March 22, 2003 Anti-War March

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I got back a little while ago from the big march from Times Square to Washington Square Park. It took over two hours to march the whole route, once it finally started moving around 1 or so. The crowd has huge, with each block quite crowded. Given that it was at least 30 blocks of people marching for hours, and typical estimates are 1000-1500 people/block, that's in the 100,000-250,000 range.

We marched in a group including ACT UP, Housing Works, Church Ladies for Choice, and an ad-hoc group assembled a few days ago of queer activists with the working title "Flaunting Peace".

More photos may be found here.

Some favorite chants and signs:

  • How many persons/gallon?

  • Respect Democracy, Don't "Install" It

  • How did our oil get under their sand?

  • "... a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind" -- Declaration of Independence

  • No Iraqi children in my gas tank

  • Who's pro-life now?

  • Pretzels for Peace

  • This was is so heteronormative

  • Baby Bombers 'R US

  • 48 Hours / Leave the White House (chant that rose around Washington Square

The ACLU/NYCLU was handing out a good flyer with "Know your rights while demonstrating." Here is a PDF of it. After seeing cops on March 21 in Times Square telling people they couldn't walk on the sidewalk while carrying anti-war signs but were required to go into the holding pens set up with barricades, it's a good flyer to keep around.

Here is a good article from Reuters on the protests.

I just looked at CNN's web site. Is this balance?

Americans demonstrate for, against war 100,000 gather in Manhattan

Saturday, March 22, 2003 Posted: 3:29 PM EST (2029 GMT)

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Supporters and opponents of the ongoing U.S.-led military campaign in Iraq took to the streets Saturday in cities across the United States.


I also hate the way all of the coverage -- including NY1 and CNN -- spend a lot of time talking about how nice it is that there was so little violence. Hello? They think that the people opposed to the war are the violent ones? NY1 also kept reminding viewers that the permit said the march would end at 4, but there were thousands still marching down Broadway, so "it should get interesting." Are they hoping the riot police (there were a lot around Washington Square) would give them some interesting footage?

On TV CNN also contrasted the anti-war demonstrations with smaller "support our troops" demonstrations near various bases around the country. It's offensive to say that anti-war people are showing hatred for our troops. No wonder CNN was expelled by the Iraqis as a "propaganda tool of the government."

See also: James's account.