Justin Abatie is "Tea'd off".
"The answer to 2009 is 1776. Whoo!," Justin shouted into his megaphone on the steps of the Peoria County Courthouse.
Like the colonists in Boston, who revolted against burdensome British taxation in 1773, Abatie, and an estimated 3,000 thousand others, staged their own "Tea Party" Wednesday in downtown Peoria. TEA, or T–E–A, stands for "taxed enough already".
"Out of control spending is running rampant through Washington these days," Abatie told News 25, "and our elected officials are just not listening to what the people have to say. We elected them and we are their bosses and they work for us, we do not work for them."
Kathleen Healde is worried about the burden the federal debt will put on her grandchildren.
"I have a 2 year-old granddaughter and an 11 year-old grandson," said Healde, "and I feel the money is being spent terribly. Terribly. And I think they’re going to pay for it and its an unfair burden."
There were more than 300 Tea Parties on Tax Day all across America - 13 of them in Illinois. At all of them, people are saying they're fed up with massive government spending, complaining that the federal government has grown into exactly what George Washington and the founders fought to defeat over 230 years ago.
"The Constitution is almost being disregarded in today’s world," said Greg Albrecht. "A lot of people argue that its old and outdated, but its worked for over 200 years."
Christina Arndt is especially passionate about today's event.
"Two of my ancestors, Daniel Carroll of The Constitution and John Carroll the Declaration of Independence, risked their lives. It says in our Constitution that we have a right, when the government is against us, that we can form our own and that’s what we’re doing."
"We’re fed up," said a man named Scott, who declined to provide his last name. "And if they don’t adhere to The Constitution they’ll be out of a job in two or four years."
That's because those gathered Wednesday at the courthouse believe America belongs to "We the People".