Nationwide ‘tea party’ comes to downtown Joplin

Protesters gather outside of the Clark Justice Center in Joplin for one of many nationwide tea parties criticizing government fiscal policies.

Protesters gather outside of the Clark Justice Center in Joplin for one of many nationwide tea parties criticizing government fiscal policies.

Nathan Carter

More than 1,000 people rallied at the Clark Justice Center to participate in a nationwide tea party.

According to the Associated Press, a box of tea was tossed over the fence onto the White House lawn.

People who gathered in Joplin brought picket signs to show their support for the cause and listen to several speakers.

Mark Kinsley of KZRG and John Putnam, head of the Southwest Missouri Conservative Network and Americans for Fair Tax, organized the Joplin Tea Party.

“We organized this celebration of responsibility because people have a feeling in their gut that something is not right with this country and that the country is going in the wrong direction,” Kinsley said. “We organized around the idea that we need to not only point out when the country isn’t going the right way, but we also need to remind our politicians when they do the right thing.”

Shyanna Busch, junior psychology major, set up the Web page for the Joplin Tea Party.

“We’re really concerned about the governments excessive spending and their unwillingness to listen to the people,” she said.

“This isn’t Democrat or Republican. It’s about getting back to our constitution and getting our legislatures to listen to what we are actually saying.”

Several characters were used to attract attention as well. John Putnam dressed up as Thomas Jefferson, while others spoke under the names of “Stephen the Painter” and “Steve the Taxpayer.”

The crowd ate it up,

“I think this gives the city of Joplin a chance to show their concern and show their support for this type of endeavor,” said Jim Baine, resident of Joplin.

The rally ended in a mass singing of “America” and signing the rally petition. The Joplin Tea Party can be contacted through its Web site at joplinteaparty.com.