Jason Epperson of Spring Garden Township believes one of the photos he took Saturday of the Tea Party Protest in Washington, D.C., really sums up the event.

Most of the photo depicts a vast crowd, with hoisted flags and homemade protest signs stretching off into the distance. Along the right edge of the picture, you can see their purpose in standing at that particular spot -- a row of portable toilets.

Even the bathroom lines represented a vast multitude, Epperson said. The event as a whole was nothing short of enormous.

"It was jam-packed," he said.

The Associated Press reported that tens of thousands of people showed up for the protest to speak out on issues ranging from the administration's health care reform plan to government spending to gun control.

Epperson said he didn't go out there to protest any single issue. He just feels that it's been a long time since the federal government has really listened to the people, and it's time to put that right.

"I don't like Democrats, and I don't like Republicans very much either," said Epperson, a registered Republican who plans to change his party affiliation to Independent. "I basically feel like both of the parties are pretty much focused on whatever it takes to get elected."

That doesn't surprise Chuck Kennedy, a political science professor at Penn State York. Kennedy doesn't regard the Tea Party protesters as a movement united behind a single issue so much as a loosely knit assemblage of people with a wide range of grievances.


"It's just people who need to vent their frustrations," he said. "It's what democracy's all about."

Epperson said he tried to get to a similar protest in Harrisburg in April but ended up missing most of it. When he heard about the one in D.C., he figured it was close enough. So he went with his wife, Kimberley, their 2-year-old daughter and their 2-month-old son.

It was a nice day, he said. He was pleased to discover that his fellow protesters were a friendly bunch. His family enjoyed checking out the many flags and signs, some of which were he said were pretty funny.

Late in the afternoon, his kids started getting a bit restless, so the family went home. As far as Epperson is concerned, it's all about the kids anyway.

"I want a future for my children," Epperson said. "I want a nation that still has liberty and still has freedom."

Also of interest
- In York County and beyond, politics has produced rages through the ages. Read more at York Town Square blog.