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Monday, August 30, 2004

Ok, good, now I know for sure that I'm not the only one who feels this way about Bush and the GOP. Hundreds of thousands of people, myself included, joined in a massive march of solidarity through the streets of Manhattan today to express disgust with the policies of the Bush administration and the GOP's exploitation of 9/11 for political gain. One thing is for sure, New Yorkers don't like to be used as props in a political campaign.

Estimates of the march's size are ranging from 100,000 (from the police, who always downplay the numbers) and 500,000 (from the organizers, who always inflate the numbers). There really isn't a way to tell how many people participated, but being in the middle of it all it felt as though the entire city and half the world were behind us. The scene was colorful, the mood was festive and peace and unity were the theme of the day. Aside from a few minor flare-ups, which will probably get more attention than they deserve, the march was almost entirely peaceful and non-antagonistic. Kudos to New Yorkers, the out-of-towners who came to join in, the city and the police. Everyone involved did a fantastic job of making the largest convention demonstration in history perhaps the most peaceful as well. I don't envy the tight spot the city and the mayor are in, having to balance necessary security with the right to assemble, but they did a fantastic job despite the pre-march fight over the right to rally in the park. Protestors weren't penned in as they were in some other convention city I can think of (hello Boston!). Marchers were allowed to walk right past the convention site, waving to and thanking police as they did. And if it hadn't been for a few yahoos who decided to torch their own float, the march would've come off without any disruption at all. New York is an amazing city, congrats all around.

Full details to come... after a thorough feet-soaking!

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