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Author Topic: Toronto march!
swirrlygrrl
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posted 15 February 2003 06:06 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Couldn't just add to the other thread for some reason, so here goes!

Just got back from the TO march, and it was truly great. Estimates from the organizers said 80,000 people - which surprised and amazed the hell out of me (I'd heard dour estimates of 10,000 in advance). Met so many great people (and ran into a friend from U of A who now lives in TO!), laughed at some great signs, and left filled with energy and hope (I'm really cynical, FYI - this doesn't often happen).

It was just such a cross section of Canada - white, brown, black, asian, young, old, raging grannies and radical cheerleaders, high school students and yuppie couples in matching jackets, and on and on. Just being in the midst of all these people, so different, united by the need to fight for peace and justice, I couldn't help but feel we might be able to win, and maybe join together for other things too. It was highly worth the numb toes, and I wish I could bottle what I am feeling now and save it for another time when I know I'll be frustrated and bitter about the possibility of achieving victory.

My regrets? I missed Jack Layton speaking, as he was apparently the first one up, and I was at about Queen street when he was on. Also, the lack of a visible NDP presence - we have to work on this! I saw a CPC banner, got offered at least 2 or 3 different Maxist Leninist publications, saw dozens of SI signs - and none from us. Sad, and I'm going to remember that for next time, when I'll bring my N.D.Peace sign and hold it proudly. And that at times the rallies at the start and end of the event split into those who wanted to hear the speakers, and those who wanted to drum and dance - groups that didn't mix too much it seemed, and split for the most part along the lines of age.

How was everyone else's experiences?


From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 15 February 2003 08:13 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The CBC article says there were 25,000 people, but who knows about numbers. This also grossed me out:

quote:
Patricia Persovsky attended the Toronto rally wearing a sign reading, "May God Bless America – 9-11 was the smoking gun boys." She said Canada should back the United States in its war on terrorism.

"And I'd like to know where the naturalized Canadian citizens are – the ones that gloriously holiday in Vegas, Florida, North Carolina…they enjoy America's Disneyland – why am I the only one here with a sign?" Persovsky demanded to know.

She said she's ashamed of Canadians and the Canadian government for not supporting the United States.



From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
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posted 15 February 2003 08:37 PM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, I missed Patricia, but I did run into Dawna Matrix! I was impressed by the diversity of the group. People of all ages and from all sorts of different groups. There were lots of families with little kids. Such a pleasant atmosphere. Didn't hang around too long for the speeches. I figured they'd be pretty predictable. I agree with what writer said in some other thread about that. I'd rather see some of the smaller groups within the demonstration doing doing their own presentations/ street theater/ busking/ whatever.
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disobedient
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posted 15 February 2003 10:29 PM      Profile for disobedient     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I was there and it was quite possibly one of the greatest events I've ever taken part in. I didn't see Patricia and as far as I'm concerned, she can go screw herself.
From: Ontario | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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posted 15 February 2003 10:54 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I guess there's no point in filing a complaint about the police department's "system" for estimating the size of demonstrations?
From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
speechpoet
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posted 15 February 2003 10:55 PM      Profile for speechpoet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I didn't see Patricia and as far as I'm concerned, she can go screw herself.

Ms. Persovsky's entitled to her opinion. What I want to know is, if she was in fact "the only one here with a sign," why did she merit three paragraphs in the story?


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disobedient
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posted 15 February 2003 11:15 PM      Profile for disobedient     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I never said she wasn't entitled to her opinion. I also believe I'm entitled to mine. But you know what they say, "Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one."
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artemisia
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posted 15 February 2003 11:32 PM      Profile for artemisia     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Was at the march with disobedient. It was an intense experience, indeed. I was so happy that everything went off smoothly, and the total numbers from around the world just blew my mind. A good day and a good loud collective shout of the negative.
From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
HighBreath
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posted 15 February 2003 11:45 PM      Profile for HighBreath     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The rally was a very positive experience for me. I was very impressed with the number of people that attended the rally and the effort that they put in for the protest. Many people were very creative with their placards.

btw, i was glad the protest was held at 1 pm, the sun was very shiny then. It wasn't very cold at the beginnign of the rally, but i felt a drop of temperature in just a few hours after it started.

