Magazine article Insight on the News

Accurate Crowd Estimates, Give or Take 100,000. (Nation in Brief)

Magazine article Insight on the News

Accurate Crowd Estimates, Give or Take 100,000. (Nation in Brief)

Article excerpt

Just for the sake of balance, could someone do a count of those who are not protesting against plans to oust the Butcher of Baghdad? Wouldn't it be novel to hear a newscast that began, "Thousands of protesters gathered in San Francisco today. Meanwhile, 280 million other Americans went about the routine business of keeping America strong and healthy."

As often is the case with such events, the number of protesters involved in the latest antiwar rally in San Francisco is in dispute. Organizers and police put the crowd number at as many as 200,000. A second opinion comes from the San Francisco Chronicle and is based on high-resolution aerial photos of the crowd. According to that scientific study, the accurate figure is much lower --65,000.

The Associated Press quoted experts as saying that an aerial survey is more accurate than the visual-scan methods used by police and protest organizers. The Chronicle arranged for photos to be taken from 2,000 feet during the height of the demonstration. …

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