Saturday, August 05, 2006

Adding it up

I was not there in London today (although I was protesting in Cambridge's market square and helping organise tomorrow's Hiroshima memorial day too) so I have absolutely no idea how many were protesting.

Anthony Gormley's 'The field'Indymedia tell me two people were arrested sitting down outside Downing Street (here), now it's gone upto seven (here) Reuters tells me there were mass protests all round the world - particularly the Middle East - and that in London "Police said around 15,000 people were marching but organisers put the number at more than 100,000." (here)

Some people think that "100,000 is a cautious estimate by STWC" (here) because the StWC are well known for their caution when it comes to estimating numbers of protesters. Others outragiously believe that organisers of demonstrations puff the numbers attending - but of course these people are nothing but lackies of Mossad, or something, I expect.

My personal formula - which is excedingly scientific if you please, is that I take the organiser's number, average it with the police estimate, and then compare it with what I reckon. This would make about 60,000 which is very, very good.

The other little issue is around what kind of demonstration was it. I well rememeber the enormous 1.5 million demo on Feb 15th three years ago.
One of the most boring days of my life. Standing around in streets so packed you can't move for hours on end. Other (much smaller) demos have been full of fighting spirit, or hostile to the left, or like a massive stroll before a picnic. The demographics of age, ethnicity, class composition are also often very interesting.

I've heard some complain about the slogan "We are all Hezbollah" which I suppose is factually inaccurate. I'd be interested to hear of any eye witnesses to the demo - what you thought about its size, politics and how it actually felt to be there.

Demo Pics: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and the BBC report

Spotted slogans: "Yo Blair, Go Blair" Respect, "We're all Hizbollah" (who?), "Stop global warring" Green Party, "LEBANON" Stop the war coalition, "Killed by Blair" home made, "Blair agent for US/Israel" homemade, "Israel and Hezbollah stop now" homemade, "Bring the war criminals to justice" British Muslim Initiative, "End British Complicity" homemade, "Bush, Blair, Olmert - terrorists, liars, thieves" homemade

Link: Important news linked slightly to the issue of the post Disillusioned kid raises the issue of Israeli refusniks and anti-war movement - a vital component part of the fight against the Israel war machine.


icedmocha said...

hey!! im confusd abt the actual size of the demonstration 2day 2. There wer loads of ppl. Not the 100,000 as stated nor the 15,000. I reckon there must have been @least 35-40,000. If u wanna no how the day went..feel free 2 chek my blog out as i was there.

badmatthew said...

I wasn't there either, instead I was going ooh at the beautiful South Shropshire hills on a very good shuttle service. The completely scientific way with the numbers is to double the police estimate ( 30,000, but the BBC quoted them as saying 20,000)and halve the organisers (50,000), giving 40,000 (or 45,000 is you take BBC version).