Report from the Rally
I was at the very front of the Rally at City Hall. By 3 PM the police opened up all of Broadway to demonstrators. The crowd near me was mostly Hispanic and Chinese. Many of the Hispanic near me wore bright orange tee-shirts from the Laborers International. The Chinese wore Unite/Here hats. (Because they were there early, handing out yellow signs of the Answer Coalition --a bizarre sect, in my opinion-- the yellow signs were dominant where I was. None of the people near me cared about Answer at all.)
The crowd was filled with zip; loved the warm up music, cheered wildly. Rep. Jose Serano was on early, spoke in English and Spanish; was very warmly received. Dennis Rivera introduced Hillary C. The crowd loved them both -- but loved her more. I thought her speech was pedestrian, but the people near me loved her; swooned. I felt I was in the presence of true celebrity. (Myself, I think she's been too pro-war; but this crowd --where all the people said they were anti-war -- adored Hillary.)
Schumer spoke; my crowd didn't understand what he was getting at.The only other odd note was that Tom Souzzi leaped into the crowd, shook hands, disrupted the speeches and annoyed the people around me (I was surprised: to me he looked as though he is very, very young (Younger than Yassky was he.) Lots of Congressmembers, Councilmembers, union officials, Elliot Spitzer, even Souzzi spoke. Absentees included Major Owens and My Rep. Elliot Engel and my Councilmember, Oliver Koppell. The names of Peter King (a co-sponsor of the much booed house bill) Vito Fossella and Sue Kelly (who voted for it) were not mentioned.
I walked up Broadway 6Pm as crowds were leaving. People were staged on Broadway all the way across Canal. The last demonstrators were just arriving at Broom Street as I caught a Bus uptown. A whole lot of people attended, but I too have given up estimating crowd size.