With signs that read “Tax the Rich,” “Drink Wine, Not Tea”  and “The Tea Party is Over,” more than 200 protesters marched Saturday from downtown to Napa Valley Expo to demonstrate against the Tea Party Express rally.

Protesters chanted, “They say cut back, we say fight back,” as they marched over the Third Street Bridge.

Members of the counter-rally, including Democrats, labor representatives and some Green Party members, chanted for more than an hour on Burnell Street, just a few hundred feet from some 600 tea party faithful inside the Expo. A giant inflatable rat with an anti–Wall Street message towered above the

protesters.

Chris Benz, 56, of Napa, came with a friend, Jeanette Nuss, out of concern about the tea party. “I’m scared of what the tea party is trying to do. I don’t think they’re supporting real American values,” said Benz, a winemaker.

“They’re dividing this country,” said Nuss, 77.

Bob Jones of Napa came with his wife, Linda, and their two daughters: Megan, a recent UC San Diego graduate, and Molly, a senior at Vintage High School, who carried a sign that read “Think outside the Fox.”

“I think it’s terrible that they decided to throw this event in Napa,” Bob Jones said.

The counter-rally included various union members with signs. “It’s the right thing to do,” said Brian Petersen, a plumber, who came with fellow union members from Martinez.

Guillermo Rosas, a 19-year-old Napa Valley College student, said he and his friends wanted to send the message that “the tea party does not have support here in Napa.”

The marchers included Napa Councilwoman Juliana Inman and Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis.

“We want to be sure that the tea partiers coming to Napa County know there are other voices and other viewpoints,” said Yamada, who will run in 2012 in the new 4th Assembly District that includes Napa. “We both want the same thing, but we go about it in different ways.”

Saturday’s events also included a Green Party rally at Veterans Memorial Park on Main Street. Speakers included Larry Bragman, mayor of Fairfax; Laura Wells, 2010 Green gubernatorial candidate; and student members of the Napa Valley Dream Act Coalition, a group that campaigns for immigration reform to help undocumented students.

Dianne Rubins of Berryessa Highlands came to the Green rally with her husband, Jim. “They have a right to be here — just like we do,” she said of the tea party group. “We just need to be louder,” she added with a laugh.

Shortly after 1 p.m., more than 50 people from the Green rally marched from the park to the Expo’s Burnell Street entrance as the rally was winding down.

The Napa Police Department, which monitored the day’s events, reported no physical confrontations and no arrests.

Register staff writer James Noonan contributed to this story.

(13) comments

Raven
Raven

so now you are criticizing public employee unions for not protesting?

kevin
kevin

Interesting that out of all the union protestors in their union "colors" there were NONE representing public employee unions!

Think this was by design?

Too bad there weren't any reporters available to ask that question...

Sandra
Sandra

From first hand accounts, I heard the counter rally had 75 to 150 attending, and the Tea Party was just a bit more than 1000. Gotta wonder at the skewed numbers. What's up with that? And why the comments of out of towners showing up? Seems both groups consisted of those.
"I can't but help wonder what kind of turn out a grass roots Leftist rally would have in Napa?"
Well, Kevin, isn't that obvious? 75 - 150 people showed up for the counter rally. It makes it clear to me that they believe they have more support than they actually have.
People can only support certain views that perpetuate untruths, anger and vitriol for so long, then it begins to seem just outrageous, and people begin to really look into the situation themselves instead of being herded like sheep. The propaganda gets tiresome, and eventually truth prevails.

Raven
Raven

[quote]kevin said: "I can't but help wonder what kind of turn out a grass roots Leftist rally would have in Napa? One without a Presidential candidate speaker or even a big time entertainer? I was impressed that the turn out was as good as it was..."[/quote]

trying to make lemonade, eh kevin?

kevin
kevin

I can't but help wonder what kind of turn out a grass roots Leftist rally would have in Napa? One without a Presidential candidate speaker or even a big time entertainer?

I was impressed that the turn out was as good as it was...

Bauhausfan
Bauhausfan

Underwhelming.

The context was tens of thousands were coming a few months ago and then last week it was five thousand.

Less than a thousand showed up. Despite what GOP political operative Sal Russo said in the Chronicle about the tea party being the majority in the bay area we can take that statement to be pure fiction that it is. They couldn't get over a thousand people to come to Napa on a Saturday in August.

The food and merchandise booths looked more like a cemetery rather than a rally.

Pathetic.

Mama San
Mama San

I just watched the video and I agree with all the opinions expressed. As I looked at the pictures I see a group of ordinary people who do not look like the ones who would benefit at all from the agenda of the Tea Party. I think after what that group did in congress we have all become more sure that we do not like what they stand for. Take Back America? What are they talking about. I tend to think some of them are loony toons!

umanyar
umanyar

About 1 minute in on NVR's video you can hear protester's chanting "no more war"...

umanyar
umanyar

Went to the rally about noon so I guess I missed the protest. So I was in total shock and awe when I heard protester's screaming "NO MORE WAR"...roflmao

Wow, how would that, in any way connect with the tea party rally? I mean the commanderinchief is in DC, right? I was unaware the rally was in control of our foreign policy but its nice to know/sarcasm off

Please get off the hooka, for the moment, and realize you are chanting "no more war", about 3000 miles away from where the person that actually makes those decisions resides. It's a big white house.

glenroy
glenroy

Surely the smallest book in the world, if it was ever to be written, would be the ‘Accomplishments of the political left…’

Unless it was a condensed history of failures, then of course it would be the largest book ever written…

sicksense
sicksense

I was there. Tea Party had twice that number of people at the least. Still not where it should be but it's a start. The protesters were rude and from what I saw, ignored for the most part. It was distracting and sad when they shouted during the singing of the National Anthem. One would think that would be something in which every American could honor and participate.

NativeQB
NativeQB

YES, NAPA is FAR LEFT & Liberal. Just like the Bay Area!! Look at the People Running/Ruining the County. Just LIKE the STATE of California. An How's Moonbeam" and The Democratic Legislature doing for ya???

alixzander
alixzander

Yes! The Green Party along with other progressive groups came out, protested the tea party, and put forward an agenda that would truly serve the people!

Lets recap: tea party had 600 people mostly from out of town. The Green Party, along with other progressive groups, brought out hundreds of people mainly from Napa.

I would say the tea party was successfully defeated. The people of Napa support progressive values in which the people control the state to serve their interests and not the interest of the wealthy!

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