protests 3/20

Mike Friedman mikedf at
Thu Mar 20 19:06:15 MST 2003

I went to UfPJ to volunteer today, got sent down to the Union Square rally
to leaflet for the 5:00 Emergency Demo at Times Square and the 3/22 demo
and march. When I got to Union Square at about noon, there were maybe 200
protestors.  Over the next two hours, the demo grew to between 500-600
people, max. The good thing is that the crowd was largely, if not mostly,
high school students and there teachers, who had walked out of school. The
main political presence consisted of WWP/ANSWER cadre, with a sprinkling of
other groups. Speakers included a lot of students and teachers, some
progressive labor leaders, like Bill Henning, representatives of several
African American organizations and representatives of the anti-war coalitions.

Later, I joined up with a feeder march that met near Carnegie Hall for the
Times Square Demo. On the way to Times Square, we joined a group of
students from Hunter College, and converged (were herded by police) with
other groups on the north end of Times Square. Again, ANSWER had its sound
equipment and pretty much dominated the "pen" we were in. Speakers included
folks in and around WWP, such as Larry Holmes, Roger Toussaint, etc., as
well as a Palestinian  speaker, two Iraqis, representatives NION and UfPJ,
other trade union people (besides Roger), and representatives of Black and
Latino organizations. Our section had filled a one-block "pen" plus part of
another, when I got there. More people arrived later. I would estimate that
there were approximately 5,000 people in that section of the demo. However,
other groups had converged at the south end of Times Square, and at the
central section. We had no contact with them, so there was no way of
knowing how many were there. I left when the demo adjourned to go to
Washington Square Park, but I heard later that the police attacked
demonstrators attempting to march to the park. I also understand that cops
attacked demonstrators marching from Columbus Circle to Times Square.
Perhaps someone has more info?

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