I am proud to have been a part of the March on DC on September 12th. Those "tens of thousands" were actually hundreds of thousands...by some reports even over a million.
We knew it was going to be big when we got to the Metro station to catch a train to the Capital. A passing 'blue' line, taking the longer north route passed us by and it was packed like a can of tuna with people holding their signs. My 'yellow' line train required a change and it was all we could do to squeeze in. One poor guy who got out on an earlier stop managed to get his body out of the crowded train, but his arm got stuck in the door, so he had to leave his bag behind.
Exiting the Metro was interesting. We had to shuffle along because there were simply too many people. Everyone was polite and orderly...not exactly an 'angry mob'. Once up the escalator, we exited the station and were shocked. Even though we were there an hour before the march was due to start, we discovered that they had to start it earlier because there simply wasn't enough room for all of the people.
When we joined the march, people already filled up and down Pennsylvania Avenue(a mile's worth) and into the Capital lawn. There were people of all ages, from infants to elderly, and abilities, from severely handicapped to fit military (not in uniform) there to protest excessive government spending and intervention into our lives.
I would describe the mood as jubilant, not angry. We all seemed to be glad that we weren't the only ones feeling betrayed by our government. I must confess that we weren't the best 'protesters', as we weren't very good at chanting. However, when someone started singing the national anthem, the crowd did a fine rendition, and those sitting stood and sang as well.
I would say that 80% of the signs were directed against our government as a whole, not just Obama, and for the most part were in good taste. I would guess that less than 5% were borderline tasteful, but I saw none that crossed the line. Most of the signs were hand-made and not pre-printed. Deficit spending was the major concern, along with a US shift towards socialism, especially with Health Care.
I met people from all across the country who traveled on their own nickel (as I did) to attend. Several I met flew in from CA, and the couple in front of me drove non-stop from TX. There was a man wearing a surgeon's coat that I met while waiting for a porta-toilet. He was trying to find someone from each state to sign his coat. By 11am, when we met, he'd already filled up most of his coat with signatures. I heard that 450 buses were chartered, which means that about 23,000 people came by bus. The rest of us, the vast majority, came there on our own. I don't think it gets any more grass roots than that.
While most people I met were republican or independant, I did meet some democrats. There were some people of color, but frankly not many I am sad to say. A black man walked against the crowd in the march taunting us with, "white hoods for $2". He just didn't get it that this movement has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with liberty. His and mine.
I imagine the politicians were shocked at the size of the crowd. Here's a link to some photos. Hopefully our efforts will not be in vain.