Tens of thousands of protesters crowded outside the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, a massive demonstration aimed at stopping what organizers called the over-expansion of the federal government under the Obama administration.
"Hell hath no fury like a taxpayer scorned," declared Andrew Moylan, head of government affairs for the National Taxpayer Union, urging protesters to call their representatives. "You're being ignored today by the media and some politicians."
The crowd -- loud, rambunctious and sprawling -- gathered at the foot of the Capitol after a march along Pennsyvania Avenue from Freedom Plaza. Invocations of God and former President Reagan by an array of speakers drew loud cheers, echoing across the Mall. On a windy, overcast afternoon, hundreds of yellow "Don't Tread on Me" flags flapped in the breeze, mingled with U.S. and Texas state flags.
"We own the dome," the crowd chanted loudly, pointing at the Capitol.
About 30,000 people registered online for the march, according to one of the rally's sponsors, FreedomWorks, a Washington-based group headed by former House majority leader Dick Armey (R-Tex.). FreedomWorks and other sponsors, including Tea Party Patriots and ResistNet, comprise a loose coalition of conservative groups that helped organize several health-care and anti-tax rallies during the spring and summer.
The crowd surrounded the Capitol Reflecting Pool, spilling across Third Street and onto the Mall. The sound system was inadequate to the throng; speakers on stage, at the Capitol's West Front, were too distant to be intelligible to anyone near the edges of the rally.
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