Much of this already compiled by David Weigel.
Rodney Hart at The Herald Whig:
Quincy Tea Party members wanted President Barack Obama to know they were present Wednesday afternoon during his appearance in Quincy.
About 200 people protesting Obama’s policies loudly chanted “USA, USA” as his motorcade made its way out of the Oakley-Lindsay Center, then sang “Hey, hey, hey, goodbye” as the vehicle went by.
The participants were vocal but well-behaved as they stood on the north side of York Street across from the OLC.
“Having the president come is really something,” organizer Steve McQueen said. “But we do not agree with all the policies of Obama and the current Congress, and we wanted to make sure he knows we are here.”
The crowd carried signs with messages ranging from “Give Us Liberty Not Debt” to yellow flags saying “Don’t Tread On Me.”
Urged on by people with megaphones, the crowd shouted slogans, among them “Remember in November” and “You work for us.”
Tea party groups protest government spending and policies infringing on personal freedoms. The Quincy Tea Party had a well-attended rally in Washington Park last fall.
“We’ve always been respectful and acted with dignity,” McQueen said. “We are out to make our case and make it peacefully.”
There were a few tense moments when the crowd moved west down York toward Third Street after the president’s motorcade arrived. A Secret Service agent asked the crowd to move back across the street to the north side.
When the crowd didn’t move and began singing “God Bless, America” and the national anthem, Quincy Deputy Police Chief Ron Dreyer called for members of the Mobile Field Force to walk up the street.
The officers, mainly from Metro East departments near St. Louis and dressed in full body armor, marched from the east and stood on the south side of York facing the protesters.
There was no physical contact, and the officers did not come close to the crowd, but there were catcalls and more than a few upset tea party members, including a woman who shouted, “This is communism!”
McQueen also assisted in asking people to step back to the north side of York. The crowd moved back, the officers stayed for about 15 minutes and left, and there were no other incidents.
“It’s just a communication issue. We were trying to get them to move across the street,” Quincy Deputy Police Chief Curt Kelty said. “We were just trying to move them back, they complied, and it was fine.”
Several of the Quincy Tea Party members thanked Kelty as they left the area.
Jim Hoft at Big Government:
The SWAT Team was called in today at the Quincy Tea Party Rally. Obama was speaking at the convention center this afternoon.
Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin’s place:
No word yet on how many crimes were carried out in town while the police were being ordered to monitor this seething cauldron of Tea Party rage, but it was a small price to pay to keep the area secure.
More pics and a video of the riot cops — including a very small geared-up officer that leads me to believe it might have been “take your SWAT kid to work day” — can be found here.
Meredith Jessup at Townhall:
Quincy, Ill., Tea Party protest convened this afternoon as President Barack Obama spoke at the nearby convention center. Things got SO out of hand, the SWAT team was called in for crowd control. Check out some of the horrifying images from the riot, via GatewayPundit:
In the background, in full riot gear… probably feeling pretty silly…
Reports from the scene are that the rowdy tea party group broke out into song with a spontaneous rendition of ‘God Bless America.’ Good thing they had tear gas on hand in case things got out of control…
This isn’t a SWAT team, actually, just local cops in riot gear, but it is the first time I’ve ever seen police in armor do a jaunty little parade down the street when responding to an event. I assure you, when the NYPD rolls up in helmets and shields, they’re all business.
The cops were there for only 15 minutes but that was long enough for comedy gold. If you think the video’s funny, wait until you see Gateway Pundit’s photos. Calling all cars: Be on the lookout for an insurrectionist with blue hair…
You’ll see these photos again, with or without the story of “SWAT teams” battling back average Americans. (It’s very important, for some reason, that Hoft point out that most of the protesters were elderly white women.) If tea partyers want to oppose actual police state SWAT tactics, though — and not just make overheated arguments about the looming “communism” of Barack Obama — I’d point them to the work of Radley Balko.