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March 23, 2003

300-400,000 March in NYC

I thought I'd post this report to the National Lawyers Guild lists from my buddy Steve, who I did legal observing with all yesterday:

I was one of the many many Legal Observers the City Chapter had out on the streets for the United for Peace march yesterday. My team were the very last people in the march. Out side of the outrageous police presence and behavior the demo was very pleasant. Although the march started exactly on time at noon, we did not start moving until one and a half hours later. At that point the march filled the streets from side to side from Washington Sq. to 42 nd street. That is over 50 blocks. The NYC police officially give 7,000 as the number of people it takes to fill an average block. It was crowded. That adds up to at least 350,000 people on the street at the exact moment. There were more all day.

Tellingly there was very little major media there. The news coverage was quite interesting. The 500 "support our troops" demo got at least equal time. Today there was a counter demo at Times Sq. Media claims of attendance near 200. Pretty good considering the local major media had been advertising for it heavily.

As usual the Legal Observers and People's Law Collective members were excellent!

Just thought you might like to know, since you won't hear it in the "liberal media".

As to why protests still matter, this article from the UK Guardian: "Peaceniks lost the war but changed the shape of battle" emphasizes how the fear of feeding even greater numbers to antiwar protests, here and abroad, has restrained Rumfeld and company.

Posted by Nathan at March 23, 2003 05:04 PM

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