Ron Adamkiewicz stands at the intersection of Roan and Mountcastle in protest of Obama Administration and IRS issues.
While waiting on the light to turn green at the intersection of North State of Franklin Road and West Market Street, Lucas Wooden rolled down his window to tell a man holding a sign during Friday’s IRS protest rally that he was “doing a great job” raising awareness of issues affecting the whole nation.
Doug and Kay White, members of the local Tea Party group, organized the protest held at two local intersections where about 40 people total waved their signs and voiced their opinions regarding the current state of America.
Issues surrounding government agencies like the Internal Revenue Service, Environmental Protection Agency, National Security Agency and Homeland Security, as well as general opposition for decisions and actions made by President Barack Obama’s administration were among the protestors’ concerns.
Doug White said he hopes his voice combined with other like-minded locals in protest will save the country.
“We’re trying to wake the people up to realize that we are slowly losing our freedom, our liberty and we are losing our financial health,” White said. “Our country is going bankrupt.”
White said more specifically he was standing in protest of what, according to national news reports, Congress has been attempting to look into, which is Tea Party groups being targeted by the IRS.
In May, the IRS apologized for what it acknowledged was “inappropriate” targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if those groups were violating their tax-exempt status.
The IRS and Obama administration, White said, has been picking on groups of people with whom he and many other Americans identify.
“They have targeted conservative groups, patriotic groups and Christian groups,” White said. “Anybody they find that opposes the Obama administration, they have intimidated and harassed them.”
White said the local Tea Party group has not been impacted by the IRS probe, but awareness of what is happening to other Tea Party groups worries him.
“They didn’t do anything to our Tea Party because we didn’t apply for tax-exempt status, but the ones that applied for tax exemption ... everything was illegal that they asked for,” White said. “It was illegal.”
Although the Tea Party tax exemption topic was one of the main motivators for the protest, White said it was just one example of governmental unfairness and offers insight into what may come for many other groups, political or otherwise, in America.
“If they will harass us, then they will harass other groups with different views, too,” White said.
Seeing other people involved in the protest by making a sign or honking their horns, Ron Adamkiewicz said, gives him hope for a better America.
“I get inspiration from these people honking their horns,” Adamkiewicz said. “We need to get more people involved in the Tea Party groups. We have been called ... wackobirds, we’ve been demonized and called racists. We are not any of that. All we want to do is get this country back on the right track.”
With the IRS probe and many more governmental issues in mind, Adamkiewicz waved at motorists and held an American flag at the Mall at Johnson City intersection.
“The IRS is targeting certain groups and letting certain groups go,” Adamkiewicz said. “They are not being fair.”
Obamacare was also a topic of concern for Adamkiewicz. He said he opposes the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“They said it was a tax,” Adamkiewicz said. “It still goes against the Constitution. You can’t have a federal government say that you have got to pay for something.
“People are going to be paying more for health coverage and getting less coverage,” he said.
With recent exposure of NSA issues, Adamkiewicz said this summer he will be living in fear of losing his rights and privacy while federal government officials are on their costly vacations.
“Our country is burning,” Adamkiewicz said. “We’ve got leadership and an administration that doesn’t care. This whole administration is a charade.
“If the American people don’t wake up, stand up and pay attention, I’m afraid our country is lost,” Adamkiewicz said.
Overall, Adamkiewicz said he wants to see people come together with a passion for improving the country.
“People have died for this flag and now people are stepping on it,” Adamkiewicz said.
At the corner of West Market and State of Franklin, sisters Kim Cornette and Terri Duncan said they have the past and the future in mind while they protest.
“We’re here to protect the America we grew up in,” Cornette said.
“We have kids and grandkids at stake,” Duncan said.
Robert House was also concerned about young people and their involvement in national debate.
House said he hopes the protest inspires youth in the community to embrace constitutional rights and become more active in creating the country in which they deserve to live.
“They are the ones that are going to have to live with it,” House said. “They need to be more involved.”
White said more people in general need to be concerned about changes in the country because it affects everyone living here.
“If people don’t wake up in this country, our children and grandchildren won’t have a future,” he said.
The local Tea Party group will take their protest to Washington on Wednesday with the Tea Party Patriots as part of their Audit the IRS Rally.