While thousands of protesters plan to march Saturday in Washington, D.C., many in Forsyth County will stage their own demonstration.
The End Tax and Spend Rally is scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m. at the Forsyth County Courthouse in downtown Cumming.
“Not everybody can get on a bus and travel to Washington, so we’re giving local people an opportunity to get involved right here in Cumming,” said Brad Wilkins, one of six event organizers.
“[The rally] is going to focus on people’s concerns on the upcoming health care reform bill, the cap and trade policy they’ve been discussing and any other high-debt, high-spending bill coming out of Washington right now.”
Wilkins said the overall protest encompasses conservative values, though there will be multiple messages at the rally.
Trilby Leech, another organizer, said the rally is a local way to support the 9.12.09 March on Washington.
“It’s important to the people of Forsyth County to let their voices be heard,” she said. “I think we’re all very concerned, not only for ourselves, but for our children and grandchildren. The debt that’s being incurred is just horrendous.”
Wilkins said the rally’s date -- one day after the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. -- was chosen for a reason.
The day after the attack, he said, “Americans came together and helped each other, and in that dark time, we saw the very best of American spirit and patriotism. I think it’s definitely time to pull people together and try to unite Americans on issues very important to them.”
But some local Democrats disagree with the sentiment.
“If they were interested in bringing the country together, they would actually sit down and be willing to work with the administration on how we can deliver quality health care for everyone,” Jon Flack said.
“So no, it’s not going to bring national unity for someone to use a national tragedy to advance their political agenda.”
Flack said the Sept. 12 protest on taxpayer-funded spending neglects to attribute any of the spending to the previous administration.
“Now that we’ve got a popularly elected new president, I suppose all of a sudden they’ve found their values that have been forgotten by them for the prior eight years,” he said. “While I guess you can appreciate their enthusiasm, I think they’re a little late to their own party.”
Wilkins said the rally welcomes residents of all political parties.
The invitation to speak was extended to candidates vying for the Ninth District congressional seat being vacated by Nathan Deal in his run for governor.
All candidates were invited, Wilkins said, because “one of them has to end up winning, and whoever represents us in the Ninth District will be voting on these very same issues that the citizens are so interested in."
“[It’s] something to give people right here in the county a chance to get their voices heard.”