed U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud during the last congressional election, will attend, Shaffer said.

At 1 p.m., protesters will dump tea into Kenduskeag Stream at the Main Street bridge and head to a rally at Augusta’s Capital Park at 3 p.m., he said.

Such rallies occur nationwide, but the motivation for Maine’s might be unique, Shaffer said.

“The economic crisis in Maine is where the U.S. is headed. There are four states in the U.S. in serious economic freefall and Maine is one of them,” Shaffer said, an opinion that opposes at least some analysts who claim the economy has bottomed out and is rebounding slowly.

“What motivates us is fear — fear of becoming the new Greece, bankrupt and economically prostrate,” he added.

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