Mainstream Downplays Massive D.C. Tea Party Crowd
By Peter Papaheraklis
Easily 100,000 protesters showed up for the “Tea Party” demonstration at the National Mall on in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 12. Fed up with President Obama’s left-leaning policies, huge budget deficits, and overall bankrupting of this country, throngs of angry patriots made their sentiments
felt as they cheered speakers like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.).
Tens of thousands of yellow flags bearing the “Do Not Tread On Me” snake flooded the Mall, sending a clear message it’s time for a revolution. Hundreds of signs and countless thousands of American flags, some upside down to indicate a nation in distress, filled the air. Tea Party attendees want their country back from the crooks who are bankrupting the nation and are slowly stealing every right we have.
Strong criticism of Obama’s socialist health plan was expressed on many signs as well as references to Rep. Joe Wilson’s (R-S.C.) recent “You lie” remark, doubts about Obama’s birth status, and even pictures of the president made up as a clown, seemed to show up everywhere.
The huge turnout surprised most people including the organizers, who had anticipated 25,000 to 50,000 protesters. An unofficial estimate of the crowd size, based upon a formula the U.S. Park Service uses to estimate crowd sizes on the Mall, places the crowd at between 120,000 and 200,000 people.
One of the speakers announced that ABC News had just said that there were 1.5 million protesters at the rally. Although that estimate seemed on the high side, the mainstream papers reported the following day that only “tens of thousands” of protesters were there. Of course that could mean as many as 90,000, which would still be a low estimate. But it seems more likely that the mainstream media is deliberately trivializing the number of people who attended the event.
The crowd was loud. The crowd was angry. The mainstream media and the establishment that they represent should be getting a bit nervous about this. Not since the massive anti-war protests of the 1960s have we seen consistently large protests by American citizens.
The crowd was overwhelmingly white and conservative/populist spanning across all age groups. The sentiment of the crowd was reflected in Rep. Price’s remark: “The protest rally is a declaration by a new generation of patriots to carry that torch of liberty to take our country back.” Sen. DeMint suggested that, “It is time that the President started listening to us.”
PETER PAPAHERAKLIS is AFP’s circulation manager. He is a proud Greek-American who has been living in the U.S. for the last 36 years. He is also a freelance writer, graphic designer and illustrator.
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(Issue # 39, September 21 & 28, 2009)