How to count a protest turnout
Tuesday’s big demo felt like a huge crowd, quite possibly the biggest single protest Montreal has ever seen. Fagstein has made a good honest try at counting the participants, although he admits that he probably didn’t see a significant part of the march. But he compares his estimate, that of the folks in the TVA copter, and that of a commenter counting people off on Sherbrooke Street: it’s a safe guess somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 people is a ballpark figure, but when protests split up, move around different parts of town and re-merge later, it makes even rough head counts next to impossible.
The biggest demo I’ve attended before this was on February 16, 2003 when an estimated 150,000 people marched against the impending attack on Iraq. That demo was held in –20°C weather, but people move so differently under those conditions that I’m unable to guess which was the bigger gathering.