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Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Missing Anti-War Multitudes

FINAL (I hope) Update: LGF was most informative. In the comments, people gave different estimates and also wrote of the crowd evaporating when the speakers began getting really silly. This is why so many different estimates from first-hand observers are out there. Early on it was larger. Unofficial park ranger estimates come in between 8,000 - 20,000. They also tried analyzing the picture and came up with estimates somewhere around 20,000 to 30,000. Sorry for all the updates - it was driving me crazy to have all those different numbers from people who were there. Here's a guy who is DC police of some sort:
You had about 10K at the peak of the march, and nowhere near that at the rally with the speakers. Toward the end of the speeches, you may have had about a hundred die-hard commies still attending, but no more than that.

Ramsey is BS-ing about the 100K number. We were sued during the last protest, big time. I believe that he is attempting to appease the lefties in order to make a lawsuit for arrests less likely this time around.
But there were a lot more people at the free concert.

Latest Update:
Here's a guy who was there (but not in sympathy). He says it was huge. He has good coverage of the speakers etc, so check his post out:
The massive scale of the rally was an indication of how much angst there is in the country, as well as an indication of how much hatred there is of the Bush Administration with its approval ratings around 40 percent. A head-in-the sand response from Republicans is inadequate. The opposition is very motivated.
Update: CNN quotes the DC police chief as saying that turnout was probably close to 100,000? I keep seeing other people saying there were very few. Maybe they are talking about different demonstrations or sites.
End Update.

Perhaps the truth about the "massive" anti-war protest will never seep into DU's collective mind - especially given the best efforts of reporters thinking wistfully of 60's demonstrations, cheap drugs, lots of skanky sex and no gainful employment. Those were their glory days. But for the rest of us, they weren't great days. We are concentrating on the fact that New Orleans is awash again, gas prices, and that terrorists are on a killing spree in Iraq. Sigmund, Carl and Alfred is right - the average American does not find spin convincing.

DU desperately clings to its illusions:
Not too impressed with the CSPAN coverage so far. I saw Gallaway's speech. That was great.

But, it looks like a little teany gathering from their camera angle right now. And, David Brooks on CSPAN 2? Give me a break.
And a reply:
2. She spoke an hour ago or so and they said there ate about 3000,000 people there! Although you don't see them, they're there
4. CSPAN coverage sucks
I have seen previous rallies covered with multiple cameras in multiple areas....this is a deliberate attempt to make this rally look small and fringe. I am angry, but frankly, not surprised. The media no longer belongs to anyone but their corporate masters.

They (the media) REALLY seem to want this situation to escalate. When people's loud and demanding voices are marginalized and ignored, protest turns into civil disobedience, and civil disobediance leads to direct action.

If there are 20 blocks worth of people, show it!!! Show them in their hundreds of thousands. This one-location fringe speech, no crowd coverage is an insult to the many thousands that came. CSPAN will hear from me.
7. There was a long shot from above on CSPAN 2......earlier. Before they went to Brooks schlepping his book. But it didn't show the huge crowds, it showed all the tents on the lawn and it looked like a po-dunky picnic.

So, I will believe Will Pitt when he says there are huge crowds but we aren't seeing them in our livingrooms.
Will you, now? ABC News:
Opponents of the war in Iraq rallied by the thousands Saturday to demand the return of U.S. troops, staging a day of protest, song and remembrance of the dead in marches through Washington and other cities in the U.S. and Europe.

More than 2,000 people gathered on the Ellipse hours before the showcase demonstration past the White House, the first wave of what organizers said would be the largest Washington rally since the war began. President Bush himself was out of town, monitoring hurricane recovery efforts from Colorado and Texas.
On the second page they note that some trains were delayed as a way to explain the paucity of demonstrators. I think the crowd amounts to 2 or 3 thousand. Ann Althouse takes on AP's coverage, writing "How can that pass for professional journalism?" Using the same metric as that required to write articles promulgating global warming religion, of course. It's the "right" thing to do. AFP reports "thousands" of people demonstrating. The one in London appears to have attracted more people than the one in DC, although only about 10,000, not the 100,000 the organizers had claimed. The Tehran Times appears to accept the 100,000 in London, but even it puts the US number at "thousands".

