His sign said "Save America First — Evangelize the World," and he stood in the parking lot near Constitution Avenue with a bullhorn. Thousands who arrived at Saturday's 9/12 March on Washington. heard Pastor George Luca proclaim his pro-life message. A black evangelist from Virginia, Pastor Lucas condemned those who support "murdering innocent pre-born babies" and accused "so-called black leaders" of betraying their own people.Please read the whole thing. I very nearly didn't write that article, because Charles Johnson's LGF attack on me -- and on Steve Green at VodkaPundit -- put me into such a foul mood. Because of Johnson's destructive idiocy, I haven't had a chance to address the big argument over the attendance at the rally until now.
Diversity of opinion was on display everywhere among the vast crowd, generally estimated in excess of 1 million, that gathered on the West Lawn of the Capitol and sprawled for blocks in every direction. . . .
Dan Riehl has tried to address the dispute -- one million? two million? -- with something like objectivity. My friend Barbara Espinosa was the source of the first concrete crowd numbers: 450,000, counted by a people-meter at the intersection of Constitution Avenue and 11th Street, two blocks east of the starting point of the march to the Capitol.
There were many, many late arrivals, and many other attendees who, for one reason or another, decided to skip the parade and just show up in front of the Capitol. I parked in front of St. John's Episcopal Church in the 1500 block of H Street at 11:35 a.m., walked a block to 14th Street and hailed a cab.
The cab driver zigzagged by cross streets east and south, and long before we reached Pennsylvania Avenue, I saw groups of sign-carrying protesters walking toward the Capitol. These people had gotten a late start, or had arrived via the Metro trains which, as Dan Riehl later informed me, were experiencing long delays Saturday.
The sidewalks along Pennsylvania Avenue were very crowded with more protesters who had arrived too late for the march and were making their way toward the Capitol. Also, as we approached the police roadblock, I noticed something: Some people were walking away from the Capitol, even though the events on the stage were scheduled to start soon.
What was going on? The main thing was that there weren't enough portable toilets at the Capitol. By the time I reached the part of the parking lot where the toilets were located, the lines were at least 20 deep. Many of those walking away from the Capitol had decided to walk a few blocks to use the bathrooms at one of the nearby museums.
Also, there didn't seem to be adequate food vending in the Capitol area, and some people were looking for a restaurant where they could sit down and eat.
What I'm getting at is that, throughout the afternoon, there was a continuous process of people leaving and arriving in the main rally area for various reasons. Barbara Espinosa, to cite one example known to me directly, ran down her cell-phone batteries sending photos to Steve Green and left the rally sometime after 2 p.m.
Furthermore, as I noticed when I went down to the police barricade toward the southeast side of the Capitol lawn to try to locate Cynthia Yockey, many people were wandering around on the periphery of rally. Dan Riehl arrived late, and could give an account of how many late arrivals were hindered by jammed inbound roads and the snarled-up Metro system.
All of which is to say that any given photo of the mall, taken at any time during the rally, could not possibly have shown the total crowd that attended the rally over the course of the event. Given the 450,000 number counted along the parade route, I have no problem believing that the total attendance was in excess of 1 million, but beyond that I am unwilling to hazard an estimate.
However, I think the quibbling over numbers misses the point: It was freaking huge, far exceeding any reasonable expectation for a day of overcast weather following Friday's rain in the D.C. area. At PJM, I wrote this:
Yet the 9/12 March on DC wasn't about numbers, except perhaps the trillions of dollars of federal debt heaped upon future taxpayers by the stimulus-and-bailout agenda in Washington and the untold trillions more that ObamaCare might cost.Read the whole thing.
As the rally was winding down and I was walking toward Massachusetts Avenue . . . I spoke to . . . Judith Knapp of Baltimore, who was accompanied by her granddaughter Savannah Jackson, both wearing "American Patriot" T-shirts. Knapp gestured at her teenage granddaughter and said, "I'm not going to put her in debt, that's my point."