Thousands of people rallied at the State Capitol Wednesday night to protest government spending and bank bailouts.
On the deadline to file state and federal income taxes, many in the crowd said they were upset about out-of-control federal spending, the size of the federal deficit and the federal banking system.
The tax day event was billed as a "tea party," in reference to the Boston Tea Party uprising that helped spark the American revolution.
Many in the crowd said they were upset about out-of-control federal spending. St. Paul resident Greg Lieder said said he's concerned about spending, the deficit, the federal banking system and taxes.
"Most people know the tax code is out of control. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense," Lieder said. "I guess I'd start there and then the Federal Reserve, they almost seem to have a different agenda from what they claim to be doing, it doesn't seem to make much sense."
Jacqui Rayes, a White Bear Lake college student, echoed Leiders comments.
"I don't like all the stimulus bills and all the government spending that's been going on," Rayes said. "I think that while people may benefit in the short term, I don't think it makes jobs, like permanent jobs that are going to last. There are different things that we could be doing."
Similar rallies were reported in hundreds of cities across the country yesterday, including a gathering on the Boston Common, near the scene of the famed 1773 tax protest.
Another in Washington, D.C., briefly prompted a lockdown at the White House.
Earlier in the day, a much smaller group held a news conference to defend taxes. Denise Cardinal, with the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, said taxes fund many core services across the country.
"Taxes pay for roads, they pay for teachers, they pay for state parks. They pay for all kinds of things that we use, that we need, that we love. So when we're taking a look at this stuff, let's make sure that we're being honest about what taxes pay for," she said.
Cardinal's organization is funded by labor, environmental and other groups, and individual donors.
Protesters in St. Paul brought tea bags to demonstrate their solidarity with the revolutionaries that founded the nation. They said that it was time for a similar change in state and federal government.