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Budget debate launches new tea party

Tax protesters gather around the country. Is it a GOP put-up job?

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About 300 protesters gathered outside the Georgia Capitol Friday as part of a national Tea Party Day in protest of a $787 billion recovery bill, seen by protesters as an attempt by Democrats to force federal foibles on American taxpayers.

Patrik Jonsson

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ATLANTA

Several thousand neopatriots – some shouting “Give me liberty or give me death!” – took to the streets in over 30 US cities Friday, representing what some of them call the beginning of a new conservative counterculture in America.

“The spark has been lit,” says Ben Mihalski, a “house husband” from Cobb County, Ga., one of at least 300 protesters who gathered in a hefty downpour outside the Georgia Capitol on Friday to protest what they see as profligate spending by Washington.

Protesters with sign-slogans like “Pillage and plunder: At least the Vikings did it openly” fanned out across capitols and courthouses in cities from Nashville, Tenn., to Los Angeles, objecting to bailouts and policy changes since the inauguration of President Obama.

The Tea Party USA movement also added some symbolic flourish, vowing to gather tens of thousands of tea bags to be dumped on the floor of the US Congress. In Atlanta, the brand was Luzianne.

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