... reference to the 1773 Boston tea party, an iconic event in American history in which American colonists dumped British tea into Boston harbour to protest a tea tax levied by Parliament.
"The main theme is that we're frustrated with government spending," said Eric Odom, a Chicago-based internet activist who helped organise the protests. "It's completely out of control. There's no accountability, there's no transparency."
Odom said protests were scheduled in 760 cities in all 50 states and Washington DC.
At a cold and rainy gathering across from the White House today, protesters described themselves as true American patriots holding off creeping socialism and fascism.
"We're alarmed at the spendthrift attitude of the government," said Thomas Cranmer. "The Obama government, the Senate and the House are just absolutely out of control."
Organisers and participants insisted the protests were independent of the Republican party, which has at every turn attacked the Obama administration's budget and economic stimulus policies.
"This is not a Republican or a Democrat issue, this is an issue of the federal government ripping off the people," said Abraham Mudrick of Oregon, who carried a sign describing the US federal reserve as a clandestine puppet master. "This is a civil liberties issue. This is an issue of our freedom, and breaking the chains of taxation without representation."
But it is unclear whether the resentment and outrage seen today will coalesce into a cohesive movement to counter Obama's unabashedly liberal policies. The protests come just five months after the nation unambiguously endorsed Obama's platform, and roughly six in ten Americans praise his plans to right the US economy.
Meanwhile, a Gallup poll released on Monday showed that Americans now hold the most favourable view of their income tax obligation since 1956.
At the White House today Obama touted his administration's tax cuts for the working class and poor Americans and said his budget team plans to trim ineffective programmes, "unfair" government contracts, and "unnecessary give-aways that have thrown our tax code out of balance".
"On this April 15th, we're reminded of the enormous responsibility that comes with handling peoples' tax dollars," he said. "And we're renewing our commitment to a simpler tax code that rewards work and the pursuit of the American dream." Excerpted From The Guardian Co. UK at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/15/tea-party-protests-taxes-barack-obama