More than a dozen protests were planned across Colorado Thursday to mark April 15, the day most federal income taxes are due.
About 2,000 people gathered at the Capitol in Denver by midday and roughly 2,000 attended a rally in a Colorado Springs park.
Dr. Lynn Schriner said she's never been to a Tea Party rally before Thursday's at the Capitol. While she was uncomfortable with some of what she heard, she may be more uncomfortable with what she's seeing in Washington.
"I'm here to have freedom, to express some of this and join other people trying to make a difference, trying to be heard in Washington and in Colorado," she said. "I want the people to not be controlled by the government."
That was the sentiment of Linda White who proudly labeled herself a Republican, but said she had met Democrats and Independents at the rally too. She said the concept of protesting the amount of taxes we pay is as American as America itself.
"I believe in liberty and I believe in freedom," she said. "I believe in the emphasis of what the Boston Tea Party meant. Taxation without representation, I don't think is a good thing."
On the edge of the crowd was Ali Mickelson, an analyst with the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, who wanted to stress how no one may like paying taxes, but that Coloradans on the whole didn't pay a lot of them. She cited a study done last year by the nonpartisan staff at the State Capitol that showed Colorado residents paid less per $1,000 of income than all but four other states in the country.
"I am a tax policy analyst so I look forward to days like today. This is like my Christmas," she said. "For me, this is a day for us to think about what we want our Colorado to look like. That tax money pays for that vision and where we want Colorado to be in the future."
Another protest was in Fort Collins, where 2006 GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez talked to members of the Tea Party of Northern Colorado.
Tax Day protesters generally fear the nation is headed the wrong way and want to promote a return to conservative principles and smaller government.
(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)