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March 21, 2003

7-10,000 NYC Protesters Last Night

I spent five hours last night in miserable rain doing legal observing for the protests at Times Square, where we had something like 7,000 folks protesting (on the conservative side of estimates) and surrounding areas.

Quite amazing since it was freezing rain the whole time. The police were pretty damn bad, penning folks up as usual in metal cages, pushing them around and so on.

The twist last night was when people wanted to leave to march on the sidewalks down to Washington Square park, the police would not let them out of the pens-- they let only ten at a time leave every minute or two in order to break the numbers and encourage folks to drift off rather than march.

But the numbers were a good sign for what will be large numbers on Saturday.

BTW the media reports on the rally in New York City are just bizarre with lowball numbers on attendance. Some mention that two blocks of broadway were filled. (Also here). Anyone who has been in Times Square should recognize that it takes thousands of people to fill two blocks of Broadway.

Although shockingly, the New York Times got the number about right- "Chanting 'Peace Now,' some 5,000 people demonstrated in Times Square in New York." Apparently, the Associated Press was down at Union Square and their feed on NYC numbers are the ones being picked up.

Update: Finally, a decent report on the NYC protests from the Village Voice.

Posted by Nathan at March 21, 2003 11:06 AM

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