Monday, April 03, 2006

Ya Think?

A few months ago this space featured an article regarding the importance of obtaining accurate rally counts, as a way to foster legitimacy, amongst others. Well, seems like the Los Angeles Times has taken notice of the need for accurate numbers:
There is no question that last Saturday's immigration march in downtown Los Angeles was massive.

But were there 500,000 protesters?

No one knows for sure.

The Los Angeles Police Department estimated the crowd at about half a million at its high point, after officers in a helicopter made a guess about the density of the crowd.

"It's not an exact science," said LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon. "They didn't use any kind of grid system. It's just an estimate."

Organizers, meanwhile, insist that 1.3 million people attended, and they vowed to prove it.

Engineers volunteering their time have obtained aerial photographs of the march from Spanish-language television networks and are studying them, said Nativo Lopez, president of the Mexican American Political Assn. They should have results in a couple of weeks, he said.

It all underscores the fact that measuring the turnout at protests and other organized public events has become a controversial issue in recent years. Experts say there are scientific ways to gauge crowd size using complex grids, aerial photos, density ratios and flow analysis.
I'm tellin' ya, people, we've gotta start employing counting methods that are effective. The grid/video method mentioned in our previous article (two-thirds down the page) is an easy and excellent way to count march participants.

My friends, we've got to start counting NOW.

1 comment:

Adriana Quinones said...


I participated in the march and the approximate number is not even close. I can estimate that there were 1.5 to 1.9 million participants.

Many of us started early at 7:30am and as many of us were leaving there were many others coming after us. This was through out the day.

This was the most amazing experience ever! people were focused, energetic, positive and we truly became one community. We all agree that all of us in this country are immigrants. The only non immigrants are the Native Americans. The rest of us came 1-10 generations later.

My biggest dissapointed was with the Democratic Party, we should have been completely visible. If the Republicans would have been there, many of the new citizens would have switch. We have to stop taking the minority vote for granted. We also need to stand up for those less fortunate--the Democratic "new way"--voice your opinion an be physically present!

It's time for us democrats to get off our butts and do something and not just talk about the republicans. We are our worst enemy! We are known to be "wimpy" it's time to let people know we have character and determination.

We need to get rid of the democrats with "old" ideas and get new democrats in office. Boxer, Feinstein and all the other leaders should have been there!