In Washington at the famous Lincoln memorial tens of thousands of Americans gathered in a conservative show of strength ahead of the forthcoming congressional elections.
Many were members of the Tea Party a grassroots conservative movement seeking lower taxes.
The organiser was right wing talk show host, Glenn Beck with patriotism top of the main speaker’s agenda the former Vice President candidate, Sarah Palin
“With pride in the red, white and blue, with gratitude to our men and women in uniform lets stand together. Lets stand with honour. Lets restore America. God bless you and God bless America,” she said.
Civil rights leaders criticised the organisers for holding the rally at the Lincoln Memorial,where Martin Luther King Jr made his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech 47 years ago to the day. But it was government policy on the minds of the demonstrators as a teacher, Charles H. Dunn explained.
“Government that we feel is out of control, that is too big and getting bigger by the day creating great debt that we all must burden, not only out generation but future generations. We want to see that stopped, we want to see that trend reversed,” he stressed.
Civil rights leaders staged a rival rally nearby to honour Martin Luther King and what many consider the greatest of all civil rights speeches.
“We come because the dream had not been achieved. We made a lot of progress, but we still have a long way to go,” Reverend Al Sharpton the organiser told the crowd.
They marched to the site of a proposed memorial to Dr King, not far from the Lincoln Memorial.Both demonstrations passed off peacefully with no clashes between the protesters.