Even Canada's Globe and Mail seems more skeptical than the effusive AP:
This weekend's protests included a candlelight vigil last evening, along with the main march today and a "peace and justice" festival on the Mall tomorrow. The weekend was picked to coincide with World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings, which are also expected to attract protest groups. Co-mingling the two may add heft and numbers to the anti-war effort.

Ms. Lessin said that among core activist groups, today's demonstrations will represent the high-water mark so far in the campaign against the Iraq war.

She said she expected about 300 family members of serving military personnel, 30 or 40 former U.S. military personnel with service in Iraq, a similar number of "gold star" mothers whose sons were killed in the conflict and perhaps as many as 1,000 veterans from previous wars, including those in Vietnam and the Persian Gulf, as well as from the Second World War.
I expect Tran Sient's Watch and Carl of No Oil For Pacifists to provide us some local blogging coverage. It probably won't be as devotedly florid as the AP story. Carl's will might be something like "I only saw four protesters, and I missed two of them!" TS will probably fisk the press, which deserves it.

What do we really expect from the press? Not much. They have nearly perfected the fine art of reporting no facts with great emotion. Tommy of Striving For Average thinks they have taken this just a little too far - apparently he laughed his way through Rita coverage. How insensitive! How hilarious!

I can't help but think if there thousands and thousands of people there to take pictures of we would have them.

It's sad and troubling that the MSM have managed to get themselves in a position where no one trusts them with anything.
The CNN report I just linked in the update says there were lots of them. Oddly, they quote one man marching who said he doesn't think the troops should be withdrawn right away!

Isn't the plan to slowly withdraw them after the constitution vote and the institution of the formal government anyway?
Good post, MOM. If the people were there, if the opportunity had presented itself to take a stirring photo of massive amounds of people clogging the mall...we would have seen the photo.

I wonder if someone will think to take the photo from 2003 and change the date! LOL

This was a failure. Like Hurricane Rita, the thing was weaker and less impactful than promised.

I sure do wish Drudge would stop putting pictures of Sheehan on his site, I'm just SO tired of seeing her.
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The whole demonstration episode reminds me of The Nutcraker and the lines of toy soldiers (pardon the irony). And the demonstrators about as relevant.

Rarely has their been an assemblage of so many unthing idiots in one place at the same time- with the exception of Berkely, California.
Anchoress, I know what you mean about all the pictures of Sheehan. I don't want to tear into her because of respect for her loss. But it makes it hard. What bothers me the most about this dynamic is that it is the decent people who are restrained by their ethics, while those without those principles are using her.

Somewhere in all this there is a lesson, but I don't know what it is.

SC&A, it was mostly an assemblage of the camera hounds (the speakers) and the thrill-seekers. The list of speakers up at Gateway Pundit was quite extraordinary.
You know, I thought these folks were anti-military and not just anti-war. Guess they really do support the military. Why, they are even using the latest in camouflage and stealth technology. Heck, they have blended right in with the background (or is that the Book crowd that came to see Mrs. Bush, et. al.).
The whole exercise on the ellipse is simply a recruitment campaign for various leftist fringe groups on the extreme margin of society. Most are harmless, but groups like ANSWER and organizers like Brian Becker do need monitoring by the FBI.

A lot of graybeards reliving their lost youth out in the crowd.
Joated, The Mossad must have used its secret weapon - the crowd obscuring ray.

Dave, yeah. Some of the speakers were relics.
Three work colleagues, each of whom rode the Washington Metro Saturday between 10:30 and noon, said (based on clothing and protest signs) about 2/3rd of the subway riders were bound for the Book Fair, not the burning book fest.
Carl, that sounds awfully reassuring for some reason.
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