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'Liberty Trail' protesters in area speak up for 'Tea Party Patriots'
By Susan Sarkauskas | Daily Herald Staff

Pat Hinkle of Elburn waves to honking cars along Randall Road in St. Charles in front of the Kane County Circuit Clerk's office on Saturday. Scores of people line Randall to protest government spending and proposed health care reform.

 

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

World War II veteran Bob Hinkle of Elburn joins his son Bob and daughter-in-law Pat, also of Elburn, along Randall Road in St. Charles Saturday to protest government spending, mirroring a protest in Washington, D.C.

 

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

Protesters line Randall Road in St. Charles Saturday morning in a protest event that ran from Batavia to Crystal Lake.

 

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

Jan Vance of West Chicago joined her husband Tim, and dozens of other Saturday in St. Charles to protest government spending and other issues. "This is not the country our fathers fought for," she said.

 

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

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Published: 9/13/2009 12:01 AM

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Suburban residents mad about how the government spends money, proposed health-care and trade legislation, gun control and perceptions that the United States is becoming socialist marched in spirit with those protesting in a march at the nation's capital Saturday.

"This was a sister act for that," said Joe Miller of Carpentersville, an organizer of the "Liberty Trail 9-12" protest on behalf of the Illinois Tea Party Patriots.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., about 400 people stood at intersections along Randall Road, from Batavia through Algonquin, waving flags and holding signs. They urged motorists to honk in support of their causes, including reducing spending and becoming stricter about illegal immigration.

They later had a rally and picnic at Elfstrom Stadium in Geneva.

Sandi Mosak of Arlington Heights helped organize the rally; she usually works with the Palatine Tea Party, but it didn't have an event Saturday, she said.

Miller, decked out in a Stars-and-Stripes themed outfit, joined the Tea Party Patriots in March. He considers himself a conservative politically, but hasn't been happy with Republicans the last four election cycles, he said.

Why protest on Sept. 12?

Partly, it is tied in to sentiment about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the country, he said. Part of it is due to a campaign espoused by television and radio show host Glenn Beck, a proponent of the 9-12 Project. According to its Web site, the912project.com, the 9-12 Project says the country didn't care about partisan politics the day after the attack, but stood united, and that it wants to restore that feeling.

Many in the crowd at the picnic wore T-shirts proclaiming "Don't Tread on Me," the famous state motto of New Hampshire. There were signs with turns of phrases, such as "There's free cheese in a mousetrap." Another: "America's Worst Health Care Provider is the U.S. Government. Ask a veteran."

Miller said his group is non-partisan; "You will find some Democrats," he said. And unlike other protesters, he's not an advocate of getting rid of every officeholder all at once.

Mosak said she joined because "there is no transparency" in government in Washington, and that politicians "don't listen" to people like her. Count her in the anti-President Obama crowd.

"I did not trust him from the second he opened his mouth," she said.

Several politicians worked the crowd at the picnic. Congressional candidate Jeff Danklefsen of Geneva had a booth there. He is running against Ethan Hastert of Elburn and Elgin resident Paul Vargas for the Republican nomination for the 14th District seat presently held by Democrat Bill Foster of Batavia. Lieutenant governor candidate Randy White of western Illinois had a campaign bus there, and somebody propped up a sign proclaiming "Lloyd Marcus for President." (Marcus bills himself as a "proud conservative black entertainer," and records songs supporting the Tea Party movement.)

Miller said Illinois Tea Party Patriots has an event planned for Nov. 2, tied in to the 2010 federal election, but did not provide details.