The conservative group FreedomWorks and other Tea Party organizations are preparing for their March on Washington on September 12 as part of the 9/12 Project, a conservative movement Fox News personality Glenn Beck started last year.
Unlike Beck’s recent “Restoring Honor” rally in Washington, D.C., the 9/12 March on Washington is a political movement aimed at garnering support for conservative candidates and rallying the conservative voter base nationwide.
“The general theme [this year] is ‘We Will Remember in November,’” FreedomWorks president and CEO Matt Kibbe told The Daily Caller. “Last year, it was literally almost an open stage where we invited various Tea Party leaders to come up and speak for a couple of minutes. It made that event special because there wasn’t any ‘rock star’ speakers – there was just people.”
Kibbe said the Tea Party’s grassroots leaders from around the country are the focus of the event because they’re the ones on the ground doing all the hard work.
Ana Puig, an immigrant from Brazil and co-chair of Pennsylvania’s Kitchen Table Patriots, said she plans to talk about the similarities between government takeovers in America now and what she witnessed as a child growing up in Latin America.
“What I’m going to lean towards is what’s happening here, under this administration, with the infiltration of the education system, the implementation of class warfare, voter fraud that we witnessed back in 2008 in Minnesota and brainwashing with all channels of communication,” Puig said in a phone interview with TheDC.
Puig, a mother of four, thinks FreedomWorks’ focus on local Tea Party leaders lets local leaders like her showcase their ability to get involved and make a difference.
“If somebody like me can do it [organize a local Tea Party chapter], anybody can do it,” she said. “I’m tired of the excuse of people saying to me, ‘I can’t believe you’re doing this, thank you so much, but I don’t have the time because my kids have soccer.’ Well, guess what? My kids have soccer too.”
Diana Reimer, organizer of Philadelphia’s Tea Party Patriots, an amalgam of eight different and separately run local Tea Party groups, said she’s going to talk about unity.
“As the coordinator for Tea Party Patriots in Philadelphia, I reach out and try to connect with as many groups as possible around Philadelphia, throughout Pennsylvania and beyond,” Reimer said.
Kibbe said FreedomWorks decided to add a little more structure to this year’s 9/12 March on Washington.
“This year, the emphasis is still going to be on the local leaders but we’re going to structure the event a little more specifically around the 10 issues in the Contract FROM America,” Kibbe said.
The Contract FROM America is a creation of Houston-area Tea Partier Ryan Hecker aimed at keeping RINOs, or Republicans in Name Only, and conservative Democrats signed on to Tea Party promises, like protecting the Constitution, cutting spending, lowering taxes and eliminating government-run health care.
Kibbe said FreedomWorks is bringing in some star power this year, though, as a way to connect conservative media, conservative politicians and regular people from around the country.
Already confirmed marquee speakers include conservative media personality Andrew Breitbart, Indiana Republican Congressman Mike Pence and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
Kibbe said he’s still trying to get South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint to speak at the event, but hasn’t heard back from him yet.
Another big-name conservative who will speak at the 9/12 March on Washington is The Rev. C.L. Bryant. Bryant is currently working with FreedomWorks on a documentary, “Runaway Slave”, with the goal of exposing how the left, especially the NAACP, plays the “race card” in order to keep the system the way it is.
Bryant will be opening the day with a “non-denominational gathering.”
“It’s not a Catholic or Baptist or Methodist or Jewish service,” Bryant said. “It’s a non-denominational service where people of faith, or even people who don’t believe, can come and be inspired to march.”
As for crowd size, Brendan Steinhauser, director of Federal and State Campaigns at FreedomWorks, said nobody would be able to make an accurate estimate, mainly because Tea Party groups are run from the bottom up and there’s no way to measure such a large grassroots organization.
“Last year, we were expecting 250,000, but we got way more than that,” Steinhauser said.
Steinhauser added that he expects infiltrators from liberal organizations to try to sabotage the event.
“They’re just going to try to create propaganda to try to use against us,” he said. “My only concern about what Think Progress, the NAACP and Media Matters are doing is I just think the left is pretty devious and they’re going to infiltrate our event to hold up signs to make us look bad. Then, they’re going to point to those people as evidence that the Tea Party movement is being racist or bigoted or anything else.”
If approached by the media on the day of the march, Steinhauser said Tea Partiers should talk to them, but keep to the major points of the Tea Party movement.
“People should tell the media exactly why they’re there and why they’re a part of this movement and what their views are on what’s happening in Washington,” Steinhauser said.