[UPDATE: Here are some photos. Oh, and Protest Shooter has some video showing way more than "maybe 100" counter-protesters, which he undercounts for ideological reasons, and showing way less than "40,000" marchers, which he undercounts for, wait for it, ideological reasons. The fact remains that it took last year's crowd 48 minutes to clear out but this year's only 31 minutes.]
Surprise! Today’s Walk for Life West Coast 2011 had a smaller turnout than the past couple years.
How about 16,000 for an estimate of those marching up Embarcadero from the Ferry Building / Justin Herman Plaza area? So, that would be less than half of the officially estimated and very optimistic 35,000 count from last year, or, comparing apples to apples, about two-thirds of last year’s attendance, which was in the 22k, 23k, 24k neighborhood.
Here’s my estimate from last year, complete with my criticism of a ridiculously low number (that some took seriously) from the San Francisco Chronicle. Seems odd that multiple independent sources came in at around the same low-to-middle 20,000s and the organizers were at a pie-in-the sky 35k. Last year’s crowd took 48 minutes to get going, but this year’s took just 31, so you do the math. (And in case there’s any doubt here, crowd counting-wise, like the suitor and his ring in Oh Brother Where Art Thou, I’m bona fide. I got there a couple minutes before noon and I was like Sherman, where are all the white people? How can the organizers claim to not be aware of the smaller crowd this year if it was so obvious to me from the get-go?)
Of course some are wed to the idea of constantly growing numbers:
“American Missionary – Great weather in SF west coast walk for life. 40,000+ in attendance.”
Will organizers tell the truth and say that their numbers are down year-over-year or will they simply lie? [UPDATE - KGO 7 ABC TV is saying about 20,000 and as for what the organizers are saying, see below]
As it looked at the start at around 12:02 PM, Saturday, January 22nd, 2011 CE. The much smaller counterprotesting pro-choice march went up Herb Caen Way in parallel – they were gone in 160 seconds or so.
Please remember, WFLWC spinners:
“Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness (Lie)“
[UPDATE: That's it, as of 2:31 PM, Saturday, January 22nd, in the Year of Our Lord 2011, they are going for the lie:
"7th Annual Walk for Life
a record breaking success!
At least 40,000 stand up for Life!"
Now, how could it be that a march that took three-quarters of an hour (more or less) to pass by Embarcadero and Broadway in 2010 is smaller than today's, one that took a half-hour (more or less) to pass by Embarcadero and Broadway?
Saying that there were about 40,000 people marching today isn't spin, it's a sin. Appears as if organizer Dolores Meehan is a big fat liar. She might not be aware of the actual numbers precisely, but she's got to know that the size of the crowd is waaaaaay down this year. What would she say next year if the parade only takes 15 minutes to get out of Ferry Plaza? She'd say 45,000, natch.
I mean, is that cool? Exaggerate more and more each year until nobody believes you? Is that how you roll?
And others are doing their best to prove the Rule of Three:
"@bayareacatholic Just heard - an estimated 45-50 thou walkers! #walkforlife"
And here's the official press release. Pure horseshit:
"Record-breaking Turnout for Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Tens of thousands of pro-life activists filled Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco's downtown and then walked 2.5 miles along the waterfront in a record-breaking turnout for the 7th Annual Walk for Life West Coast.
"We are here to break the bondage of the culture of death," Walk for Life co-chair Dolores Meehan told the crowd that stretched as far as the eye could see.
"If we care for the baby, we have to care for the mother and father," said speaker Kathleen Eaton, who funded Birth Choice Clinics in Orange County after her own abortion.
The Walk was held on the 38th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.
"Today on January 22nd, I do not honor choice any more, I mourn choice," said former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson, who walked away from her job at a Texas Planned Parenthood clinic on October 6, 2009, after assisting in an ultrasound-guided abortion of a 13-week-old fetus. "You are the new generation of the pro-life movement and I can tell you Planned Parenthood is shaking in their boots."
"Nothing is too big for God to forgive," said Mary Poirer, who told the story of her three abortions.
Rev. Brian Walker, who, with his wife Denise, chose to abort their child four months before their wedding, said he deserted his wife when she needed him. "Many years ago there was not a man in the house, there was a male in the house, but there was not a man in the house," said Walker. "Everybody suffers in the wake of abortion."
"We've lost close to 40 percent of our population to abortion," said Rev. Denise Walker, founder of Everlasting Light Ministries, referring to the high rate of African American abortions. "We must end this slaughter."
A densely packed crowd of least 40,000 walked 20 across in a line that stretched over a mile. The Walk route started at Justin Herman Plaza in downtown San Francisco and concluded at Marina Green in sight of Golden Gate Bridge.
Founded in 2005 by a group of San Francisco Bay Area residents, the Walk for Life West Coast's mission is to change the perceptions of a society that thinks abortion is the answer.