Hundreds of Thousands of Peaceful Demonstrators - And David Brooks

For once, the New York Times gets it right: HUNDREDS of thousands, not tens of thousands (as the AP story and anyone who picked it up would have you believe), marched against the Republicans today in Manhattan. It was a horribly hot day, and for hours the march barely seemed to move, but the vitality and creativity of the anti-RNC demonstration was amazing. I'll get some pictures up soon. The march was also extraordinarily peaceful -- apart from the burning green dragon that held things up for an hour. I have to give some credit to the NYPD; in Chicago, for a march not one-twentieth this size, you'd see the streets lined with cops in full riot gear. Here they were mostly in their regular uniforms and relatively unobtrusive. The single unpleasant moment we had with the police was when I tried to film Michael Moore speaking and a police officer told us rather nastily that we had to keep moving. Strangely, he was speaking to a small crowd in a cordoned-off area of Seventh Avenue, and everyone else was supposed to keep moving past on the sidewalk.

At the end, the march organizers were saying there were 400,000 people.

At the corner of 22nd and 7th, we ran into David Brooks. Yes, THE David Brooks. We hailed him with loud "David!" and he turned and we asked "Are you voting for Bush?" He said "You expect me to answer that in this crowd?" and scurried away. I guess that's our answer.

P.S. To the eagle-eyed fellow protester who noticed when my watch flew off my wrist and landed on the ground: you will never read this, but you have my undying gratitude.


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