A Tale of Two Tea Parties
The Boston Tea Party of 1773:
On the cold evening of December 16, 1773, a large band of patriots, disguised as Mohawk Indians, burst from the South Meeting House with the spirit of freedom burning in their eyes. The patriots headed towards Griffin’s Wharf and the three ships. Quickly, quietly, and in an orderly manner, the Sons of Liberty boarded each of the tea ships. Once on board, the patriots went to work striking the chests with axes and hatchets. Thousands of spectators watched in silence. Only the sounds of ax blades splitting wood rang out from Boston Harbor. Once the crates were open, the patriots dumped the tea into the sea.
The Washington Tea Party of 2009:
It was a great idea, really. Take a million tea bags and dump them in Lafayette Park to protest government spending. Hip, hip, hoo-ray!
But a funny thing happened en route to a visually pleasing Tax Day protest. The National Park Service said the tea party protesters didn’t have the proper permit to dump their bags. So instead of a raucous visual demonstration, all that was left were images of the tea party packing up their boxes of tea on a cold, soggy day in D.C.
Doh! “We have a million tea bags here, and we don’t have a place to put them because it’s not on our permit,” said Rebecca Wales, lead organizer of D.C. Tea Party.
Now, as I understand it, the Sons of Liberty were doing something slightly more illegal than dumping tea bags in a park without a permit. Is the National Park Service that much more threatening than the Redcoats? Or have our liberty fighters lost a bit of their moxy over the years?