WASHINGTON — After a slow start, Operation American Spring broke even the most optimistic attendance estimates for its Friday morning march on Washington to demand a “constitutional restoration” and the ouster of President Obama, among other leaders.
While some pundits on the left scoffed at initial projections ranging from 10 million to 30 million protestors—the high end of which would account for nearly 10 percent of the entire U.S. population, including children and the infirm—official figures from the National Park Service estimate the crowd’s size to have been roughly 7 billion people strong.
According to Jackie Milton, who heads Texans for Operation American Spring, this statistic does not even count the members who instead traveled to Nevada in support of the cattle rancher Cliven Bundy.
Milton explained that rainy weather may have kept others away initially, but the skies eventually cleared up and people started trickling in. “And it ain’t looking like there’s going to be millions,” said Milton, “[tens of] hundreds [of millions] is more like it.”
The event’s organizer, Army Col. Harry Riley, described the challenging logistics involved with such a large gathering. “Seven billion is roughly the population of the earth, so obviously not everyone will fit around the Capitol Building.
“As a matter of health and safety, we spaced the participants out to ensure our message reaches the four corners of the globe,” said Riley.
One protestor, who was lucky enough to get a courtside view of the event, recounted how he became involved in the American Spring movement.
“Me? No, I’m actually a member of the Obama Administration,” he said. “I was just walking a briefing over to the Senate when I saw about twenty people milling about the [Capitol] steps with protest signs.
“To be honest,” he continued, “I still have no idea what they’re carrying on about. They don’t seem to, either.”
Frank Kaplan, a ranger with the Park Service, reminded protestors to deposit their refuse in the proper receptacle, pointing to a small bin by a souvenir kiosk.
“I’m just grateful for a relaxed weekend on the National Mall,” said Kaplan. “We’re getting a group of high schoolers here next week. They can be a real handful.”