Words by c.z.robertson

Returned from marching

2003-02-16 09:27:13 UTC

More than 1 million people. The largest demonstration the UK has ever seen. Against a war that hasn't yet started. On a bloody cold day as well.

Police and organiser figures are always significantly different. In this case the police are saying at least 750,000, while the organisers are saying it's more like 2 million. From what I've heard about counting techniques, I don't believe the police are very good at dealing with situations where people are entering and leaving the march at different points, taking alternative routes for sections of the march, only going to the rally, etc. As I understand it, police assume that everyone starts at the beginning and ends at the end. When you have a million people going through the streets of London that's never going to be the case. For that reason I'm inclined to believe that police figures are quite significantly lower than actual turnout, and the organisers' claims of 2 million are probably not far off.