Tea Party activists railed against big government Thursday at the state Capitol to mark the deadline for Americans to file their taxes. Those in attendance waved the American flag alongside the Gadsden flag, which they were told earlier in the month they could not fly over the capitol officially

Many said their problem with paying taxes is that others aren’t paying. Pat Wright of Willington said that almost half of working Americans pay no taxes. “When you force people to pay for the 50 percent who don’t pay, aren’t you creating slaves?”

“I have no problem paying my fair share,” Wright said. “I’m here just to let government people know we’ve already been taxed to death too much.” She said that government spending has become unsustainable. “We need to be heard. We’re here to say, ‘Listen, stop bloated government.’”

One speaker echoing Wright’s concerns was former WTIC-AM 1080 talk show host Jim Vicevich. Some people walking through the crowd delivered the news that the conservative talk-show host would be speaking. When he stepped up to the podium, many in attendance screamed “welcome back.” As Vicevich prepared to speak, a woman yelled, “We love you, Jim.”

“We face a tipping point in this country,” said the conservative talk-show host. “At some point we will have more Americans receiving money from this government than contributing to it.”

Referring to being let go from WTIC-AM at the end of March, Vicevich said, “Lord knows, I know what it’s like to be unemployed.” But he said that for those Americans who receive a check from the government, April 15 “is not tax day. It’s pay day.”

Vicevich finished his remarks by asking: “Can we return to the founding principles?” The crowd recognized the cue and responded in kind, chanting “Yes we can.”

Some tea party activists said they were concerned that “provocateurs” would try to direct their energy to incite violence.

But Joe Markley, of Southington, who will be running this fall for the state Senate seat he held previously, reminded protesters and spectators at the outset “We do not hate and we will not be provoked.”

“We’re here in a spirit of love, love for this country,” he said. “We’re not going to let our good spirit be upset.”

Capitol Police estimated that 1,200 people attended for Thursday’s rally.