Hundreds of thousands descend on Capitol
WASHINGTON – The capital was rocked today by a taxpayer march and rally that could be the biggest protest ever – potentially dwarfing the Million Man March and the Promise Keepers Rally.
Though crowd estimates vary from as low as 60,000 to 70,000 according to ABC News to a high of 2 million by London Daily Mail, photographs and videos of the march and rally demonstrate its enormity.
The taxpayers stormed Washington, D.C., today, taking their fight against excessive spending, bailouts, growth of big government and soaring deficits to the front door of the U.S. Capitol.
All week citizens have been heading to the Hill by the busloads for the showdown today. 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 arrived in Washington, D.C., just in time for the march. The taxpayers have paid their own way to the event.
The White House said Friday it was unaware of the rally. President Obama has traveled to Minneapolis, Minn., to promote his health-care plans at a rally there.
But so many taxpayers showed up on Pennsylvania Avenue that the crowd ran out of room and the march was forced to begin early.
WND was at the scene to get crowd reaction and take photos of the protest.
Live at the scene in Washington, D.C. (WND photo)
Citizens carried hand-made signs that read:
- 2010: Vote all incumbents out!
- Our Constitution has termites!
- We are under attack by our own government
- Stop the march of socialism
- You can put lipstick on communism, but it’s still communism
- My family, my doctor
- Obamacare makes me sick
- Go green: Recycle Congress
- I’m not your ATM
- We had a dream. We got a nightmare
- Is this Russia?
- You Lie!
Washington march photo by Barbara Auchter
Some people donned colonial costumes while the crowd was sprinkled with U.S. and yellow “Don’t tread on me” flags.
Laurie Slough (WND photo)
Others, like Laurie Slough of Orlando, Fla., also dressed in costume to demonstrate their message. Slough wore a prison costume and carried a sign that read, “Criminals in Congress, your judgment day is coming.”
WND also noticed many anti-ACORN signs, following the recent controversy in which one of the organization’s offices was exposed supporting prostitution and human trafficking.
Politico reported among the signs seen were those asking “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” – reflections of WND’s extensive coverage of the yet-unanswered questions surrounding Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility to serve as president.
Fox News reported lines of citizens completely filled Pennsylvania Avenue for blocks.
“It was wall-to-wall people. I felt like I was in line for Obama health care,” said participant Robert Barney of Chesapeake, Va.
Organizers have told the media they expect the event to be the largest group of fiscal conservatives to ever gather in Washington.
Richard Brigle, 57, a Vietnam War veteran and former Teamster, came from Paw Paw, Mich. He told Fox News that he believes the nation needs health-care reform – but not President Obama’s plan.
“My grandkids are going to be paying for this. It’s going to cost too much money that we don’t have,” he said while marching with a wooden cane.
Fox News live footage shows thousands at Capitol
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 expected a large turnout.
“We were expecting 25,000 a few weeks ago, but now we are hoping for over 50,000,” Wierzbicki said.
Several organizations 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.
Washington march photo by Barbara Auchter
Brendan Steinhauser of FreedomWorks, one of the groups that organized the event, 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.”
If you’d like to sound off on this issue, please take part in the WorldNetDaily poll.