A crowd of people, some carrying signs, are shown during a rally at Freedom Plaza in Washington on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009. Thousands of protesters have packed streets in the nation's capital to protest what they consider the federal government's out-of-control spending.
When organizers for the Taxpayer March on Washington said they expected tens of thousands of people Saturday, they weren't kidding.
Tea Party protestors completely blocked Pennsylvania Ave. from 14th Street, NW, to the U.S. Capitol. The crowds were so dense that organizers for the event decided to start the speeches and march earlier than the scheduled 11:30 a.m. time.
(So now it really is hot and humid in the crowds, though luckily for the protestors, not raining.)
Carrying U.S. flags and signs showing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a Pinnochio-like nose or reading, "I'm Not Your ATM", the protestors told news outlets that the government has gotten "too out of control with spending." Several interviewed also claimed that they were not "wackos" and that the march was not only about party alliegances.
"It's not just right wing or conservative," one protestor with a handlebar mustache and a Texas flag-styled, button-down shirt told NBC. "This is Americans."
The event was organized by FreedomWorks -- a conservative organization led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) -- in conjuction with the Tea Party Movement and other conservative groups as a way to protest current tax policies.
It was allegedly first conceived by Fox News personality Glenn Beck, who had originally tried to organize it as a post-9/11-type event and who played a big role, along with other conservative commentators, in creating momentum for the march.