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My count: 6,850

Marc Fisher reports:

Call it a success, call it a failure, call it what you will, today's anti-Iraq war rally, drew a cheerful and pleasant crowd of 6,850. I counted the marchers who joined the rally from its start point at Lafayette Park and passed through the narrowest choke point on the parade route, the corner of 15th street and New York Ave., N.W.

Because the crowd had to pass through a line of security bollards, this is the easiest point on any protest route at which to gain an accurate count. The march took 28 minutes to pass this point.

The rally is now continuing along Pennsylvania Ave., heading for the Capitol. Police are serving only to block off streets for the march, but have not engaged with the crowd at any point. Unlike the young, activist crowd that assembled early in the day, the overall mix of people as the march moves through the city is a better blend of families and people of all ages.

It is an overwhelmingly white crowd, given to chants and songs such as "Give Peace A Chance." As the crowd
passes the John A. Wilson Building, they have spread across the avenue, holding signs such as "Liars, Murderers and Thieves," "Save Iraqi Lives," and "Save Iraq-Impeach AIPAC."

By Aruna Jain |  September 15, 2007; 2:52 PM ET
Previous: Speakers at Lafayette Park | Next: Live from the Mall: Why Huge Crowds Didn't Show Up


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I guess people are just sick of beating their head against the wall. I've been to antiIraqWar rallies that have drawn much bigger crowds but with a lot less media attention. I attended one right before the war started (January?) that was completely ignored by the media and there were 10's of thousands of people there.

Posted by: Barbara | September 15, 2007 3:04 PM

People need to remember this Administration outright lied about Iraq being a part of the Assault on 9/11.
Bush was after the OIL" in Iraq and could care less about Saddam and the Iraqi people. We the people need to remember the United States Invaded another Country for the very first time in our history and against our very own United States Constitution. We invaded with aggression and occupation just to Steal another Countrys Resources.

Posted by: lobear00 | September 15, 2007 3:04 PM

Thanks Marc,
The number seems low as an outside observer out here in Seattle, but at least you gave us a description of your methodology to arrive at that number. Fair enough. However, it appears you're only counting the people who actually marched and passed the set of bollards you described. No mention was given of other people who may have attended the RALLY at Lafayette Park but not marched. Semantics, yes perhaps, but a MARCH and a RALLY are not specifically the same thing.
Also, no number was given for the number of counter-demonstrators.
Good work over-all. Hope some of it makes it into Sunday's edition, provided it passes the conservative slant of your editors.

Posted by: Kendall | September 15, 2007 3:09 PM

Ah- forgot to add,
as the January and March '07 marches demonstrated, not everyone follows the prescribed "route" - thus your tally would not include these individuals, either.

Posted by: Kendall | September 15, 2007 3:14 PM

When Bush and Company along with the Republican Media Corporations apply the old saying" OUT OF SIGHT" OUT OF MIND, the American people are kept in the dark! So much for having blinders on. And as long as the American people are kept in the dark this administration can continue commiting all Atrocties possible, under the umbrella of protecting the American people.
The one thing this Administration and the Congress (both sides) have forgotten is none of these people are god" they are however a Disgrace to all Humanity.

Posted by: lobear00 | September 15, 2007 3:18 PM

Quite right--certainly there were some hundreds who did not march from the gathering point at Lafayette Park. And some hundreds more joined the march as it moved through the city. A count of a crowd moving past a stationery point is vastly more accurate than attempts to count a large clot of people spread around an expansive space. So take the count of people at the start of the march, add some hundreds of your choice, and you get a sense of how many folks were on hand.

Posted by: Fisher | September 15, 2007 3:19 PM

Marc, thanks for the coverage. After listening to speeches for an hour (1 PM), I got tired of waiting for the march to begin. So, I instead marched out of there to enjoy the nice weather elsewhere. I wasn't the only one who chose to leave early, at 12:35 some folks began caling for the march to begin and I followed others out a short little later.

Posted by: Matt, DC | September 15, 2007 3:19 PM

What about numbers for the counter-protest?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2007 3:27 PM

Any word on how many protesters were turned away on charter buses?

Posted by: Pentimenti | September 15, 2007 3:52 PM

Will there be a Photo Werks--or whatever the Washington Post is calling its photo gallery these days--of the event?

Posted by: Loomis | September 15, 2007 3:59 PM




Posted by: darson1 | September 15, 2007 4:25 PM



Posted by: darson1 | September 15, 2007 4:27 PM


Posted by: Uncle Sam | September 15, 2007 4:34 PM

No mention of "Gathering of Eagles"...what was there numbers? Let's not be one sided - on I forgot..your the Washington Post.

God Bless America and our troops. Failure is not an option. I cannot believe that any red blooded American can even breathe the word DEFEAT. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards.

Posted by: Loadmaster | September 15, 2007 4:42 PM

wtf are you talking about? I just got back from protest outside congress (I did the rally and the march) and there were at least 20,000 people in the crowd. It was huge. And "give peace a chance?" I didn't hear that once. This isn't the 60s so quit trying to portray this movement as the same as that one.

Posted by: A Gibbs | September 15, 2007 4:44 PM

Loadmaster, you're a bit late to the station. The jingo-train pulled out 45 minutes ago.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2007 5:04 PM

I just got back from the March. There were a lot of people who joined the march en-route to the Capitol building. At first, most of the lawn of the Capitol building was covered with protesters The end of the route was made a bit confusing by the barricade system of chain-link fencing that crossed the area leading up to the lawn.

We started to sit down/lie down on the lawn and begin the protest when a phalanx of police officers clad in riot gear proceeded down the capitol steps. Police on bicycles followed behind. A number of people concerned with potential job loss in the face of arrest made their apologies and hurried off-site.

I can tell you why the rally wasn't attended by millions of protesters: Reason one, the Post 9/11 Patriot act laws make it easier for our government to arrest and detain people in the name of "the war on terror". Hearing about the mistreatment received by protesters in New York a few years ago, I'm sure made a few people hesitate before coming to DC.

Second reason; if you have to work 2 or 3 jobs to pay off student loans, like many of us are, you probably don't have the weekend off, and you can't really afford to lose the jobs you have.

Posted by: johnego | September 15, 2007 6:39 PM

I marched past the point you were counting from... and while what you are saying about the physical counting makes sense... there were tens of thousands of people at the protest. Not a million, but tens of thousands - I could see over 6800 people at any given time.

As more pictures and accounts from the protest filter in, the "count" will become more clear - but it is always disappointing to see major newspapers, especially one so great as the WPost, skew numbers and downplay turnouts to events such as these.

As far as the Gathering Eagles, there were very few - maybe 150-200?? And they were pretty pathetic.

Posted by: Alisha | September 15, 2007 7:50 PM

Mark: Why 6,850? Why not 6,851 or 6,666? You are making up your number and pretending it to be reality. Any one who was there knows there were tens of thousands of people there. Why lie about such a thing? Only explanation: you are biased.

Posted by: CM | September 15, 2007 8:25 PM


Posted by: Arlington, VA | September 15, 2007 9:19 PM

Answer--a national joke. Nothing more need be said about them.

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