20 Mar 2010 Pelosi Tries to Clear Capitol; Crowd Isn’t Leaving
Spent much of the day at the Tea Party rally outside the U.S. Capitol and returned home to blog about it, but I think I’m heading back. David Almasi is still there [see addendum below] and he tells me the Tea Partiers spontaneously formed at the East side of the Capitol. The Rules Committee complained about the noise, and Nancy Pelosi ordered the grounds cleared. The crowd refused to leave and the Republican House members have joined the Tea Partiers in solidarity.
I don’t see this on the news right now; don’t know why, but I think I’m going back there and will blog and post pictures and videos from today later.
Addendum, midnight: First, a correction: Turned out it was Joe Roche who was texting me, not David Almasi. Amusingly, we even talked on the telephone in between texts, but the roars of the crowd were so loud I couldn’t tell Joe’s voice from David’s and Joe couldn’t hear me calling him by the wrong name.
Now for the news: When Joe, my daughter Kate, my son Christopher and I met up on the East front of the Capitol more than an hour after I posted this and after night had fallen, the crowd was breaking up in favor of an overnight vigil in front of the Supreme Court and, no doubt for some, their first food and drink since breakfast. Joe confirmed for me that Republican lawmakers had indeed come out to talk to the crowd, and that the events described above did happen. Joe added that he believed a few Democratic legislators who oppose the health care bill had joined the GOP members in speaking to the Tea Partiers, although he didn’t have their names.
Among the group of perhaps 1,000 that stayed until nightfall were discussions of returning to the Capitol building again Sunday at 11:00 AM. Tea Partiers were being told by members at that time to expect that the House would begin preparing to vote around 1 PM Sunday, but to expect that the actual vote on the legislation would probably not be until 2 PM.
I’ve seen only vague references to these later events in just a few news stories. I can only assume most of the media stops working after a certain point on Saturdays.
And now to post some pictures…
Note: The photo in this post was taken by David Almasi.