Chelsea Schilling is a commentary editor and staff writer for WND and a proud U.S. Army veteran. She has also worked as a news producer at USA Radio Network and as a news reporter for the Sacramento Union.More ↓Less ↑
Just one day after President Obama tries to recapture the initiative in the health-care debate with a speech to a joint session of Congress, thousands of taxpayers plan to storm Washington, D.C., in a three-day event to take their fight against excessive spending, bailouts, growth of big government and soaring deficits to the front door of the U.S. Capitol.
Brendan Steinhauser of FreedomWorks, one of the groups organizing the Sept. 12 event, told WND, “We’re expecting a huge gathering at the Washington, D.C., armory in the morning, and we’ll talk about bailouts, cap and trade and health care. The feedback has been great. It’s been phenomenal. Everybody wants to be a part of the event, and it’s exciting.”
The National Taxpayer Protest Facebook page hosts more than 2,200 members. Some comments include:
I can’t wait. It’s time for Congress to listen instead of dictate
I will be going and taking the whole family with me.
Let’s take back America and put it in the hands of those who truly care for the interests of this nation and its people!
This is more than important – it is imperative. I am going to try to go! Hope to see y’all there!
I’m spending hundreds of dollars to get there from Las Vegas, and it’s worth every penny!
This is a good start. We have to stand up and fight for our rights and our future!
Steinhauser said attendees will begin arriving today and hotels will quickly fill up. Excitement is building, he said, and some have indicated they will not wait to take their message to lawmakers and the president.
“I talked to some people from Arizona, Pennsylvania and North Carolina who are coming in today,” he said. “There’s been talk of a spontaneous protest while Obama is giving his address for people to stand on Pennsylvania Avenue tonight and sort of set it off. There’s a lot of energy.”
Steinhauser said lawmakers returning from the August recess may be breathing sighs of relief now that the town-hall protests have ended. But, he said, taxpayers are bringing the protests to them in the nation’s capital.
“Congressmen came back to D.C. and said, ‘Whew, that’s over. I can relax.’ But now everyone is chasing them back from their districts and coming after them even louder,” he said. “We’re really going to shock a lot of people with how many people actually come to the event.”
The Tea Party Patriots’ “Tea Party Express” national bus tour has been hosting a series of tea party rallies all across the nation. A caravan of buses, speakers and entertainers is set to arrive in Scranton, Pa., and Albany, N.Y. tomorrow. On Friday, it will make stops in Hartford and Bridgeport, Conn. It is scheduled to arrive in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 12.
According to the Washington Times, the “Tea Party Express” tour was the fourth most popular topic searched on Yahoo last week. Joe Wierzbicki, national coordinator of the Tea Party Express, told the Times he is expecting a very large turnout.
“We were expecting 25,000 a few weeks ago, but now we are hoping for over 50,000,” Mr. Wierzbicki said.
Other estimates have reached 200,000.
Route for “Tea Party Express” national bus tour
Several organizations have united to help organize the National Taxpayer Protest’s descent on the Capitol, including: Freedom Works, Grassfire/ResistNet, Tea Party Patriots, National Taxpayers Union, Club for Growth, Americans for Tax Reform, Young Americans for Liberty, Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, Our Country Deserves Better, Campaign for Liberty, Leadership Institute, Free Republic, Young America’s Foundation, the National Association of Rural Land Owners and Smart Girl Politics.
“Our mission is to present a unified voice of concern over the current administration’s policies regarding taxation, our economy, foreign and domestic policy, as well as our individual constitutional rights as American citizens,” said Grassfire national coordinator Darla Dawald in an open invitation to the public to join the Sept. 12 taxpayer march in Washington, D.C. “America is in trouble, the problems and issues are broad and complex and it will take a monumental effort to stop, change and reverse the destructive course that this administration and Congress has put us on. Together, We the People can effect that change!”
On Sept. 10 and 11, the groups will host grass-roots training seminars and Sept. 11 “We’ll Never Forget” memorial. At Freedom Plaza, there will be speakers and music while the crowd gathers at 9 a.m. The taxpayer march down Pennsylvania Avenue is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 12 and culminate with a rally at 1 p.m. at the west front of the Capitol. An event schedule is available at the National Taxpayer Protest website.
“Obama managed to have 4 million show up at the Capitol grounds,” Dawald told WND. “We need to do the same if not more. The financial situation is dire, but as one gentleman said, ‘If I have to sell my belongings and crawl there, I will – because it’s that important!’”
Tea partiers in Washington D.C. on Independence Day weekend
Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots told WND the groups are focused on “protecting the values and principles that have made America the greatest nation for future generations.”
Steinhauser told WND, “People want to do this. The people who have been protesting around the country want to come to Washington and do this in D.C. In a lot of ways, they are being ignored and the media is underrepresenting them and their numbers. They want to come together for one big event and send a very clear message.”
Dick Armey, chairman of FreedomWorks, sent a memo reminding attendees of several Democrats who have called the movement “Astroturf,” saying the crowds do not represent real grass-roots activism.
“They’re saying that your voice doesn’t count and that you will not be heard,” he said. “At the 9-12 Taxpayer March on Washington we have an opportunity to show them just how wrong they are.”