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The Charleston Tea Party – more attendees than Mayor estimated

Some pictures
Warwick Jones

In common with many other cities in the nation, Charleston held its "tea party" on April 15. Held on the last day for filing federal tax returns, it was also symbolically linked with the Boston Tea Party and its protest against the excise duties. But Charleston's "party" was more than a protest about taxes. It was also a protest against the seeming out-of-control government spending and the infringement of state and individual rights.

The "party" was held at the base of the Customs House and drew an estimated 2000 to 4000 people. We were told by one of the attending police officers that the Mayor had told the police to expect only about 250 people. The police also attempted to maintain traffic flow along East Bay Street but were thwarted by the crowd. They eventually closed the street.

The “party “ was orderly and attendees clapped enthusiastically during the speeches of Governor Sanford and Senator Mint. There was a small group of union representatives supporting open ballots at union elections. They were engaged by some members of the crowd and stayed for only a short time. There was no threat of violence but there was no doubt that there was little support for their cause from the attendees.

Some photographs of the party follow.

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