Tens of thousands of protesters descended on the National Mall Saturday to demonstrate against the Obama administration’s policies regarding taxes, the national budget, and health care.
Marching protesters, holding signs reading “No Czar Zone,” “Go Green, Recycle Congress,” “Socialism – Obama’s Solution To Everything” and waving “Don’t Tread On Me” flags, forced the closure of Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th and third streets in Northwest D.C. as they marched to Capitol Hill for the rally.
Participants in the Sept. 12 “Tea Party” included some students from GW.
College Republican member Cynthia Meyer said she decided to attend the protest after hearing about it over the summer.
“We were protesting big government, and the politicians who promote it while ignoring the will of the American people. It is clear by the massive turnout of the Tea Parties, along with Obama’s falling approval ratings, that the American people did not vote for this kind of ‘change,'” Meyer said in an e-mail.
CR Treasurer Jake Wolf also attended the event. “I am dissatisfied with the direction the nation is going in under the Democrat Congress, especially in regards to the health care bills. I do not believe it is the job of the federal government to provide health care,” Wolf said in an e-mail.
Protesters came from across the country to voice their opinions, too.
“I need the government to wake up,” John Easterling of Hattiesburg, Miss. said as he stood by the Capitol reflecting pool. “We are the people. The government works for us. We don’t work for the government.”
Members of the LaRouche Political Action Committee, displaying effigies of President Barack Obama sporting a Hitler-like mustache, represented a more radical sector at the protest.
Nearby, in the shade of the Taft Memorial, sat Janet Hackett and Ann Claure of Rockville, Md.
“We are registered nurses and we are out here because the Medicare program is already filled with bureaucracy and waste,” Hackett said.
“This plan will take doctors out of the system,” Claure added.
The event, organized by FreedomWorks, marks the end of a nationwide Tea Party movement tour, and was highly publicized by talk show personality Glenn Beck.
Stephan Sheetz, 31, and Eric Neubaun, 30, found out about the protest on Beck’s radio talk show and traveled to the District from central Pennsylvania to protest the expansion of government.
Neubaun said most of the people in the crowd, including themselves, were conservative, however “it’s not just Republicans protesting, there are also Democrats. It’s not just a Republican thing, it’s a patriot thing.”
Neubaun held a sign that read “The Answer To 1984 Is 1776,” referencing the novel 1984 by George Orwell.
The Bertanzetti family, also from Pennsylvania, heard about the demonstration from Beck, as well as Fox News. The Bertanzettis brought their two children, ages 10 and 12, to help protest.
The family said they were stopping Obama from taking away their freedoms. They were protesting “Obamacare” because they claimed it would fund abortions.
does disagree with uncontrolled spending.
Vanessa McKinley, 23, from Georgia, and Jason Winston, 24, from the Washington area were standing on Pennsylvania Avenue holding up a pro-Obama sign. They noted that although they sometimes got a critical shout from the protesters, there was nothing hostile from the crowd.
Winston said although he didn’t agree with them, he was happy that the protesters were using their freedom of speech and assembly.