What were colonists protesting with the Boston Tea Party?
Tea was at first heavily taxed by the British, but the columnists circumvented this tax by buying less expensive, smuggled Dutch Tea. This resulted in an abundance of surplus tea for the British.
To encourage colonists to buy its tea, the British Parliament passed the Tea Act, which eliminated all duties on British tea and priced it below the cost of the Dutch tea.
Despite this, many colonists resented British involvement in what they regarded as the American (not British) economy, so they refused to allow the unloading of British tea.
Then, on December 16, 1773, about 60 men, dressed as American Indians, dumped the cargo of tea from three British ships into Boston Harbor.