Americans take tea to protest about tax

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Anti-tax protests modelled on the "Boston tea party" were staged across the United States yesterday as Republicans sought to stir moribund conservatives into action against President Obama's big-spending policies.

Yesterday's demonstrations, styled on the 1773 revolt against British colonial taxes when cases of tea leaves were tipped into Boston harbour, were billed a "new day for the freedom movement". Although they featured cups of tea, iced tea - and even tea bags being thrown over the White House fence - support appeared to be lukewarm in many cities.

Mr Obama pre-empted the demonstrations by marking deadline day for filing tax returns with a promise to simplify what he described as a "monstrous" system and ensure the issue cannot be "used as a wedge to scare people" into supporting policies against their real interests.

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