Between 1,000 and 2,000 showed up in Winston-Salem, NC, Saturday:

…The rally began at noon and focused on worries about government-controlled health care, individual freedoms, high taxes, media bias, and the need for a small government.

Some protestors stood on Marshall Street holding up signs with slogans such as “Free Markets Not Free Loaders” and “Revolution is Brewing” while waving at passing motorists. Others listened to music and speakers including Vernon Robinson, a former member of the Winston-Salem City Council who lost a bid for U.S. Congress in 2006.

“Conservatives typically don’t do protests, but we’re learning,” said Fred Benson, an electrical contractor from Clemmons who was one of the organizers of the rally. He said that members of the North Carolina Tea Party group at wanted to have another rally and decided to focus on the health care debate this time.

Benson said that more tea parties are planned, with the next one possibly on July 4, though details are still being worked out.

North Carolina Tea Party site here.

It was Tea Partyers vs big-government special interest groups in Raleigh, NC, this past week.   Opinion : A Tale Of Two Tax Protests

…On June 2, representatives from some 80 nonprofits, spending lobbies, and left-wing groups held a press conference to state their opposition to a developing House version of the 2009-10 budget that would close the deficit without a tax increase. The liberals argued that unless the spending cuts are “balanced” with tax hikes (though they preferred the euphemism “more revenues”) the state’s progress would be set back by decades. Some predicted widespread social upheaval and even dead bodies if the legislature failed to raise taxes.

On June 3, approximately 3,000 taxpayers from across North Carolina gathered outside the Legislative Building to oppose new taxes and demand fiscal restraint and accountability from their elected officials. The Tar Heel conservatives participating in this “Take Back Our State Tea Party,” organized by the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity, argued that the escalating government budgets of the past two decades were never a sign of North Carolina’s “progress” but were instead evidence of North Carolina’s descent into fiscal recklessness, public corruption, and economic stagnation. Recognizing that households and businesses are already suffering income and job losses due to the recession, protesting taxpayers said it was time for government agencies to bring their spending appetites in line with economic reality, too.

Indeed, the fundamental difference between the two messages was realism. The liberal press conference lacked it. The conservative protest exemplified it.

More at the link.

This shows how important the tea parties are to hammer an alternative to tax and spend into some thick political skulls.

H/T Instapundit