TAMPA — At first glance, Tuesday’s event looked like a Fourth of July celebration.
Decked in red, white and blue and waving American flags, some in the crowd of about 120 people on Columbus Drive wore shirts declaring themselves patriots, proud to be Americans.
But they were angry. Standing in front of the Tampa office of the Internal Revenue Service, they said the agency’s recent actions constitute tyranny.
Earlier this month, the IRS acknowledged that it singled out conservative groups, including those affiliated with the tea party, for special scrutiny — activity that last week led to congressional outrage, denunciations by the president and the ouster of the agency’s acting commissioner.
According to an inspector general’s report, the IRS began the scrutiny in March 2010.
The protesters, some from Tampa 9-12 and other tea party groups, came out to demand change. Some said they want the IRS to be audited. Others want the agency disbanded.