A U.S. Postal Service official in Illinois has warned that a protest involving mailed tea bags could cause problems for post office machinery.
Brian Wagner, customer relations coordinator for the Peoria, Ill., post office, said the tea bag protest called for by Illinois Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn against AmerenCILCO's 55 percent residential utility rate hikes could clog sorting machines or damage mail, the Peoria Journal Star reported Thursday. ComEd plans to increase rates 22 percent.
"If someone sends in a tea bag and it breaks open, it could actually damage our automated equipment or damage the mail," Wagner said. He suggested sending an empty tea bag or a picture of a tea bag as an alternative form of mail protest.
Quinn said the suggested alternatives would work just as well for the protest.
"If they want to use a wrapper or the virtual approach, the more the merrier," Quinn said. "The bottom line is to send a message and whatever is an effective way to send a message is fine with me.
"We'll leave it up to everyday people to decide how they want to do it."