Operation American Spring, the mass D.C. rally aiming to force several top government officials — including the president — to resign, spent a portion of its first day at the capital assuring people tuning into its livestream that more people are on the way. The protest's lead organizer, Harry Riley, promised 10 million to 30 million people would show up for his event; Friday's crowd appeared to be in the dozens to hundreds.
"Where you at?" one guy yelled at the live stream, adding, "We're HERE." A woman stepped up to the camera and assured viewers that a number of rally participants were stuck in "camps," because of the floods caused by today's rain.
This, understandably, has caused a lot of schadenfreude among those who might not care too much for militia-style anti-government groups — the organizers set expectations for this rally astronomically high, and their turnout was even worse than we thought it was going to be. Weirdly, the only people who might understand how the Operation American Spring people my feel right now — virtually everyone who trekked to D.C. is a true believer, to be sure — might be the early Occupy Wall Street organizers who were there on the first day of the protests in 2011. They, too, had a crowd of just hundreds at first, after advertising a mass rally for months. But Occupy, at least temporarily, became something bigger. There are no signs at this point that Operation American Spring will become something too. One of the Texas-based organizers for the protest put it this way to the Washington Times: "This is a very poor turnout. It ain’t no millions. And it ain’t looking like there’s going to be millions. Hundreds is more like it.”