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February 27, 2011
Nationwide labor protest fizzles
Bill Jacobson reports that outside of the big rally in Madison, WI, the Moveon.Org sponsored labor protests across the country fell far short of expectations:
Promoters, such as David Dayen at Firedoglake, were predicting a million-person turnout nationwide. But reports as of 7:00 E.S.T. today make clear that other than in Madison, Wisconsin, the crowds were sparse.If only two people and a dog show up at a left wing protest, it gets front page coverage in the media so it's not surprising that these sparsely attended events would get doting press by the national outlets.
The turnout in Madison was sizable, with estimates ranging over
from 50-70,000, which included protesters bused in from other states. (Dayen is trying to pump the crowd estimate to over 100,000.) But elsewhere, the crowds numbered only in the hundreds or low thousands.
In Washington, D.C., only about 500 people showed up (go to link for good photos of crazy signs). (Note, WaPo says 1000.)
In Columbus, OH, where you would expect a big crowd given a similar controversy, only "several thousand" people protested.
Other head counts, based on news reports, include: Boston (1000), Portsmouth, N.H. (few hundred), Augusta, ME (small crowd), New York City ("several thousand"), Chicago (1000), Miami (100), Austin (several hundred), Chicago (1000); Lansing, MI (2000), Nashville (hundreds), Los Angeles (2000), Richmond, VA (300), Denver (1000); Frankfurt, KY (several hundred), Jefferson City, MO (several hundred), Harrisburg, PA (several hundred).
While I don't have a complete count, based on these numbers from some major cities and labor states, total protesters nationwide (excluding Madison) likely totaled under 100,000 combined.
What's significant, as Jacobson points out, is that few outside of the labor movement participated. There is no wellspring of support for labor on these issues among the general public which should further isolate the protesters and fleebaggers in Wisconsin, Indiana, and anywhere else they try this "run and hide" tactic.