Saturday, February 26, 2011

Union Rally Crowd Smaller Than Reported

February 26, 2011 - Chicago - CNB - Between 400 and 500 people attended a rally organized by unions and socialist groups at Noon today. The event took place at the James Thompson Center downtown. The well-attended event was peaceful but boisterous, with enthusiastic supporters of public sector unions chanting and cheering speakers. See our slideshow below. An attendance of 500 is good, especially considering the damp, cold weather that included some snow. Nevertheless, some feel it necessary to exaggerate the number. Bob Roman, writing for the DSA Labor Network's "Talking Union" blog, wrote that there were 2,000 people in attendance. My own count, as indicated above, was between 400 and 500. My photo here was taken just before Noon. Roman wrote, "By the time the rally began, the plaza was nearly full, and organizers announced about 2,000 people were present." It's not clear from Roman's post whether he was actually at the event. If he was, he's mistaken about the numbers. If he was not there, then he's accepting the false crowd estimate of "the organizers," and equally mistaken. Granted, more people poured into the plaza after I took this photo, but nowhere near 2,000. Roman is "editor of New Ground, the newsletter of Chicago Democratic Socialists of America."