Posts Tagged ‘nlg’

National Lawyer’s Guild Legal Observer More a Participant Than an Observer at WFB Protests, IMO

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

But I’ll bet that ridiculous neon green hat gets him more tail than Sinatra.

Click to expand

So there’s that.

The NLG ought to get with the times and replace their legal observation team with laypeople holding videocams. That would be more useful than this.

IMO.

 

The Rule of Three: Counting People at an International ANSWER March

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition organizes a lot of protests here in the Bay Area, as is their right. And they seem to consistently exaggerate the number of souls who participate in their marches, as is their right. O.K. fine. But Saturday’s march down Market Street on the sixth anniversary of the start of the Iraq War had such small numbers compared to the big antiwar marches of 2003 that a person could have easiy tallied up an accurate estimate, if only to see how much the ANSWER Coalition exaggerates.

The “answer” is this: they overestimate by 200%. It’s the Rule of Three, just like in the movie American Pie 2. So, take the “official” estimate of 4000 marchers, divide by three to get 1333 and there you have it. Bingo bango.

Here’s Saturday’s march from above. The 440 or so people marked with white circles represent a third of the total number. (It took about 4 minutes to tally this shot and another ten minutes to tally folks in other photos.) Click to expand:

(Of course lots of people want to give President Barack Obama some time to have a chance to deal with matters, and it was raining, and yada yada yada. The point is that it shouldn’t be so hard to say that the crowd was slightly bigger or smaller than last year – there’s no reason to lie about it, is there? Moving on…)

Kudos to the Socialist Worker, which came a bit closer with an estimate of 2500 people. Perhaps they use the Rule of Two.

Double kudos to local journalist and photographer Josh Wolfe, who came in with “maybe 1000 people” as his honest estimate. Bay City News kept it conservative with “hundreds,” which is literally true, but that word could also suggest 200 or so. Oh well. The San Jose Mercury News played it safe with no estimate at all.

And SFGate / San Francisco Chronicle? Well, they originally went with “massive” as a description of the masses (which was particularly inappropriate given that similar marches six years ago had numbers about 50 times greater), but then pulled back a bit later to just talking about the “crowds.” All of this is ably documented by Robert B. Livingston here on the IndyBay.

Check it, before:

And after:

Originally posted by Mr. Livingston, I presume.

Robert Livingston is also correct in stating that writers Heather Knight and Steve Rubenstein produced a bit that was “well composed, accurate, and captured much of the essence” of the event, so that’s a good thing. It’s not clear who came up with the boner “massive.”

Chronicle Editor-at-Large Phil Bronstein has recently opined on these kinds of issues – here’s a re-hash of a count controversy back in 2003.

Anyway, the correct estimate is 1330 marchers, mas o menos, depending whether you include the cops, the undercover cops, the people who didn’t have the chance to march because they were setting up in Civic Center, the people who left early, the people who arrived late, the marchers without signs who happen to be on the sidewalks, the photographers, the videographers, etc.

The Rule of Three has been tested and proven. Would certain people have more credibility if they didn’t spin so much? Yes, yes they would.

Jessica: “If a guy tells you how many girls he’s hooked up with, it’s not even close to that. You take that number and divide it by three, then you get the real total. OK, so if Kevin is saying it’s been three girls it’s more like one or none.”
Vicky: “None?”
Jessica: “The rule of three. It’s an exact science. Consistent as gravity.”

What If They Called a War Protest and Nobody Came? Sixth Anniversary of Iraq War

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Well, of course, it wasn’t actually like nobody came, but the crowd at today’s International Day of Action on the 6th Anniversary of Iraq War had an unexpectedly low turnout, even considering the spates of rain. Was the crowd massive,” as indicated by the San Francisco Chronicle? No, not at all. Do some people at the Chron have a “massive” problem estimating crowd size? Yes, apparently.

Did 4000 people march? No. Did at least a couple thousand march? No. Not to belabor the point, but you don’t need to hire a helicopter to accurately estimate the size of a march. Moving on… 

Where’s Waldo? Sadly he wasn’t there. But, where’s Code Pink and the Black Block? Click to expand and you’ll find them. This was the bulk of the crowd just after the speakers stopped speaking, with the insular International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) camera left, out of frame.

So yes, there were other groups around the Ferry Building area but they were much smaller. Oh, here’s Code Pink:

One of the speakers was a San Francisco Chronicle employee(!) From her, the crowd learned that “health care is free and will always be free in Cuba.” She urged listeners to defy the current ban on travel to Cuber by visiting this year, specifically July. O.K fine.

Heading up Market Street in light, on-again-off-again rain:

And here’s el bloque negro:

The 911 Truth crowd was there as well – it handed out varying denominations of Truth Bucks, sadly disintegrating in the wet.

A terrorist is “what the big army calls the little army.”

“Jail Greedy Bankers”

“Queer Israeli” vs. “Queer Palestinian”

Speaking of which, you had a good 50 or so counterprotesters with Israeli flags penned in right in front of City Hall.

The Green Line of Polk Street. There was a scuffle between these groups later on, resulting in a handful of arrests. See the “Footage of Chaos,” if you want.

This green-hatted NLGobserver,” avec “Specs” brand goggles, was briefly enthralled by an exchange between the blonde and the cop, who wanted her to stay on the sidewalk. She could probably get the Lieutenant for battery and maybe even false imprisonment, if he weren’t an on-duty, uniformed peace officer. See? There’s always a catch…

So there you have it.