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Free speech in action on Tax Day in Duluth Civic Center

Therese Vaughn of Duluth (at right) props up an American flag to help shade her eyes during the Tea Party (Northern Liberty Alliance) rally in the Duluth Civic Center during the noon hour Tuesday. The group rallied for limiting government’s powers. (Bob King / / 3
Mary Jane Shrader of Hermantown (left) and other participants listen to speakers during a Tea Party rally at the fountain in the Civic Center on Tuesday afternoon. (Bob King / 2 / 3
Mike Kuitu of Duluth holds a big sign with a message about taxes as he and others participate in the Vets for Peace rally on the steps of the Federal Building in the Civic Center on Tuesday afternoon. (Bob King / / 3

There were dueling noon rallies at the Duluth Civic Center Plaza on Tuesday, the deadline for filing federal and state income tax returns. About 36 people attended a “birthday” party of the Tea Party that began five years ago in Duluth. Speakers for the Northern Liberty Alliance spoke near the fountain between the Gerald W. Heaney Federal Building and City Hall about getting the “tyranny of government” out of people’s lives.

People at the Tea Party rally held signs that said “My gun, my body,” and “Got TEA? Taxed Enough Already.”

On the steps of the federal building, Vets for Peace held a rally to bring attention to the “huge burden” it says military spending puts on Americans. The action was part of the “Global Day of Action on Military Spending.” After some remarks, the group marched to U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan’s office on Superior Street. There was also a rally at the post office in Superior.

Signs at the rally read “Fund human need, not Pentagon waste,” “Save Social Security, cut war,” and “Want lower tax? Slash military spending.”

People in both groups said they half-heartedly invited the other group to join them, then speakers pointed out their differences.