It was quite an experience to be in the midst of a demonstration in protest of the extreme radical right-wing reactionary Republican platform in New York yesterday. For a couple of hours, I felt hope for the future of our country, hope that perhaps voters wouldn't fall for a moderate face on a fundamentalist, ideological agenda. In other words, I felt as if a majority of the electorate would again vote for the Democrat.
Estimates put the crowd size at 100,000 to 500,000, though The New York Times quoted an unnamed police source putting the figure close to a half million.
One of the things that struck me was the restraint of the NYPD. Only a couple of times did individual officers seem excitable or ordering reporters and photographers to move and shove non-credentialed folks off the street. But civil-rights attorney Ron Kuby credited the protesters themselves:
"They were the ones who kept the peace. They were the ones who were well behaved. So this notion that the police did a good job is true only to the extent that the demonstrators themselves had a powerful commitment to keep this demonstration peaceful and legal."