The Tea Party Marches On

The Rhode Island Tea Party, attempting to move from protest vehicle to political force, has scheduled an open meeting November 24 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Warwick Public Library.

As I wrote in a cover story in the Phoenix a few weeks back, part of the challenge for the movement will be organizing a group of anti-establishment types. And that tension is evident in the Tea Party's own pitch for its gathering next week: "We envision a somewhat decentralized organization of members conducting a variety of projects," the lead organizers write.

Can a decentralized group be effective? We'll see. The Tea Party did a good job centering attention on a labor-backed bill around the resolution of contracts that stalled in the General Assembly last month. But that bill was widely opposed by municipal governments, too. So it's hard to know, at this point, if the Tea Party can really have an impact.

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