Found a spot in the edge of a long white tent on the east side of the Capitol, where I could see the screen on this lousy computer. Tent may have been used a few days prior for something, don’t know. As it was, it was a handy cool spot.
Several people came by looking for a trash can, suggested they put trash in one corner of the tent. Zero trash left on grounds by Tea Party protesters (compared: considerable trash where the Immigration rally was held later).
Lots of people stopped by to just talk.
Why might it be that we seem to have a next generation that’s got it pretty well figured out?
The “Pro Health care” people started to come in. One stopped to talk a bit – a guy from some lesbian/gay group who had dual canadian and US citizenship. He was touting the wonders of the canadian system, but seemed to not understand how in the canadian system the central government pays about 30% of the health care bill to the providences, which then are on their own. So unlike the States, the Canadian provinces can go broke on health care, but not the State. Then he started talking about how he “Used to support Chavez, but doesn’t anymore”. Oh, and “Bush was a Fascist”. And “it was never really Communism, what they had in China”. Enough of that.
Seems like the “pro health care” people, they try to wear orange caps or orange shirts. A young twenties and teens bunch largely. Mostly printed signs, but a few are home made. Stark contrast with Tea Party signs, which are all home made.
Cheering every time the Congressmen come onto the balcony, some Congressmen held up one letter each to form “Kill the bill”. The crowd is chanting kill the bill, too. If tne immigration or Pro Obamacare groups are trying to chant something, it can’t be heard.
Some Democrat reps came to the balcony with a sign that said “Listen to Americans”. It said Democratic, so that was a cue for that part of the now mixed crowd to start their thing. Sort of a low level song with someone leading it. But the Tea Party groups did not shout them down.
More guys with suits drifting around. Congressmen are easy to identify, typical media-friendly white shirt blue tie or other garb. Another plain clothes guy, distinctive cop shoes. A reporter with a a helper, sending content to Europe – big camera, two guys in suits following them, talking German. A guy running for Congress from Missouri stops by. Fellow in a cowboy hat proudly tells his story of shooting the finger at Pelosi as she walked away with four Secret Service agents surrounding her, Family with bible quote poster comes up, wants to give their interpretation of events.
Now the pro immigration people are coming in and walking through the crowds. Some angry talk from their side, some agitation. Lots of brown faces led and pointed which direction to go by a couple of anglo white guys.
But some of the groups of immigration protesters were led by hispanics, too. Oddly, though, they were all tightly organized into groups of about 30:
Maybe they were bussed in and each group was one busload?
East entrance to Capital, groups are lined up on opposing sides. The right side of the street, a line of “Catholics for Health Care Now” blue identical signs, maybe 150 people.
The left side of street, 1000-3000 Tea Party protesters are visible from this corner. Total this weekend likely 30K+, yesterday after the main group dispersed we say 3 crowds easily 5k+ each by numerical estimate.
The group with preprinted “Catholics for Health Care Reform” do zombie chant on cue. Several Demoncratic reps used this line for photo ops, including Barney Frank. Cameramen following by some prearrangement.
Tea Party cheer each time a Rep comes out on the balcony and signals a thumb up or down. But this is procedural vote and the rumour is they have the votes to pass it.
Plain cloths agents in the crowd, leave their radios on speaker. Perhaps 75 capital police deployed this area. Crowds look polite, some jeering and a few insults. Lots of insults when Barney Frank went by.
At 4:38, the crowd disperses and it’s more quiet. Rumor is that they are going to vote around midnight. I read into that, possibly wrongly, that nobody wants to be the deciding vote. 4:53 and all day on Clif’s Energy Bars, time to take a break.
Update: Yes, in the dead of night, approaching midnight, they bought off the remaining few holdouts to allow passing the bill.