Update 5:45pm Eastern. Here’s the AP’s dispatch mentioning some of the arrests of demonstrators who jumped the fence at the base of the Capitol. We were up the steps in the middle of the crazies who started barking “Fascism!” when the police took away the fence-jumpers.
Update 5:00pm Eastern. Well, they came, they spewed, they cursed. Several thousand Soros marchers descended on the Capitol yelling “Fuck Bush” and “Fuck you” at Gold Star Families. As Capitol Hill police arrested the “die-in” participants, young peaceniks shouted “What does a pig look like? The Capitol police” and “Oink! Oink! Oink.” Others shrieked about “Fascism!” and gleefully performed “Sieg Heil” salutes. We’ll have video from the midst of the moonbats. Across from Taft Park, some anti-American demonstrators waving a large, upside-down American flag and pulling a coffin with Army boots got in a scuffle with Eagles. We’ll have that video of that as well.
It’s difficult to make any crowd estimates at this point. The Eagles were spread all along the protest/counterprotest route. From our vantage point, the Eagles were several thousand strong. And many will be back tomorrow and throughout the week lobbying on Capitol Hill. As Col. Harry Riley told me just now:
“We’re not going away.”
Update 3:17pm Eastern. I’m hearing that the peaceniks are throwing eggs at the Eagles.
Naturally, by the way, the Yahoo! News photo gallery is full of anti-war protest photos, but none I see so far from the Walter Reed Freeper/Eagle rally last night or the Eagles’ gathering this morning.
Update 3:15pm Eastern. The Associated Press gives the moonbats top billing in this piece on the protests today. Here’s the brief mention of the Eagles:
About 13 blocks away, nearly 1,000 counter-protesters gathered near the Washington Monument, frequently erupting in chants of “U-S-A” and waving American flags.
They planned to line both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue to confront anti-war protesters as they marched by and follow them to the Capitol.
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson, speaking from a stage to crowds clad in camouflage, American flag bandanas and Harley Davidson jackets, said he wanted to send three messages.
“Congress, quit playing games with our troops. Terrorists, we will find you and kill you,” he said. “And to our troops, we’re here for you, and we support you.”
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., made a surprise visit to the counter-protest, which was organized by the group Gathering of Eagles. The group was created this year by veterans who wanted to challenge war protesters.
“We’re a people of faith, courage and fidelity,” said Hunter, a 2008 presidential candidate. “It’s for this generation that we will win this war on terror.”
There are counter-protesters spread everywhere along the route, FYI. Still no sign of the ANSWER crowd here at the Capitol yet.
Update 2:15pm Eastern. Hanging with the Eagles at the foot of the Capitol. No sign of the Pinkos and the Answeristas, but there were still MORE young leftists cruising on their Segways.
Update 1:40pm Eastern. A few photos up at Victory Caucus.
Update: 1:30pm Eastern. I’ve just finished interviewing several Gold Star parents who are here to ensure that their children’s names are not used and exploited by the ANSWER thugs preparing to hold a “die-in” at the base of the Capitol. The ANSWER mob is on its way here from the White House. They’ll be marching some 25 blocks to get here. The Eagles have thanked Capitol Hill police all along the route. There have been only a sprinkling of moonbats along the way. The weirdest sight so far:
Anti-war activists riding around on Segways in groups of 5 or 6.
Soros Segways, perhaps?
Update 10:35am Eastern. The anti-Cindy Sheehans are here! Blue Star mom Deborah Johns: “Cindy Sheehan doesn’t speak for me. She has never spoken for me. And she will never speak for me! We are winning this war. Now let our troops finish their job!…We are not going to let the domestic enemies at home defeat us like they did [during the Vietnam War.]…No retreat, no surrender. Not now. Not ever!…We are not 50 red states or blue states. We are the United States of America…These colors don’t run.”
Debbie Lee, mother of the first Navy SEAL killed in Iraq, Mark A. Lee, speaks. Describing her son’s heroism. “You can’t ‘take’ someone’s life who gives it…and Mark willingly gave his life….God redeployed Mark to heaven.”
Singer Diana Nagy performs.
9:45am. The Gathering of Eagles are on Madison Ave. and 7th in front of the Capitol. Melanie Morgan of Move America Foward and Kristinn Taylor of FreeRepublic.com have just addressed a growing crowd. A priest ends his invocation: “Surrender is not a word in our vocabulary.”
Larry Bailey and Chris Hill of Gathering of Eagles have welcomed the activists. Hill: “What happened in Vietnam will not happen to this generation.” Hill mentions a 9/11 survivor who brought a large American flag flying on stage. “That’s what we fight for.”
Hill pumping up the crowd: “All across the country people are yelling at the television sets when they see Code Pink. They are looking for us. Yell loud enough so they can hear us. Yell loud enough so our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan can hear us.” Crowd is chanting: “USA, USA, USA!”
“It’s time for us to yell back…We’re not taking it anymore.”
Pete Hegseth of Vets for Freedom:
“I figured I’d seize this opportunity to quote a man best known for his $400 haircut. He claims there are two Americas in this country. For once, he’s right. There are two Americas…on display here today.
One America here today to desecreate our war memorials…those who want to retreat from the battlefield teeming with Islamic extremists
On the other hand, there are those who are here to defend our memorials, who understand the threat we face. This America. Our America…We cannot let a bunch of sign-waving, slogan-chanting protesters…speak for us.”
Hegseth mentions the MoveOn.org ad. “Stand up to the voices of defeat and retreat….As an infantryman who fought over there, I understand the difficulties…al Qaeda has drawn the line in the sand…I understand that Gen. Petraeus is working with American soldiers, brave Iraqis, to turn the tide in Iraq…Americans are saying, ‘We want victory.'”
“History will judge us not by when we leave, but by what we leave behind…Tell Congress to have as much courage on Capitol Hill as our soldiers have on the front lines.”
Brad Blakeman of the newly-created Freedom’s Watch now addressing the crowd. “Message to Code Pink: There’s a new sheriff in town and we plan to be around a long time.”
Military of the Order of Purple Heart commander Henry Cook on stage welcoming the crowd.
Popular singer Lloyd Marcus performs, “Remember 9/11.”