How Many Were at Today’s West Coast Walk for Life? Several Thousand? 35 Thousand?

Let’s see here, that was a big march the anti-abortion people put on today, huh?  The Chronicle (or what I’m actually looking at - SFGate, San Francisco’s online newspaper) was on the scene today and reports that “several thousand were at the West Coast March for Life on the Embarcadero. 

On the other hand, the organizers themselves have the number at at least 35,000.”*

My count was 22,000+ so 35k sounds, how shall we say, optimistic, unless they’re counting people who didn’t march and were hiding somewhere. PipeLineNews (“the RIGHT news… RIGHT now”) comes in with a guess of “23,000 – 25,000,” which I’m thinking is their good-faith effort to be objective.

But, as always, You Make The Call. If you think this video shows the crowd passing any given point at more than one person per second, then you’ll think an estimate of several thousand is too low. So much for crowd estimates…. 

UPDATE: The Chronicle’s Joe Garafoli discusses yet another estimate of precisely 22,809 marchers. And the SFPD weighs with more than 10,000 all told. Here’s an IndyBay report that indicated the crowds were smaller this year (they weren’t) and here’s another with five glaring errors in the first three sentences. Oh well. Lastly, here comes the Catholic News Agency with an estimate of 25,000, which sounds perfectly cromulent to me.

Today’s vanguard:

Click to expand

Read all about it, after the jump

*And when you tell lies/ An angel dies. Remember that for next year, Dolores.

Here’s the official release, anyway:

Sixth Annual Walk for Life West Coast: At least 35,000 Pro-Lifers fill San Francisco Streets

“It is up to us to stand, raise our voices, and protect the smallest.” -Lila Rose, 2010 Walk for Life West Coast

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 23.  At least 35,000 peaceful pro-life walkers filled this city’s waterfront, toddlers holding hands with grandparents and college students waving banners, as the largest crowd ever attended the 6th Annual Walk for Life West Coast, Saturday, January 23rd.

(Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100123/DC42665 )

Frank Lee, coordinator of Asian Americans Pro-Life, led the rally in a prayer at the start, saying: “Every life is precious and should be cherished.  We have a tough battle in front of us, but we shall overcome when we combine our efforts to make it a perfect whole!”

Students from San Francisco high schools and from Stanford, UC-Berkeley, St. Mary’s of Moraga, St. Thomas Aquinas College, and Wyoming Catholic College marched alongside eight Catholic Bishops.

One hundred and twenty Catholic seminarians carried banners and Tom Martin, who worked for former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown before entering the seminary, said: “It’s a great opportunity for the people of God to see that the seminarians are joining with them not only in praying for life, but also taking a stand.”

Speakers included Abby Johnson, who worked for Planned Parenthood for eight years, walked away from her job as a Planned Parenthood clinic director in October after assisting in an abortion. Johnson said: “If you are here, you are an activist. We can no longer just say the words but must put our words into action.” Johnson joined 40 Days for Life, a national prayer and fasting campaign outside abortion clinics. The Walk presented the St. Gianna Molla Award to David Bereit, national campaign director of 40 Days for Life.

Lila Rose of Live Action said “The fact that we have allowed abortion in this great nation, the killing of the most defenseless and weak among us has resulted in the greatest human rights abuse I believe our nation has ever seen. It is up to us to stand, raise our voices, and protect the smallest.”

“If ever there was a time to ‘seize the moment’ in the interest of unborn babies, it is now,” Evangelical preacher, author and theologian, Pastor Jim Garlow of San Diego, told the rally.

The Reverend Clenard Childress, founder of BlackGenocide.org, said “There is an obvious shifting in our culture and it stems from advances in the pro-life movement.”

Walk for Life co-founder Dolores Meehan said “The tenacity of pro-lifers, showing up in their tens of thousands, despite a downpour, is a testimony to their commitment!”

The Walk for Life West Coast was started by a group of San Franciscans in 2005 to affirm the right to life from conception to natural death and particularly to change hearts hurt by the violence of abortion.

CONTACT:  Dolores Meehan,

Web Site:  http://www.walkforlifewc.com/

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