The People, Divided

“They’re all over the island!” the police captain at New York’s Union Square screamed in a panic into his walkie talkie. “They’re doing stuff!” But in reality, yesterday’s anti-RNC march suffered more from low turnout and the usual leftie wimpiness than anarchist violence.

After polls of New Yorkers indicated that 14 percent of the population–a million people–planned to protest the Republican National Convention, estimates of merely 100,000 had to be a disappointment to protest organizers. I suspect the lack of a rally at the end, coupled with fears of police-led violence–which marred the February 15, 2003 anti-Iraq war march here–contributed to that low number. Certainly by the march’s denouement at Union Square, the crowd was much thinner than in February 2003.

At several points overzealous police carried off protesters who dared raise their voices by yelling at them. A few people tried to heckle them, but most of the crowd was clearly scared.

The people met the police state yesterday. The people lost.

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