April 15, 2009

CHECK OUT PJTV for lots of Tea Party coverage today. Current live stream is here.

Also, lots of stuff via Twitter.

UPDATE: Reader Jay Brinker sends this cellphone pic from Cincinnati:

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And here’s another pic from reader J. Binik-Thomas who writes: “Vine street closed. Fountain square full. Estimate 4000-4500.” People are still arriving.

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Reader Steven Pelton writes from Rochester:

This morning at 11:00, I took my toddler daughter to our local tea party behind the federal building in downtown Rochester. There had to have been at least 500 people at 11, but I had to leave early (lunch time for the toddler, you know). Maybe 500-700, but people were still coming when we were leaving.

A few Paulicans (“America is a surveillance state”, etc.), a few evangelists, but everyone was very nice, helpful (especially to a guy with a bulky stroller), and upbeat. Sorry I’m not sending any pictures. The one thing I forgot was the camera. Hopefully someone will send them on soon. It’s still going on, so hopefully any later reports have the numbers at much bigger than 500-700.

Stay tuned. And reader James Woolery writes from Napa:

I took the first two hours of my work day off as vacation so I could go to the Tea Party in downtown Napa before heading into the hospital in Vallejo to do consultations.

There were about 200 protesters at the gathering, which was quiet and good-natured. People assembled on Main Street downtown in front of the office of Mike Thompson, our local US Congressman, a Democrat. (He did not seem to be in at the time!) There were people of all ages, but the majority appeared to be boomers. Being a veteran of anti-Vietnam War protests in my youth, it was striking to witness the tone of this gathering, which was peaceful in the extreme, entirely moderate (the most raucous expression of protest was a guy beating on a drum in a sort of Revolutionary War tattoo!)…

There were no counter-protesters or agents provocateurs.

I was suprised and encouraged that there were as many as 200 people in the Napa Valley who would attend a gathering like this.

Many who drove down Main Street past the protesters honked in support!

I asked a woman who took a photo of the whole group to forward it to you; I’m not certain that will happen, but I hope so.

Word will get out. Plus, pics from Harrisburg, PA via Roger Baumgartner.

And a reader who prefers anonymity writes from Louisville:

I just got back from the Louisville Tea Party – what a great time. Approximately 1,000 – 1,500 participants, tons of signs, kids, veterans, moms, etc. who braved cold temperatures to express their 1st Amendment rights in downtown Louisville. The speakers were impassioned, educated on the issues, and explicitly non-partisan (“This is NOT a Democrat or Republican thing! This is an American thing!”). Three local news vans on site, and a visit from Newsweek’s Howard Fineman – who came away impressed, I think, by some of the speakers. Our local organizer and her husband are political newbies and did a fantastic job planning the rally – music, speakers, logistics, etc. went off without a hitch. No violence, no political confrontations, just fed-up Kentuckians and Hoosiers venting a little bit.

Yeah, it’s freezing here, too. Where’s my #@#$ global warming when I need it?

Reader Thomas Kubilius reports from Pittsburgh:

I just got back from the Pittsburgh Tea Party Protest in Market Square in Pittsburgh.

I saw 2,000-3,000 of the most well behaved protestors you could imagine. Except for the signs, you’d think it was a charity event. I saw one police officer, and he was just making sure that traffic moved through the square in an orderly fashion. They had Tea Party staff walking the crowd to keep things orderly, but all I saw was a polite, attentive crowd.

A couple of young girls from a hair dresser’s school nearby stopped to heckle for all of 2 minutes. After some shouting back and forth, they moved on. Money says that’s the part that makes the news, as that was the only time I saw anything that looked like a TV camera.

More when I have time. But here’s a pic from Austin, TX courtesy of reader Chris Stacy, who reports: “This is the earlier of two tea parties scheduled in Austin today. I’d put the crowd in excess of 1000.”

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