Cries of “Obama makes Carter look smarter” rang through the air as an estimated 30,000 people gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol building for the 9/12 Taxpayers March.
The event – organized by conservative nonprofit organization FreedomWorks, which has had a heavy hand in promoting the tea party movement – began at the Washington Monument, with thousands of demonstrators marching to the Capitol building to await speakers representing their views.
The purpose of the event, according to FreedomWorks’ website, was to “Protest big government and support lower taxes, less government and more freedom.”
A FreedomWorks volunteer estimated that the crowd size was smaller than the crowd in the Aug. 28 rally on the National Mall ran by Fox News’ Glenn Beck. The summer rally drew an estimated crowd of tens of thousands, though Beck placed the number at 500,000.
The second-annual 9/12 rally was organized by the same groups that planned the original 9/12 March on Washington: FreedomWorks, Tea Party Patriots, National Taxpayers Union and the Institute for Liberty, among others.
Laura and Andy Rosenberger from Springfield, Ohio, said they traveled to D.C. to protest increased government debt and out-of-control government spending.
“We’re here for young people like you,” Rosenberger said.
Taxation was a main concern for many of the protestors gathered at the Capitol. Signs reading, “Weapons of Tax Destruction” and “Keep your hands off my grandkids’ future” obstructed the view of the Capitol building for more than an hour before any of the featured speakers were set to take the stage.
Other demonstrators reflected their desire for America to return to its colonial roots. Women dressed in long dresses and petticoats, and men dressed in breeches and long coats held signs bearing quotes from Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and other influential colonial figures.
Jeff Watkins, Frank Nickles and Rob McCartney from Wilmington, N.C., were dressed in full colonial attire, holding a sign with a picture of the Constitution that read, “Miss me yet?”
These men said they came to D.C. to demonstrate their passion for the Constitution. They said their concern about the future of the country had become more pronounced in recent years with what they called “uncontrolled spending” and “lenient border security” in both the Bush and Obama administrations.
Others gathered in front of the Capitol to express concern about President Barack Obama’s citizenship.
The participants in the rally ranged in age and many showed enthusiasm, despite the overcast weather.
Elderly men and women, children and even dogs wore T-shirts bearing “Remember in November,” the theme of the rally. The focus was on the midterm elections coming up in November.
Many of the marchers expressed excitement for a chance to express themselves in the midterm elections, like Doug McBride of Columbus, Ohio.
“We are paying attention and will vote for whichever candidate represents the American people the best,” he said.
-Ethan Bursofsky and Anna McMahon contributed to this story