The following is being reposted from Amy Kremer’s blog, Southern Belle Politics. She is one of the original organizers that helped start the tea party movement in February 2009 and Atlanta was one of the first cities to host a tea party.
Wow! It is hard to believe that two years ago today, the modern tea party movement was born. As someone that was there from the beginning, I cannot help but to take a trip down memory lane.
The idea for a tea party actually was thrown out to the masses by Rick Santelli when he had this rant about the mortgage meltdown on CNBC.
The following day, after the video went viral, a group of conservatives on Twitter came together using the #tcot hashtag and had a conference call. I was on that call that Friday evening, February 20th, along with twenty-one other people. The purpose of the call was to plan for simultaneous tea parties across the country one week later. We defined our success by having 10 tea parties across the nation, with 50 – 100 people in attendance at each event.
We all got busy immediately planning our tea parties. One week later, on Friday, February 27th, at 12:00 noon EST, we had 53 tea parties with approximately 30,000 people in attendance! That was nothing short of amazing! All of those tea parties happened through social media and word of mouth, with no help from traditional media.
During that week, I worked with others to plan the first ever Atlanta Tea Party. On Friday at 12:00 noon, we had a spectacular tea party rally at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta.
It began raining right before the event started. The tea party lasted for an hour and as the time wore on, the rain poured down heavier and heavier. Yet, the bone chilling cold and rain did not deter people, instead they turned out in large numbers with umbrellas, rain gear and of course, their tea bags! In the end, we had 400 to 500 freedom loving Americans at the first ever Atlanta Tea Party in the pouring down rain! We even had local media cover the event and footage from the Atlanta Tea Party was shown on Greta’s show, On the Record, that evening on Fox News Channel!