[LINK] CNN on Melbourne's and other peace marches
Sun, 16 Feb 2003 13:39:49 +1100
CNN has a page on the various big protest marches around the world:
Their page on the Melbourne march quotes the numbers as "At least
150,000". This is more realistic than "tens of thousands" which really
does not do justice to the huge number of people who were there:
CNN reports the 150,000 is a "police estimate".
I was at the anti-Vietnam war moratoriums and they were huge crowds, but
this was bigger, I am sure. It was not possible from the ground to see
the entire extent of the crowd. The last marchers passed the Town Hall
at 7:20 PM, and the rally began at 5PM, with I guess the march beginning
at 5:40 PM. I wished I had a higher vantage point, and yesterday
talked to a friend who looked out over the whole crowd from a window at
his workplace several floors up in Swanston St. I wish I had known this
at the time!
There was no trouble at all, but it was a worry for me to see police
with long batons, police on horses and a group of people with flags with
Saddam Hussein's face on it.
I imagine that the Net has played a major role in organising each march,
and them being linked and timed together globally. I figure that cell
phones would have been a crucial part of how organisers kept in touch
with their people who were directing the marchers, but a friend told me
that mobile coverage was really unreliable at the march, which I would
expect from the large numbers of people using their phones and the
limited channels available in the local basestations.