WASHINGTON — Glenn Beck’s supporters started boarding buses days ago in cities as far from the nation’s capital as Sacramento, Salt Lake City and Houston.
Heading east for a grass-roots show of force on Saturday, they will join the conservative icon for a rally that he says is aimed at “restoring honor” to a troubled nation.
“People are upset with the direction of the country,” says Patti Weaver, head of the Pittsburgh Tea Party, who is bringing 900 people on 16 buses to the event at the Lincoln Memorial. The rally will “continue to unite people who are upset with our government. … We can take our country back.”
Beck has been criticized by civil rights groups such as the National Urban League for holding the rally at the site of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech on racial equality and on its 47th anniversary. The Fox News and radio talk-show host insists that his rally is about supporting the nation’s troops — not about politics.
He has instructed his followers not to bring signs, and in a post on his website this week he chastised those who he says are trying to “label this a gathering of hatemonger’s.”