Thursday, April 22, 2010

Worcester CWers show up at Tea Party in Boston Commons

From: Scott Schaeffer-Duffy <>

Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 5:02 PM


Catholic Workers at A Tea Paty


On Wednesday, April 14, 2010, Ken Hannaford-Ricardi, Julia Skjerli,

and Scott Schaeffer-Duffy of the Saints Francis & Therese Catholic

Worker in Worcester, Massachusetts went to the Boston Common where a

Tea Party rally addressed by Sarah Palin was held. At the edge of a

crowd of about 4,000 Tea Party supporters, the Catholic Workers held

signs and distributed almost 500 leaflets. Ken held a sign which read,

“A Tea Party the US Needs Now.” It depicted colonists throwing boxes

labeled “WAR” into Boston Harbor. Julia held a sign which read, “Cut

Government Spending, End the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Now.” Scott

wore a tri-corner hat and colonial garb. He rang a bell and quoted

James Madison and Patrick Henry on the evils of a standing army.


Many of the Tea Party participants stopped to talk with the Catholic

Workers. Some were open to their call for disarmament, while others

expressed support for the military and the wars. One called the

Catholic Workers “trouble makers.” Most took the leaflets without

comment from the colonial-costumed Schaeffer-Duffy.


Many Tea Party participants held signs. One read, “This small business

woman is pissed. I pay $ while Congress plays.” Another quoted Thomas

Jefferson, “When injustice becomes law, Resistance becomes Duty.” One

read, “Obama care makes me sick!”


About 200 Tea Party critics came in groups or as individuals. One

person held a sign which read, “Dump Sarah Palin in Boston Harbor.”

Another sign said, “The Tea Party is Racist.” Three college students,

dressed in Harry Potter Quiditch uniforms, held a sign reading,

“Palin/Voldemort.” One person held a sign which read, “Obama Unites,

Palin Divides.” A group of Black and Latino union members marched and

chanted, “Racist, sexist, anti-gay. Tea Party bigots go away” A group

of religious people stood in silence with banners proclaiming love and

tolerance for gay marriage and immigrant rights. Another group dressed

as characters from Alice in Wonderland holding their own tea party.

The Queen of Hearts held a sign which read, “Not playing with a full



A thoughtful bystander commented about how little the Tea Party crowd

seemed to know about the actual ideas of colonial patriots. He said,

“Symbols are up for grabs today.” He also said that one could not

ignore the economic and political frustration which many of the

attendees experienced. He worried that their concerns were being

manipulated by right-wing political opportunists. He felt that

presence of many signs and buttons accusing President Obama of being a

socialist were indicative of the group’s confusion.


Sarah Palin addressed the cheering crowd for about 30 minutes and did

her best to stoke their anger and win their support, while GOP leaders

from Massachusetts, including Senator Scott Brown and GOP

gubernatorial hopeful Charles Baker did not attend the rally.


Saints Francis & Therese Catholic Worker in Worcester

52 Mason St., Worcester, MA 01610

Phone: (508) 753-3588



Text of Leaflet:


Cut the Most Wasteful Government Spending!


Since 2002, one portion of federal spending has grown from $329

billion to $663.7 billion with little oversight, no appreciable

benefit to US citizens, and a great deal of harm to the rest of the

world. That wasteful spending went to the Pentagon. The US now spends

more than the next 40 highest spending countries combined, ten times

more than Russia and 98 times more than Iran. The US military consumes

more than $13,000 every second, much of that on unpopular and

fruitless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where thousands of American

soldiers and hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed.


Meanwhile, the Central Intelligence Agency reports that the United

States has the 44th worst infant mortality rate and 45th worst life

expectancy rate. US News and World Report says that the US is 16th in

college education. Growing numbers of Americans cannot meet their

basic needs.


As members of the Catholic Worker movement, whose 150 houses of

hospitality shelter and feed the homeless (without tax exemption or

government aid) we call upon the Tea Party movement to join in calling

for an immediate end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, followed by

massive cuts in military spending. Then taxes can be cut and education

and healthcare restored.



Photos of Ken, Scott, and Julia on the Common appeared in the

April 20, 2010 Boston Globe.



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