August 24, 2013
A look at Town Crier’s history
Before the printing press, the Town Criers of old warned of impending danger and they were the source of the latest news.
Today, the Town Criers of St. Augustine Florida are a committee of the Saint Augustine Tea Party (SATP). The committee functions as an action group in many venues. It engages politicians and candidates at all levels. It makes the Tea Party presence visible at public hearings and town halls. The signature, however, of the Town Criers is the engagement of the public on the streets of St. Augustine. This occurs at both local and national levels. St. Augustine’s historical nature attracts five million visitors per year from all over the country and, indeed, the world. Like the criers of old, the Town Criers of St. Augustine warn of the impending danger with their signs, report the news and the accounts of their activities in their own publication. Their newsletter, “The Town Crier Committee Report”, reaches people in every state of our union and 37 foreign countries. The Criers report that their newsletter now reaches in excess of 35,000 people per month.
The beginnings of the Town Criers
Before there was the town crier committee, the SATP found that engaging in parades attracted a lot of attention for the movement. This reporter, while covering the 2011 St. Patrick’s Day parade in downtown St. Augustine, was witness to the excitement that the Tea Party generated. In that event, the Tea Party float was preceded by the Republican float. As the Republican float passed the people along the street there was little or no reaction. However, when the Tea Party float passed by the very same people, their response was overwhelming applause and cheering. The next parade in St. Augustine took place on May 14, 2011. It was a walking parade on historic St. George Street, known as the “St. Augustine Garrison Spanish Colonial Grand Muster” (Spanish illumination). Some members within the SATP, who would later form the town crier committee, organized a group to participate in the parade. The SATP showed up with about 15 people carrying full-size Gadsden flags. Eyewitnesses reported that the Tea Party stole the show. According to the Town Criers, the Garrison still resents their presence on the streets to this day. “It was this night that the group came to understand the power of the don’t tread on me flag,” a Tea Party spokesman said.
The initial emergence of the Town Criers
After a test in less-than-perfect attire, the Town Criers made their first appearance in 1776 costume on Flag Day, 2011. The Criers started with various appearances throughout the area. Then, the Criers started focusing on regularly scheduled appearances on St. George Street as the 2012 elections emerged. This resulted in 56 continuous weekend engagements. “When the progressive Republican leadership of the GOP nominated Romney, the Town Criers, following the lead of the public, started a campaign of ‘No bama’. Republicans disenfranchised many voters by again nominating a progressive and lost the 2012 Presidential election,” a Town Crier quipped. “Thus, the GOP lost by shunning those who helped win the 2010 landslide.” On November 10, 2012, the Town Criers decided to stand down so that they could reevaluate their mission after the results of the election.
The Town Criers reemerge
The assault by the Federal government on the Second Amendment caused the Town Criers to reemerge on January 19, 2013. Opposition to gun control was the Crier’s primary mission for about three months. The Criers found greater public acceptance as their signs became more politically incorrect. On May 11, 2013 the Town Criers started calling for the impeachment of Obama based on the ongoing Benghazi Scandal. The Town Criers have just completed their 32nd continuous engagement since their re-emergence. The scandals, including the IRS crimes, have given a rebirth to the Tea Party movement. “The Town Criers popularity is based on truth. The public hungers for it. Politicians from both parties lie. The mainstream press deceives and distorts. The simple politically incorrect signs speak to what the people are feeling. A new day is coming,” stated a Tea Party spokesman. “A new wind is blowing and it fills a yellow flag,” committee members added.