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San Francisco | Anti-War

Over 7000 People Protest in San Francisco in Solidarity with the People Uprising in Egypt
by Bill Hackwell ( hckwll [at] yahoo.com )
Saturday Feb 5th, 2011 9:01 PM
As the people of Egypt continue to stand strong against the repression of the Mubarak regime, demonstrations of support for their courage and resistance have broken out around the world.

In San Francisco a coalition of organizations quickly pulled together to call for today's protest. Many organizations from the Arab American community were involved as well as a number of anti war groups including the ANSWER Coalition. An opening rally was followed by a march that went past City Hall and and the Federal Building to draw attention to the the $1.5 billion dollars the US gives to the the Mubarak dictatorship.
§30 years too much
by Bill Hackwell Saturday Feb 5th, 2011 9:01 PM

§Free Egypt
by Bill Hackwell Saturday Feb 5th, 2011 9:01 PM

§The Egyptian National Anthem
by Bill Hackwell Saturday Feb 5th, 2011 9:01 PM

§Better to Die for Something..
by Bill Hackwell Saturday Feb 5th, 2011 9:01 PM

§Stop US Military Aid to Egypt
by Bill Hackwell Saturday Feb 5th, 2011 9:01 PM

§No to the Whole Rotten Regime
by Bill Hackwell Saturday Feb 5th, 2011 9:01 PM

§Large Turnout of Arab Youth
by Bill Hackwell Saturday Feb 5th, 2011 9:01 PM

§Both Big Buisness Parties Supported Mubarak
by Bill Hackwell Saturday Feb 5th, 2011 9:01 PM

§Inspired by the Egyptian People
by Bill Hackwell Saturday Feb 5th, 2011 9:01 PM

§Solidarity with the Egyptian People
by Bill Hackwell Saturday Feb 5th, 2011 9:01 PM

§Marching on Market Street
by Bill Hackwell Saturday Feb 5th, 2011 9:01 PM

§The Egyptian People are not Stopping
by Bill Hackwell Saturday Feb 5th, 2011 9:01 PM

§Egyptians Want Mubarak Out
by Bill Hackwell Saturday Feb 5th, 2011 9:01 PM


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Close Observer
Sunday Feb 6th, 2011 11:08 PM
Yesterday's rally and March (2/5) had a very good turnout . Maybe three times the approx. 500 that had gathered the previous Saturday . So 1500 .
Some disagree and estimate up to 3000. But 7000 ? No way .
A.N.S.W.E.R. deserves props for making this happen . But Please stop your overestimations . You have been called on it many times in the past both by friends and foes . By greatly inflating our numbers you are actually helping our mutual opponents and hurting your otherwise well earned credabilty .

There is one thing that is constant in anti war demonstrations, and that is the larger they are the more disagreement there are about the how many people came out. This goes back to the large demonstrations that emerged leading up to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Not one anti war protest has gone by since then where this has not been a point of contention. Leading up to the war on October 25, 2002 everyone was taken by surprise when there was a massive turnout that ANSWER estimated at between 80-100 thousand. The San Francisco Chronicle said the number was half that despite the fact that so many people were arriving on train that BART had to close several downtown stops from gridlock on the platforms like they had to do this past October for the Giants World Series victory parade.

The comment above this one from “Close Observer” is a total mis characterization of the history that has gone on to make sure that those who demonstrate in the street against war and injustice are accurately counted. The ANSWER Coalition takes this very seriously and does not grab numbers out of mid air. A case in point is the mass anti war demonstration that took place in San Francisco on January 18, 2003. After our experience in October with the struggle for accuracy in the numbers with the Chronicle, and pretty much the rest of the corporate media, we put out an emergency call for funds to rent a helicopter to get an accurate overview of the number of people in the street. Well known photo journalist Peter Maiden was the photographer and when the ANSWER Coalition said after the demonstration that it was over 100,000 and the city and the Chronicle said around 40,000 we were able to show them the photographs and force them to retract their low figure. It is an education to read Peter’s detailed account of how it all unfolded. Here is the link;

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2003/03/01/15789931.php

It was obvious to us that the roll the corporate media was playing was trying to marginalize the impact the anti war movement was having by low balling the numbers.

Although ANSWER has a lot of experience at crowd counting, the figure of 7000 people participating in Saturday’s demonstration was arrived at through a consensus of the groups that organized the demonstration, not just ANSWER. The way this was done was by counting when the demonstration was in the street. Counting the opening rallies are always inaccurate and it can only come close to being accurate when the demonstrators are in a single focus like they are when marching. All marches are different in its density. This demonstration was extremely energized, unified and compact, especially when it hit Mission Street on its way to go past the US Federal Building at 7th and Mission. In the attached photo you can see that the march travelled with approximately 20-25 people abreast when on Mission and Market. Our estimation used that calculation as a basis from the elevated vantage point of the flatbed truck leading the march. The clearest view never included everyone marching, but just before the truck turned onto 7th we got the best possible view looking back towards 8th. There were still people turning onto Mission but that entire block was packed with people. There were easily 300 rows in that block of the march. That is how we came up with 7000 plus people.

How or why “Close Observer” arrived at 1500 is unknown. Perhaps he was so close observing that he was not able to count the forest through the trees.




by Jack
Thursday Feb 10th, 2011 11:08 AM
No doubt the Chron and other capitalist media outlets often greatly underestimate progressive rallies .
But many activists have problems in the past with not only ANSWER but others like Jeff Mackler's '' Math skill's ''.
At one point myself and others would take what the Cops and Capitalist media were claiming then the Rallies organizers numbers and arrive at an estimate midway between them . Perhaps not the most scientific method but it seemed to arrive at a more accurate crowd tally .
by Paul Burton
Thursday Feb 10th, 2011 3:27 PM
I think someone from the stage before the march announced that there were about 2,000 people at the rally. That seemed like an underestimate to me. Once the march got underway it was obvious the crowd was much larger; it stretched for many blocks. I agree with Bill Hackwell's and ANSWER's estimate of close to 7,000, or at least 6,000 as I wrote when I posted my photos:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/02/05/18671320.php

I don't know why the 'close observer' chooses to be anonymous. There are people who may still want to undermine the work that ANSWER does. This demonstration clearly showed the effectiveness of a strong pro-Palestinian advocacy and inclusion of the Arab/Muslim communities in the ANSWER coalition and their actions.