Tea Party draws crowd of 100 to Machias park rally

Posted May 23, 2010, at 9:31 p.m.

MACHIAS, Maine — A crowd estimated at 100 people gathered at Bad Little Falls Park on Saturday to rally around the Tea Party banner.

According to organizer Cathy Fonda, the goal of the meeting was to encourage people to get involved.

“I think we accomplished what we set out to do,” she said. “We wanted to get people involved and to take an interest in something that matters to them and do something instead of sitting on their thumbs and yelling at their TV.”

Much of the focus was on the importance of the Constitution and the concern that the current government has thrown out the Constitution, she said.

After an invocation, the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem, a series of speakers took center stage, including a man dressed in Colonial garb representing Jacob Broom, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, who spoke about the importance of teaching children history.

He and other speakers reminded the crowd of Machias’ role in standing up to the British in the early days of the American Revolution. The first naval battle of the war took place in the waters off Machias.

According to Fonda, other speakers included Barbara Drisko of Columbia Falls; Paul Trommer of Bangor; Jon Reisman, a professor at the University of Maine at Machias; Kathleen Caso of the St. Croix Valley Patriots; State Reps. Dianne Tilton and David Burns, and Stephen Bowen of the Maine Heritage Police Center.

Gubernatorial candidate William Beardsley arrived near the end of the session, and a representative from Sen. Olympia Snowe’s office also attended.

This was the first Tea Party event in the Machias area, but it may not be the last, according to Fonda. There was some talk Saturday about starting a formal Tea Party group in the area, she said.

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