With as many as 20,000 people in attendance, the Atlanta Tea Party on April 15 was one of the largest and most successful Tea Parties in the country. The Atlanta Tea Party on July 4, 2009 had been expected to be just as large. Unfortunately, plans have changed. Simon Property Group has forced the cancellation of the Atlanta Tea Party.
The Atlanta Tea Party was forced to cancel its Independence Day celebration in Gwinnett, after losing its location due to the objection of Gwinnett Place Mall (a Simon company.) The Tea Party had been scheduled to take place in the parking lot of the old Macy's building at Gwinnett Place since March.
"It is unfortunate the event had to be canceled," said Julianne Thompson, event co-organizer. She continued, "The old Macy's building is on private property, and not owned by Simon Malls, however the mall manager asked the property owner and I to come in the office on Thursday of this week [June 18], and told us Simon does not want political events on its property. They were also concerned about the fact we were using the term 'protest.' Although the event was on private property, the mall was able to assert authority on the matter due to reciprocal property easement agreements."
Event Co-Chair Debbie Dooley stated, "Our Atlanta Tea Party team tried for the next day and a half to find an alternative location large enough for the event, and with the proper layout for our vendors, children's activities, and fireworks show, but we could not find anything suitable that would have been available on July 4th.
With just a few days left until the Fourth of July Tea Parties begin, this is very unfortunate timing! One wonders why Simon Property Group waited until now to interfere.
Liberal Atlanta paper's snarky reaction.
Following the money, connecting the dots:
- Gwinnett Place Mall shut down the Atlanta Tea Party.
- Simon Property Group owns Gwinnett Place Mall.
- Melvin Simon (a Forbes 400 billionaire) is Co-chairman of Simon Property Group, Inc.
- Melvin Simon has provided large political contributions to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Al Franken, John Edwards, the DNC and many other Democrats and Democrat organizations.
- Melvin Simon was a major contributor to Barack Obama inaugural committee and has given at least $1 million to the William J. Clinton foundation.
- Melvin's wife, Bren, personally donated almost $100,000 to various political candidates, was a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, and contributed to President Obama's inaugural committee.