Thousands of Americans opposed to waging war in Iraq rallied on Saturday in several cities demanding the White House back down and give U.N. weapons inspectors a chance. Photo by Molly Riley/Reuters
Well, the anti-war protests that descended on Washington and other cities around the country and the world are over, and most seem to have been a success, assuming you count success as few injuries, few arrests, and being really friggin’ big.
Protest organizers in D.C. put the numbers at 500,000 people, a number almost surely inflated somewhat. D.C. cops refused to estimate the size, but Metropolitan Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said it was bigger than the march in October, which most people have put at around 100,000 people. “It’s one of the biggest ones we’ve had, certainly in recent times,” he said.
And the Washington Post described it as “the largest anti-war demonstration here since the Vietnam era.” Alas, President Bush was in Camp David this weekend and Congress was not in session, so none of the powers that be saw the protesters. As he did while at Yale, Bush seems be missing out on all the anti-war fun.
“I don’t remember debates. I don’t think we spent a lot of time debating it. Maybe we did, but I don’t remember.” — On discussions of the Vietnam War when Bush was an undergraduate at Yale, Washington Post, July 27, 1999
What’s good about this protest is the major media haven’t ignored it as many charged after the last major rally in October. In addition to the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Post, ABC News, CNN and MSNBC, a quick search on google revealed more than 1,000 stories. (A fair number were duplicates of AP and Reuters stories, but still…) Not surprisingly, Fox News was not prominent among the media outlets covering the protests. In fact, from my brief survey, only it and the Times didn’t feature the protest prominently on the front page of their Web sites. (At least the Times had a link to it, however. Fox made me search for it. For shame.)