[ 15 February 2003: Message edited by: HighBreath ]


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artemisia
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posted 15 February 2003 11:47 PM      Profile for artemisia     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hehehe yes, standing on the ice in Dundas square was certainly a foot numbing, albeit a heart rousing activity, or lack thereof. I was glad to get moving on the march and warm myself up. Also glad of the smiles I saw all around me, and the sun on my face.
From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Jacqueline Drouin
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posted 15 February 2003 11:48 PM      Profile for Jacqueline Drouin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I am frustrated that they are covering the march in T.O. as having only 10,000 people. I think 80,000 might be a bit high - but more than 50,000 for sure.

At one point, the march filled Dundas Street from Yonge to University, and University Avenue from Dundas to Queen, and Queen St. from Uni. to John.

Yes, march had reached the MuchMUsic/CHUM/CityTV Building when the last protestors were leaving Yonge and Dundas.

There is no way only 10,000 people - the same amount as fit on the Convocation Hall field (jan 18th - last peace rally, at U of T) could have stretched so far, and filled the whole street!


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artemisia
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posted 15 February 2003 11:51 PM      Profile for artemisia     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I totally agree. I'd have to say somewhere between 30,000 to 60,000 in my humble estimate. Walking past the Atrium on Bay and watching the reflections of the crowds behind and before us just boggled the mind.
From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
globerg
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posted 15 February 2003 11:57 PM      Profile for globerg     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry, but for us long-term activists who have seen the smallest and largest of demos, from Vietnam to Solidarnoisc to solidarity and Quebec, there were 100,000 in Toronto Today. I'm an old timer and I spoke to other old timers who have been demonstrating forever it seems.

Organizers say 80,000 I say 100,000 so ...let's agree to 90,000 - after all it's better than the fucking media's 10-25,000.

It was great, wonderful and now lets spend our time on preparing for the next activity and event.

By the way, I'm keeping a spreadsheet of every demo in the world from every site I can find, right now at 10:55pm without most of Canada, Washington, and the West Coast's numbers in, I have 14,822,260 demonstrators World Wide.


From: Toronto | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
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posted 15 February 2003 11:59 PM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I was right up by the front, and at Queen st. I climbed up on that statue to look back. People were still turning at Dundas. That is a LOT of people.

BTW, all those policepersons on bikes with their yellow jackets who were doing traffic management seemed nice. I was fairly close to them. Did anyone notice when we passed the American Consulate the officers there projected a somewhat different karma?

[ 16 February 2003: Message edited by: oldgoat ]


From: The 10th circle | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
radiorahim
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posted 16 February 2003 12:40 AM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The CBC keeps quoting 10,000 which is way low.

The annual Labour Day march in Toronto is typically 20-30,000 and that includes floats, vehicles and folks are spread out much thinner.

This march was packed much tighter...it was at least 50,000...I would think 100,000 would be to high...the Days of Action rally was about that size and it definitely was larger.


From: a Micro$oft-free computer | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
writer
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posted 16 February 2003 01:05 PM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Toronto Star says 80,000 turned up for the city's peace demonstration yesterday.
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radiorahim
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posted 16 February 2003 03:29 PM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Globe and Mail is also repeating this ridiculous 10,000 number for Toronto

They also mention:

Montreal 100,000
Ottawa 2,000+
Quebec City 3,000 (police estimate)
Edmonton 12,000
Halifax 1,000-1,500
Meadow Lake, SK 45


Globe & Mail: Canadians join protest against war in Iraq


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rasmus
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posted 16 February 2003 03:40 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Although in the article I wrote about the last anti-war march in Toronto I used what I thought was CTV's overestimate of 15,000, normally I don't overestimate. That being said -- this one was easily way bigger than the last one. 50,000 at least, and 80,000 doesn't sound royally overblown to me. I rushed from Dundas Square to the head of the march at Metro Square, and when this was about half full, when Jack was speaking, I left and saw that people were still streaming onto University from Dundas St., winding their way down Dundas, along Queen, down John. The crowd was dense on the street, not strung out like last time. A lot of people weren't sticking around at Metro Square -- they were leaving as soon as they got there. The subways were full of people who had been at the march, even as the march was still working its way down University. So I think 80,000 is a fair number. 10,000 is totally absurd.
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Kindred
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posted 16 February 2003 04:21 PM      Profile for Kindred     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
When it comes to any media reports you have to remember who butters their bread - its advertising, big business, big money, the far right for the most part. I always loved landing the BIG accounts because it meant I could squeeze in a labour or NGO ad or 2 at a discounted rate. I drove my editors mad saying 'too late I already offered them that rate ' ....

