"This tax break allowed the East India Company to sell tea for half the old price and cheaper than the price of tea in England, enabling them to undercut the prices offered by the colonial merchants and smugglers." (Wikipedia) Not so different from today, when government gives wealthy Corporations the rights of living, breathing human beings and puts their profit margins above the interests of the People.
For this reason the tea was dumped into the harbor. And for these same reasons members of Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, Chapter 72, and other supporters of the Constitution, dumped bags of compost symbolizing tea over the side of the Hawthorne bridge soon after reading aloud the U.S. Constitution and a list of current grievances.
The reading took place at Salmon Spring fountain where the gathering had marched after singing rewritten Christmas carols to the Christmas shoppers at Pioneer Square. These Carols had been brought up to date to portray the situation in our Nation, the gradual loss of human and civil rights; the use and justification for torture against enemies, real and imagined; the "taxation for global domination."
The event began at Peace Memorial Park on the East side of the Steel Bridge, where the group burned copies of the USA PATRIOT Act, before boarding the Max train to Pioneer Square.
The day was not without adversity. When the gathering had taken the Max train from the Peace Memorial Park down to Pioneer Square, a rambunctious, or maybe ambitious, Tri Met official demanded that the Protesters stop Caroling on the Max train and also that we stop taping him.Yet the protesters met with numerous honks of approval from passers by, as well as nods and vocalizations of agreement from pedestrians in the streets,at Pioneer Square and especially on the Hawthorne bridge.
And, at the Square three citizens were outraged by the signs alluding to Bush Administration complicity in the 911 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. These three actually claimed to be against the war, and no friends of the Bush Administration, but believed that these allegations went too far and somehow denigrated those who died there that September day.
After dumping the tea into the Willamette River, the crowd slowly dispersed.
This is an audio file of the highlights of the event, about 25 minutes in length. It includes testimony from a few of the attendees, some of the revamped Christmas Carols, the Tri Met officer, the three citizens protesting the protesters and the reading of the U.S. Constitution with current grievances.
Portland Tea Party, RealPlayer
Portland Tea Party, MP3