Thousands attend Glenn Beck rally in suburbs

September 18, 2010 9:46:15 PM PDT
A massive rally brought thousands of conservatives and Tea Party supporters together in Chicago's northwest suburbs Saturday night."Right Nation 2010" featured several speakers, but cable news commentator Glenn Beck proved to be the star.

The Sears Center in Hoffman Estates was packed -- just days after Tea Party-supported candidates won primary elections in several states. Organizers say approximately 5,500 people purchased tickets for the event, with prices ranging from $67 to $1,200.

After receiving a standing ovation, Beck told the crowd of thousands to stand up on November 2.

"Will you all raise your right hand and swear you will stop sending politicians to the rest of us," he said. "We must change directions. The kind of change America was looking for was a restoration of our honor, principles, values and the entrepreneurial spirit."

The event featured other speeches from prominent national and Illinois conservatives, including Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady.

"We have to take back our government and energize the system to bring private sector jobs to the state of Illinois," Brady said.

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady's appearance was criticized Saturday by his Democratic opponent, Gov. Pat Quinn.

"I'm not a big fan of Glenn Beck. I believe in folks who put people together, and I think that's what I've done as governor of Illinois," Quinn said.

Noticeably absent at Saturday night's event was Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk, a fact the Libertarian in the race, Mike Labno, was happy to point out.

"He's not a conservative. He's not a Republican. He's not a Libertarian. He's none of the above, and that's what this event is bringing in, is that type of a crowd. So, why should he be here?" Labno said.

The event also drew a sizeable anti-Beck crowd. At one point, protestors clashed with conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, though the confrontation did not escalate beyond words.

Earlier in the day, 150 protestors gathered near the entrance.

"We feel he's spreading a lot of hate and paranoia and fear, and it's not the basic tenets of our faith," said Beck protestor Rev. C.J. Hawking.

Organizers of Right Nation 2010 say it was Beck's first Chicago area speaking appearance.

Members of the news media, including ABC7 Chicago, were told that Beck would not conduct any interviews. In fact, media outlets were only allowed to video record the first three minutes of his remarks.

Bill Brady also did not give interviews Saturday.


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