I got home a short time ago from the 912 March in Washington. Ann and I went, along with my daughter, on a bus from Hagerstown. Eight buses went from the Hagerstown area, and that’s a little sample of what was happening from all over the country.
You’ll hear widely varying estimates of the number of people there. I’ve been on a lot of demonstrations in Washington (because I used to be a leftist), starting with a civil rights march in 1958 and continuing with other civil rights demonstrations, and then peace marches (until I came to my senses in 1967). I could hardly believe how large today’s march was. The original meeting place, Freedom Plaza at 14th and Pennsylvania, filled up so fast that the march to the Capitol had to start much earlier than planned to make room. Pennsylvania Avenue was packed, and it took hours to get all the people into the Capitol area. No, that’s wrong, because not everybody fit into those huge grounds in front of the Capitol and there were always people on the Mall and on the sidewalks blocks away.
I was at the famous 1963 civil rights march, where Martin Luther King gave his “I have a dream” speech. That was estimated to be 200,000 to 300,000 people. In my opinion this one was bigger. I don’t think there were a million people, as some have claimed, but there were at least 350,000 and possibly many more. That is huge.
It was also the politest demonstration I’ve ever been to. Nobody was angry. I mean, they were angry at the government, but nobody seemed to have the kind of chip-on-the-shoulder anger that so many leftists have. It was good-humored. Also — and this was astounding — there was no trash on the ground. None. Unlike the Obama inauguration, unlike Woodstock, unlike even an ordinary crowd standing around, this event was as clean at the end as at the start.
Maybe that’s because there were no journalists strewing trash, or almost none. There was a Fox truck and a CNN truck and that’s all the TV we saw. When Ann and I went to a counterdemonstration to an ANSWER peace march in 2007, the streets were lined with trucks from every media outlet we’d ever heard of, and some we hadn’t. We were interviewed by Australian and German reporters. And that was a march of about 5,000 on ANSWER’s side and about 15,000 on ours. I know some people were interviewed today because I read some reports, but there was nothing like the coverage that peace marches routinely get.
I’ve just heard a few reports that lead me to believe some reporters accidentally went to Mars instead of the Capitol. One said there were Confederate flags in evidence, and Ku Klux Klan type signs. We spent a lot of time walking around looking at people and their signs, and we commented that there were no confederate flags. And I don’t even know what is meant by Ku Klux Klan type signs. Maybe the one that said “I’m not a racist — I hate Pelosi and Reid too.”
That was typical of the signs — original, and often funny. There were no mass-produced signs, and not more than a few of any one type. Here are some we saw:
Spread my work ethic, not my paycheck.
Chicago gangsters go home.
Give me liberty, not debt.
Thank God for Glenn Beck.
Right wing extremist: Jefferson, Adams, Madison, me.
Capitalism delivers what socialism can only promise.
Read the bills or get off the Hill.
Constitution: read, learn, live it.
Lots of signs about czars — 44 czars; Czar wars; Czars czuk; You’ll be czarry; and more.
Lots of signs about ACORN — ACORN: bringing brothels to your community; Congress investigate ACORN; shut ACORN down–cancer on our republic; and more.
I kept calling my husband at home to see what the media were saying. He didn’t go because he doesn’t walk well. He’s a bit crippled from his 5-1/2 years as a guest of the North Vietnamese government during the Vietnam war. But he also didn’t go because he was so moved by the idea of all these Americans coming together to oppose socialism and big government that he was afraid he would cry. He was thrilled to hear the reports from Fox during the afternoon.
Now I’m going to look for more reports. I hope some of them are true.
Addendum, 9/14: After looking at aerial photos I have to update my estimate. I think there were a million people there, maybe more. It is harder to estimate this than the usual demonstrations on the Mall. The Mall is a plain rectangle and you can just photograph from above and count, or count a small area and multiply. The west side of the Capitol has a lot of trees and you can’t see what’s under them unless you’re on the ground. The area is far from rectangular and is not continuous. And the crowd was spread far and wide beyond the west lawn.
Note from Ann: On Judy’s point about how clean the Tea Party demonstrators left Washington, see Gateway Pundit’s photo essay on clean conservatives vs. filthy liberals here.