UPDATE: Twelve protesters were arrested outside Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office.
Also, see some of the shocking and offensive signs at the protest HERE.
* * * * *
UPDATE:Thousands arrived to rail against health care reform on Capitol Hill Thursday.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) shook hands among the protesters.
"This is too great," he said.
Outside, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) led crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance -- which he said drives the liberals crazy.
Akin apparently botched the actual pledge.
At noon, NBC News reported police estimated that there were 3,000 to 3,500 protesters. Matthew Yglesias has some pictures.
* * * * *
Rep. Michele Bachmman (R-Minn.) has told supporters to try to scare her colleagues into voting against health care reform at a protest Thursday, Politico reports.
"Nothing scares members of Congress more than freedom-loving Americans," she said in a conference call with bloggers and activists Wednesday night. She urged reform opponents to confront lawmakers with video cameras. "I think that will absolutely scare these members of Congress so much that Pelosi will not get the votes and it will kill the bill."
On a Tuesday Fox News appearance, Bachmann described the protest as her "Super Bowl of freedom."
But Bachmann has been having trouble rallying a sizable crowd for the event. A preparatory "attack" on Congress via email, phone and fax appears to have barely been noticed by the enemy.
Meanwhile, rallies in favor of the public option are being organized in New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta.