By HUMA KHAN, ABC News
As Tea Party activists and other conservatives began converging on Washington, D.C., today for Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally, the war of words between liberals and conservatives continued to broil.
At the National Mall, plans were under way for the rally that’s expected to attract more than 100,000 people. Security was beefed up amid concerns of a clash because Beck’s rally coincides with the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s speech, to be commemorated by various marches and rallies.
Beck has shunned criticism from some civil rights leaders that holding his rally on this historic day tarnishes King’s legacy. The conservative commentator has said the rally will be non-political, but for many attendees, it’s all about politics.
Nancy and Tom Mistele came from Wisconsin to attend Beck’s rally and events surrounding it. The two say they came because they haven’t earned a paycheck since 2006 and are afraid that Americans are losing their freedom and their country.
“I believe slowly, our rights are being taken away little by little,” Tom Mistele said. “A lot of it’s already been lost, but it’s not lost permanently. We can get it back.”
Cody Smith, an 18-year-old high school student from Indiana, believes passionately that the U.S. government should be stopped from moving toward socialism.
“We’re here because we think our nation needs to get back to the principles of liberty that our founders gave us,” he said. The rally is “going to be just historic. It’s going to be us standing up and showing people that we’re not the racist bigots that the media portrays us to be but that we love freedom, we love people and we want to show people that freedom is really the best way to go.”
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