Ron Paul’s Revolution March swept into DC this past weekend, bringing the message of peace, freedom, conspiratorial craziness and Ron Paul to the home stomping grounds of “The Man”. I wasn’t able to attend, having lived in DC for many years and knowing better than to be there in mid-July. I discovered a desperate need to eat barbeque while plotting revolution in the comfort of my pool. But fear not little rebels, I’ve combed the internet for reports from those who did attend and present my summary here for all those lovers of liberty who’d rather fight from their keyboards than in the streets.
By far the best and most balanced report is from David Weigel at Reason online. He’s got photos and videos and some appropriate wry comments based on his experience from other rallies. It’s what I hope I would have written had I been able to go, but about 50% nicer and much more tolerant of the Birchers, crazy fringe types and Naomi Wolf than I would have been.
There is some nice personal coverage from several writers at gather.com, which includes discussion of some of the speeches and of a smaller protest at the Federal Reserve building. They provide a link to the all revolution all the time podnet Revoluton Broadcasting which had live coverage of the march which is still available on their site.
Another informative, if less than impartial, report comes from Marc Gallagher of the Liberty Maven blog. He has some past experience with DC rallies and estimated the turnout at perhaps 2500 people. Other sources suggest it might have been as high as an optimistic 5,000, which is less embarrassing than than the Million Man March, but far less than the 10,000 attendees organizers anticipated. Low but enthusiastic turnout is probably not surprising after Paul’s withdrawal from the race when attentions have turned elsewhere and with Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr not in attendance.
The most amusing coverage is some more or less live blog coverage of Paultardpalooza from the lefties at Wonkette (now featuring 100% less actual Wonkette), who apparently got their staff and some friends to show up and attend in a group by offering copious free alcohol and then let them run wild. Lots of fun snarky comments and the best photos by far of Paul supporters in costume and acting silly, but the actual report is less funny than the buildup and seems to kind of peter out, perhaps from alcohol induced distraction. I suspect they had lots of fun, but they seem to have trouble actually communicating much about the march.
Reports from participants seem to agree that he march was fun for all who attended, with more of the atmosphere of a post-campaign wrap party than a substantive political event. Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party stood out as a speaker and he and his supporters seem to have been particularly prominent. Although the furor of the most intense fringe supporters may have died down a bit, there were still plenty of folks in attendance with crazy slogans and loony agendas in addition to a good, solid core of liberty-loving reformers.
Significantly absent in all of the reports, probably to the secret, vindicating glee of Paul supporters, is any mention of the march at all in the dreaded Corporate Media. They, like the Congressmen and Senators who did not walk the few yards from the Capitol to the rally to be one with the people, have concluded that the movement’s 15 minutes are over and have moved on.