Her chagrin at the press coverage and the varying crowd counts (and in Chicago, because the potential high was smaller than it ought to have been, the variance was exaggerated), but to chime in with the ones I heard:
My best frame of reference is rock concerts. By that count, I'd say somewhere in the 5 or 6 thousand range is most accurate.
It was a bit surreal at the beginning. The speakers at the start of the rally were encamped in a 7-Eleven parking lot with a faltering audio system. But the crowd was in good, if chilly, spirits. Once we got moving, it was more tolerable (some wags in the crowd recognised this would be the case, chanting "We're Cold, Let's March! We're Cold, Let's March" during the warmup.
Beyond that, a palliative effect of the march was that the business along the strip of Devon were probably recovered by the rush of customers escaping the cold after the trudge down the avenue. We knew the business were open but in a lull - as the waiters of restaurants stood in the windows and shopkeepers watched from their doorways. Usually Devon is bustling on the weekends with people doing their shopping and families (and yes, outsiders) getting together. But during the march, it was eerily quiet, without the usual mess of traffic and parking, just people.
The warhorse of a slogan regarding "No Blood for Oil" was a bit too used. For some portions, at least, the saner call for allowing sanctions to continue to isolate a dictator, was present. But nuanced concerns about what to do, what is right to do, and how far to accelerate doing those things that need to be done, are difficult to chant...
I've said it before, and Anne has already cited it, but if our current administration could admit that there are multiple points of view on the big issues, and that those multiple points of view - and the fact that they even exists - has a value that out nation ostensibly desires to bring to the world, I would be much reassured about out goals.Posted by esinclai at February 17, 2003 09:49 AM |