New Yorker protesting ‘massive government spending’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 17, 2009

Carrying an American flag and a 50-pound backpack, one man is nearly midway through his journey walking across the country to raise awareness about government spending.

New York native Matt Perdie began his trip in the northeast tip of Long Island, N.Y., on June 22, and nearly six months later, has walked across nine states into Vicksburg via Interstate 20 and U.S. 80. The states get wider, he said, as he heads toward his destination, Santa Monica, Calif.

“What I’m trying to do is raise awareness of the dangers of massive government spending by the previous president and the current president,” said Perdie, 24.

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“The big spending affects my family and the economy in some way. All I’m trying to do is tell people that this is going on and this affects people.”

His family owns the Through The Looking Glass restaurant in Jim Thorpe, Pa., and he believes big government spending weakened his family’s business and others around the country.

“I feel the best way to get involved is to get people passionate about the cause,” said Perdie, who is not walking in association with any advocacy organization. “My goal is to get people involved.”

So far, he said he has received positive response from passers-by along the road during his trip, which he said is solely funded by the “American people.” He said he started his trip with about $200 and since then, has collected enough from supporters along the way for food and shelter.

“There are people in his network along the way who have contacted one another to make sure he is safe,” said Louise Rosser, who, along with her husband, Tom, opened their home Wednesday to Perdie. “I’m a grassroots person who is also concerned and interested in the situation with the government.”

She and her husband found out about Perdie’s trip through an acquaintance in Tupelo.

She quickly contacted him and provided him with a resting place Wednesday before he continued west today to Monroe, where he said he will meet with a few members of the Taxed Enough Already Party.

Perdie, who is also a 2007 filmmaking graduate of the Art Institute of Philadelphia, has another component of his excursion across the country.

“I’m a filmmaker by trade,” he said. “I want to use the experience from the people I meet along the way as a narrative to a film I want to make.”

He has filmed mini-episodes of his travels and has posted each one on his Web site,, along with blogs of each place he has visited.

While his plans are unclear once he reaches his destination, he said, “I want to inspire people to take positive actions.”


Contact Manivanh Chanprasith at