DENVER (AP) – Tea party activists rallied outside the Internal Revenue Service office in Denver on Tuesday to protest IRS scrutiny of conservative groups.
About 50 people gathered, many holding signs with messages like “Proud to be on Obama’s enemy list” and “IRS (equals) bully.”
Dozens of other people also dropped by for a few minutes to show support, and some drivers passing by honked their horns in solidarity.
Protesters took turns speaking with a megaphone, occasionally eliciting cheers or brief chants from a generally calm crowd. Early in the rally, the audience chanted, “More freedom, less government.”
The event was organized by Randy Corporon, chair of the Arapahoe County Tea Party, as part of a national call to action. Corporon said his chapter of the tea party has not yet applied for nonprofit status, but he wanted to gather members and supporters to protest the excessive questions and requirements he said the IRS has forced on other Colorado groups.
At least four conservative groups in Colorado have reported encountering delays and additional paperwork in filing for nonprofit status.
Corporon said he was impressed by the turnout Tuesday, particularly because the event was only announced late Sunday.
“It’s sort of a trial run as we get geared up for the next election,” he said. “We need to be able to turn people out and remind people we’re loud, proud and we’re still here.”
Ken Richards, a retired army veteran who lives in Brighton, attended the rally holding a sign that said “Impeach Obama” on one side and “Freedom not tyranny” on the other. Though Richards is not a tea party member, he said he is concerned about the status of the current government and wants to see different people in power.
“I would vote for anybody that would represent me and uphold the Constitution of the United States,” he said. “I don’t care if they’re Republican or Democrat.”
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