Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tea partiers hit Capitol

From Politico:

Thousands of Tea Party activists descended on Washington Thursday to protest the trillion dollar health care bill and government spending, holding signs protesting Barack Obama’s agenda while aiming chants of “you work for us” at the Capitol building. .

The gathering was organized by local Tea Party groups around the country, who are arriving in Washington this morning by the busload. Conservative leaders in Congress, led by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), have taken to the airwaves to encourage the activists to show up on the Capitol steps and demand meetings with members of Congress. The crowd is expected to grow into the thousands by noon, when Bachmann has promised to lead some protesters to a press conference inside the Capitol to express their opposition to the health care bill in person to members of Congress.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) is expected to be a surprise guest speaker this afternoon.

They arrived as early as 8:30 a.m., by bus, car and plane — from Bluffton, S.C., Des Moines and Dorris, Calif. — to rally with conservative lawmakers and possibly roam the halls of Congress.

"Can you hear us now!" they chanted from the foot of the Capitol, as they awaited the arrival of their heroine — Bachmann.

"She's very brave," said Nancy Holmberg of Dorris.

"Palin/Bachmann 2012," came a shout from the crowd. The crowd is also chanting Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s name and demanding that she come address them on the steps of the Capitol.

Another hero of the movement, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), has been autographing tea bags for the crowd and is wearing a jacket covered in pins and stickers reading “Yes! Freedom!”

Speaking on conservative talker Laura Ingraham’s radio show this morning, Bachmann encouraged people listening to show up on the West Front steps, but she said they should show up with “cameras” instead of “pitchforks.”

In an unrelated incident, nine activists were arrested in the Hart building, and they are being processed at police headquarters, but Roll Call is reporting that these were protesters from the opposite end of the political spectrum – Code Pink. All the buildings in the Capitol complex remain open for now.

The protesters, who are occupying the patch of grass only a few yards from where Barack Obama took the oath of office on Jan. 20, have also chanted “you work for us!” Many are holding signs that echo their distrust of Obama and their belief that he is pursuing socialist policies.
The Los Angeles Times reports on the protesters and asks the question, "Can they kill healthcare bill?"


Michelle Malkin has more here.

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