New York City
I don’t go to demonstrations these days, but this one felt important. I got out of the subway on Manhattan’s East Side and was amazed at the amount of demonstrators everywhere, on Lexington, 3rd, 2nd and 1st avenues. I’d been to the big anti-war demonstrations of the 60s and the anti-nuclear one in Central Park in the early 80s with a million people, and this seemed bigger, more a phenomenon than a demonstration, as very few of us ever made it anywhere near the stage and the “formal” part of the event (speeches, etc) because the sheer number of people just overwhelmed the entire Upper East Side. I kept running into unlikely people: neighbors, people I hadn’t seen in years and never expected to see at a demonstration, etc. I unintentionally got in an altercation with the police who tried to arrest someone in front of me, and then nearly got arrested (something that hadn’t happened to me at a demonstration since the early 70s in my younger days) as police on horseback charged right were I was trying to get back to the subway. The police tried to keep demonstrators hemmed in and “penned” behind metal barricades and created a lot of unnecessary tension. The lack of coverage of an event that size was astonishing.