No tea for the Pitoccos

James and John Pitocco

Photo by Dane Stivers

After nearly eight hours of peacefully preaching their political disagreement with the tea party and its policies in Chico’s City Plaza Saturday (March 10), James (right) and John (left) Pitocco hadn’t lost a beat. They continued to lift and wave their anti-tea-party posters toward Main Street, greeted by a sporadic mixture of happy honking and angry middle-finger-waving. For these Ohio-born brothers, it’s just another weekend.

How has Chico responded to you?

John: One of the main reasons we’re out here is the positive vibes we get from the people who drive by, or ride their bikes, or walk past … the majority of them are positive. It’s almost like a narcotic to us, it’s such a beautiful vibe, and that’s one of the main reasons we do it. We come out and spin these signs because we believe the tea party is bad for America. They want to go ass backwards, but we have to go forward.

Since you moved to Chico last summer, how have things changed?

John: At first they didn’t know who we were or what our signs meant. It seems like every community we’ve been in, there’s people talking to their neighbors saying, “Hey did you see that down at the square, what do you think about it?”

James: Actually, that’s what we get told in every community we’ve been in … We just start communication. We also do collage artwork on the side, just another form of communicating with people. It’s simple. We’re out here every Saturday, every Sunday if it’s clear, and it’s very enjoyable.

What do you see happening in the future?

James: Well, it’s bleak in the future. I’m not talking about us; I’m talking about the country. It looks like we’re going to have to lose everything we have, to realize what we have, unless people wake up on their own … and they are waking up, I feel it and I read it in the paper all the time. I’m just a little worried about the young guys here at Chico State telling us that Ron Paul is always the answer.

John: Ron Paul is not the answer, and college students are going for him because he’s “going to end the war.” But Obama’s already ending the war in Afghanistan, what’s to say what else Ron Paul is going to do? Like get rid of the Department of Education, put the United States on the gold standard. As of two weeks ago, there are 88 million Americans out of work who have quit looking. They can’t find work and they’re not even trying anymore!