Fullerton Tea Party gets 15,000 protestors

KFI’s John and Ken decided to put a little local star power behind the “tea party” tax protest movement in Southern California, and it succeeded beyond all expectations.  As many as 15,000 protesters descended onto sleepy Fullerton to noisily demand an end to tax hikes in California and the nation:

They’re revolting. Families with children, bikers, seniors, pirates – by the thousands they descended on a Fullerton bar Saturday to join talk show hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of KFI in protesting tax increases recently approved in Sacramento.

Police estimated that some 8,000 people came to the Slidebar Café in downtown Fullerton to listen to a three-hour live broadcast of The John & Ken Show.

Some wore buttons. One man brought a bloody effigy head of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and waved it from the end of a pike, while the crowd joined their hosts in a chant of “Repeal, recall, revolt.”

Others directed their outrage at less personal synechdoche: “Total Recall” laser discs, action hero lunchboxes and other memorabilia from the governor’s Hollywood career, which they piled up and smashed with a sledgehammer.

Later estimates pushed the crowd to almost double that estimate, although crowd estimation is a highly inexact science.  What was clear was that thousands of people took time on Saturday to join the protest, and in an area not terribly amenable to that kind of turnout.  I used to live near there, and the area has narrow streets and terrible parking.  In the last decade or so, Fullerton has revitalized that area as a shopping district, but it’s still more adaptable for coffee shops than political protests.

Nor is it easily served by transportation from around Southern California.  KFI reaches a very wide geographic area in LA, throughout the entire basin, and the only freeway passing close by is the 91 Riverside freeway.  The tea party had to create quite a bottleneck.

Fullerton itself is about as controversial as apple pie, not a hotbed of political subversion by any means.  It’s the anti-Berkeley.Hot Air reader Vayapaso lives near that area, and tried to get close to the protest, to no avail.  The crowds were massive even though by that point they had begun to disperse.  It’s an impressive result in any case, but especially for an event planned in this sleepy burb.