The turnout of the Immigration Rally this year at Union Square (NYC) was much higher than last year where the rain may have kept attendance low and without a strong rallying cry that Arizona's New Immigration Enforcement Law has given them this year. The people were also more friendly this year and I did not have any negative 'incidents'.
A large portion of the rally was done in Spanish, and there were more foreign, and even communist flags, than American. As I have opined before, this is at the very least bad 'image-wise'. If you are upset that it may become more difficult for you to get and stay in the country, you would think that would mean that you like this country. If you did not, why would you come in the first place, and why would you be upset if you could not stay. With that in mind, why would you not wave the American flag. I am not saying that you have to wave the flag to prove your support, nor that you are forbidden to wave your own, but I can not understand why people waving flags would not wave both (their country of origin and the US). There were some people who did just that, and a few who were waving the American flag exclusively, but they were vastly outnumbered by the rest. As for the English, how are you supposed to convince people that they are wrong in what they believe in if you are using a language they can not understand? You simply can not.
I am not good at estimating crowd size, but I usually give it a try. For this protest my first thought was 1,500+. I spoke to a cop who guessed around 2,000 but also said it was relatively small by the park standards. It did not seem small to me. When the rally turned into a march (which I did not follow), my guess changed to 2000+. Keep in mind with these numbers that it is hard to tell exactly who is there for the rally, who was there because it was a gorgeous day, and who was there for there own separate rally. I find that with protests of liberal causes you generally find an amalgamation of a number of different groups that support each other but are mostly there for their own cause. This is much more pronounced than with the Tea Party Protests where you may have a few 'abolish the fed' type people, where here you have sizable sections of the protest that are from allied groups.
On to some pictures. I will start with two crowd shots so you can make your own estimate. The images could not be stitched together because to many moving people would have made it look awful. With that in mind, just imagine the shots side by side with a slight overlap for the full crowd shot.
The Socialists/Communist were out in force; not just in number of people but in number of different groups.
Here are a few that will make Pelosi cry; accusations of fascism and Swastikas.
There were a lot of people waving signs around. While a few of them were clearly had made, the vast majority of them were duplicate printed signs. The Unions were also out in force, and surprising number of them. These things are part of the consideration for if the protest was genuine Grassroots or Astroturf. While those two factors can cut against being genuine Grassroots, I believe that the majority of the crowd was indeed genuine Grassroots.
Duplicates / Prints
There was a lady with an Obama Flag
A Pro-Weed protester
People advocating for another Civil War
Free Puerto Rico
People Still attacking Bush
One nude drawing of a woman in captivity
No Image, just a link to it with the Obvious Nudity Waring
This man was not part of the Protest, but was a interesting character.
What Liberal protest would be complete without a few pot shots at Israel.
And 9/11 Truthers
Here are some people that might be Arrested if the protest was in Arizona
The place was left pretty dirty.
Someone dropped a Condom
I will end with the Unions.
You can see all my photos (just under 225) at http://picasaweb.google.com/BermanPost.com/512010ImmigrationRally#5466402792556683778, I just ask that if you use any of them you link back to this post (NOT the Picasa Web Album).