Thousands join "Tea Party" on Fountain Square

Thousands of people crowded Fountain Square Sunday afternoon to protest the Obama administration's stimulus package and budget.  The event, promoted largely through the Internet and talk radio, may have been the largest political protest in Cincinnati since the Vietnam era.

The organizers urged people who were attending to create their own signs, and many did so.  Among the slogans: "The Audacity of Socialism",  "I got a 2nd job, not a bailout", and "Hey Obama, go stimulate yourself".  A sign with pictures of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama said, "Deficits we can believe in."

Police estimated the crowd around five thousand.  Speakers included some of the organizers, along with radio hosts Brian Thomas and Mike McConnell.  There has been a series of "Tea Party" protests around the country, inspired by the Revolutionary-War era "Boston Tea Party" protesting a British tax on tea.   The one in Cincinnati may be the largest so far.

Television reporters and photographers left an area of the protest when a group of hostile people got in their faces, but the event appeared to be generally trouble-free.  One woman with an Obama sign was moving around the edge of the crowd, but no organized counter protest was evident.