While surfing the news shows last night I was struck by 2 things, the lack of reports on TO. Shaw Cable news had NOTHING about the marches on their scrolling news channel, it was like it didnt happen - even CBC didnt have a lot on Canadian marches. Except Montreal. CNCB and CNN people looked stunned !!

Again and par for the course I heard a lot of "we fought the second world war and won freedom for those people in Canada which they enjoy thanks to us and they would be smart to remember that" From CNN to the Americans shopping in Vancouver the message was the same "we won your freedom for you". Yah right but I think the world sent a pretty loud message to the US.


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radiorahim
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posted 16 February 2003 05:11 PM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This deliberate underestimation of the Toronto numbers by alot of the media seems kinda weird!

Toronto Sun

National Post

CTV says 30,000

CTV News

Cable Pulse 24 says 10-50,000

Pulse 24


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Jacob Two-Two
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posted 16 February 2003 05:28 PM      Profile for Jacob Two-Two     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What's weird about it? It's just the way the media does business. To make a moderately successful protest seem irrelevant you only have to underestimate a little. A protest like this you have to underestimate a lot.

The problem is that there are 80 000 people in TO who are well aware how many people were there and will be appalled at the fudged numbers and not shy about saying so. I think the truth will get around.


From: There is but one Gord and Moolah is his profit | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
swallow
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posted 16 February 2003 06:42 PM      Profile for swallow     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Normally i ignore the numbers game, but the Toronto Star did report the 80,000 figure in the deck of their banner front-page headline. I think the media is not so much deliberately underestimating, as accepting the police estimates in a rather typical lazy-reporter fashion. After all, most media did not have a crowd-counter out there. But the numbers are not really what matters anyway, it's the incredible energy and the fact that the day was too big to ignore that really matters.
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HighBreath
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posted 16 February 2003 06:55 PM      Profile for HighBreath     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The numbers are not really what matters to the protestors. But for many people, especially those that are against war but didn't attend the protest, who didn't attend the march, a more accruate protrayal of the people in the protest will show how strong the opposition for war really is.
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Polunatic
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posted 16 February 2003 07:42 PM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Toronto demo was a huge success. It felt good, looked good and certainly had record crowds. Congratulations to the organizers for a job well done.

[ 19 February 2003: Message edited by: Non-partisan partisan ]


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radiorahim
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posted 16 February 2003 09:05 PM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I fully expect "numbers games" to be played by the media.

What I find strange is that the "estimate" most of the media are using of the Toronto demo is so obviously out of whack with the actual numbers.

Having said that...yes it was a great demo!


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dale
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posted 17 February 2003 03:41 PM      Profile for dale        Edit/Delete Post
Here's my theory on why CBC under estimated the TO protest numbers.

Step 1: Some shithead with tape recorder and a notepad wrote a story before anyone else did, citing the 10,000 figure.

Step 2: This story is first one picked up by the Canadian Press news wire.

Step 3: Mutants in CBC newsroom too lazy to clarify numbers in aforementioned Canadian Press news wire story.

See how easy "news" is fabricated?

dale


From: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Kindred
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posted 17 February 2003 03:49 PM      Profile for Kindred     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Having worked as a journalist I can tell you "money talks" and its the ONLY thing that matters. Journalists are told what to write so they dont piss off the heavy hitters - a demonstration against the US government is seen as a threat to export and market access, its that simple. For most reporters it is easier and safer to print the numbers they were given then to worry about the truth.
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Mimichekele2
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posted 17 February 2003 04:17 PM      Profile for Mimichekele2        Edit/Delete Post
The Globe and Mail reported 80,000 in Toronto. I have the newspaper open right in front of me a few inches from the computer keyboard.

