WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of demonstrators descended on Capitol Hill Saturday, protesting the expansion of government spending and illustrating the network of conservative activists that has emerged in opposition to President Barack Obama's policies.
Organizers said they believed people from all 50 states came for the "Taxpayer March on Washington." Crowds filled nearly every pocket of open space near the west lawn of the Capitol, many standing and listening without a view of the stage. They marched from Freedom Plaza, adjacent to the White House, as shouts of "U.S.A." echoed through downtown Washington and marchers dressed as colonials banged drums. Some people stayed stranded on Constitution Avenue as the program began near the Capitol, unable to find room to watch the speakers.
A spokesman for D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services estimated the crowd at "in excess of 75,000" people. Local and federal law enforcement authorities don't provide crowd estimates.