Meeker resident Patti Hoke, right, holds up a sign in protest Friday at the 2011 Tax Day Freedom Rally hosted by the Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots at the Moffat County Courthouse. About 100 residents from the area including Rangely, Baggs, Wyo. and Steamboat Springs attended the event, which featured speakers, music and prizes.

Photo by Brian Smith

Meeker resident Patti Hoke, right, holds up a sign in protest Friday at the 2011 Tax Day Freedom Rally hosted by the Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots at the Moffat County Courthouse. About 100 residents from the area including Rangely, Baggs, Wyo. and Steamboat Springs attended the event, which featured speakers, music and prizes.

Tea party hosts tax day freedom rally on courthouse lawn in Craig

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Craig resident Dillon Catt, 19, shows the Gadsden flag to cars passing by Friday at the 2011 Tax Day Freedom Rally hosted by the Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots at the Moffat County Courthouse. The rally was the second of its kind he has attended and he said he was pleased with the turnout.

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Steamboat Springs resident Lisa Watts sings the national anthem Friday at the 2011 Tax Day Freedom Rally hosted by the Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots at the Moffat County Courthouse.

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Chuck McConnell, a Steamboat Springs resident and chairman of the Routt County Republican Central Committee, speaks Friday at the 2011 Tax Day Freedom Rally hosted by the Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots at the Moffat County Courthouse.

Steamboat Springs resident Lisa Watts recited a poem Friday she said captured the spirit of why she and many others were standing on the lawn of the Moffat County Courthouse.

“They tax our land, they tax our bed, tax the table at which we are fed,” she said, clad in an American flag shirt. “They tax our work, they tax our pay, we work for peanuts, anyway.”

Watts was speaking at the 2011 Tax Day Freedom Rally hosted by the Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots at the courthouse. The event featured speakers, music and prizes including a wide array of messages centered on the Federal government and taxation.

After Watts finished reading the poem, she told the audience of about 100 residents from Craig, Meeker, Steamboat Springs and as far away as Colorado Springs about “how much we really are taxed.”

Watts then rattled off a list of more than 30 different taxes including federal income tax, liquor tax and property tax, stopping halfway through and asking the audience if they were “tired yet?”

“I’m done — I don’t think I have any wind to name any more taxes, but I’m sure that we could probably add a couple of others,” she said after she finished. “But that is just the start and that’s why we are here today.”

Steamboat Springs resident Rob Douglas, of “The Cari and Rob Show” radio show, spoke to the crowd after Watts.

“We’re facing about the right direction — pretty sure that’s east, pretty sure Washington (D.C.) is that way — everybody who thinks they are taxed too much, let’s hear it,” he said gathering cheers from the audience.

Douglas spoke about what he thought the tea party and “liberty movements” stood for, and added the reason the Craig rally was one of many across the country was because “we’ve had enough.”

“When I think of the tea party, when I think of the liberty movement, I think of people that are cut from the same cloth as the founders and the framers,” he said.

Among the audience at the rally was Craig resident Richard Beason. It was Beason’s first tax day rally, but he said he came to help “take our country back, as they say.”

“I know that’s a difficult statement, but we need to not be dictated to, but be listened to,” he said. “I’m a believer in the (U.S.) Constitution and what it stood for and it’s been not abided by in a way I think it was intended to be abided by.”

Dillon Catt, a 19-year-old Craig resident, stood on the edge of W. Victory Way waiving the Gadsden flag at passing cars. Catt said he attended last year’s tax day rally, but came this year to spread his message that taxpayers had “given enough money” to the government.

“Right now, with the way the government is going, by the time I’m 25, I’m going to be basically a slave,” he said. “I’m not going to have any rights. Our country is already bankrupt and as far as I’m concerned, if the government wants to spend our money to get us into debt, they can pay their own debts.”

Looking back at the crowd, Catt said he was pleased with the turnout.

“I think next year we’ll have even more,” he said. “The more people that show up, that shows the more people that have opened up their eyes to the fraud, the thievery and the lies the government is giving us.”

Beason said he was doubtful a rally like the one hosted Friday in Craig would make a sizeable impact on lawmakers in Washington D.C.

But, he said, “You must start somewhere.”

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