Before people here accuse the media of distorting their reports, maybe THEY should check their facts.

Kindred: I also worked in the media and still have many contacts there. You are distorting things. I doubt very much you EVER worked in any newsroom. What you describe is simply untrue. It is called libelling an entire profession.

[ 17 February 2003: Message edited by: Mimichekele2 ]


From: More lawyers, fewer bricks! | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
sistersanta
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posted 17 February 2003 04:43 PM      Profile for sistersanta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The Globe and Mail reported 80,000 in Toronto. I have the newspaper open right in front of me a few inches from the computer keyboard.

Perhaps they only corrected the mistake in the print edition.

This story in the Globe and Mailthey clearly mention 10,000 protestors at the Toronto march.


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Mimichekele2
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posted 17 February 2003 04:49 PM      Profile for Mimichekele2        Edit/Delete Post
a) it is a "breaking news" story - not a final story

b) the slug or date info is Feb 15 (the Globe URLs include the date of publication)

c) it is a CP story - someone at the news agency headquarters gathers information streaming in from stringers and correspondents of CP press bureaus and Broadcast News bureaus (CP's radio network) from across Canada and compiles the article

The linked article is not a final report. The article in this morning's paper is the final report. That's the major difference. One is breaking news, the other isn't.

If you go to the Globe Web site now it states 80,000.

quote:
In Toronto, protests in November against war drew an estimated 5,000; in January, 18,000. Estimates this weekend suggest more than 80,000 demonstrators paraded peacefully from downtown past the U.S. consulate.

It is not a "mistake" that they had to correct. That is what breaking news is about - it is coverage of the event as it is happening. They might initially have done a rough count of 10,000 or so, perhaps by counting the crowd where the speeches were made. Then, as the event progresses, the crowd size evaluation changed.

That's what highly professional breaking news on the Internet is supposed to provide: changes to the coverage as the event unfolds.

Before we criticize the media, we should understand how it operates in practice, not in some highly abstract theoretical way based on stereotypes ("journalists following orders from their moneyed masters")

[ 17 February 2003: Message edited by: Mimichekele2 ]


From: More lawyers, fewer bricks! | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
dale
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posted 17 February 2003 07:55 PM      Profile for dale        Edit/Delete Post
Well Mimichekele2, can you use your wisdom to explain why CBC is still reporting 10,000.

Me, I think their breaking news is still broken.

dale


From: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mimichekele2
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posted 18 February 2003 11:50 AM      Profile for Mimichekele2        Edit/Delete Post
It's not called wisdom dale, it's called verifying your facts. If the anti-intervention movement wants to preserve and augment its credibility now that it is gaining momentum, it has to always have its facts straight.

The CBC radio reports I heard reported "in the tens of thousands", not 10,000. Pick up the phone and ask them.

[ 18 February 2003: Message edited by: Mimichekele2 ]


From: More lawyers, fewer bricks! | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
debbied
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posted 18 February 2003 08:54 PM      Profile for debbied     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Not only do we debate numbers back and forth, now we're arguing newsroom practices and which print media said what.

People showed up inspite of the cold, the energy was great, we're building momentum, it was a success. Enough already!


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
radiorahim
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posted 19 February 2003 08:50 PM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Globe and Mail seems to have done an update and are now running with the 80,000 number for Toronto but earlier they were parrotting the 10,000 number which I assume came from Canadian Press.

The CBC was running the 10,000 number all day on Saturday. I listened to a number of CBC Radio newscasts that day and they kept repeating that number. Who knows why they did this...could have just been an understaffed newsroom on a weekend given all the budget cuts...and no one around to update the reports.

Whatever the case...a great demo and anyone who was there knows it...and worldwide the demos have had a big impact on the powers that be. Tony Blair ...the weakest link in the Bush regime's war plans is seriously squirming.


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dale
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posted 22 February 2003 12:07 PM      Profile for dale        Edit/Delete Post

[ 22 February 2003: Message edited by: dale ]


From: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged

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