Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I was at the 10th Amendment Rally in Richmond

I was at the 10th Amendment Rally yesterday in Capitol Square. As usual, conservative bloggers who weren't there are making up attendance numbers, throwing out numbers like 1,000 and 2,000 (the number seems to double every time you hear it again). I'd say that the real number was somewhere in the neighborhood of 500-600.

Honestly, there were so many police officers mixed into the crowd to prevent any outbreak of violence that it seemed like a tenth of the crowd were policemen who didn't look happy at having to be there. There were also many people like myself, covering the event but emphatically not a part of it.

Then too, there were the passers-by. The protesters jammed themselves against one of the gates to Capitol Square and apparently counted everyone who came through that gate as members of their group, even though most were not. Notable among these were a group of pro-gun control protesters wearing Virginia Tech colors and shirts and signs calling for the closing of the gun show loophole--but they came through the gate, so they were no doubt counted as 10th Amendment protesters.

Now, to give the devil his due, the 10th Amendment people were by far the largest group of protesters (really, they were 19 groups cooperating with each other to make a bigger splash), but the simple fact is that there were nowhere near 1,000 people--let alone 2,000--in that group.

A final factor to consider was the overall makeup of the crowd. Let's just say that the average Virginian would not want to be represented by this crowd of militia men, neo-confederates, and wackos of various stripes. They did not make a good impression or win converts.

1 comment:

Sailorcurt said...

I was there too and I'd estimate the crowd at somewhere between 800 and 1,000. You also have to consider that there were plenty of people inside the GA building lobbying during the rally with different groups that would consider themselves supporters of the "10th amendment" group as well.

As far as the "whacko's" charge...yes, there were some "colorful" people there...just like you see at every rally, but overall the crowd was made up of normal, everyday people.

Heck, you posted two pictures on your own blog post, The people in them look pretty normal to me.

I'd think you would have been able to come up with at least one picture portraying this large number of whackos you claim was there.

Your perspective (and the resulting conclusions you presnt in your post) are undoubtedly just as colored by your own pre-conceptions and stereotypes as anyone else's. Everyone has their biases and there's no doubt that your report is colored by yours.