March 21, 2005


Two Years After Iraq Invasion, Protesters Hold Small Rallies (ROBERT D. McFADDEN, 3/20/05, NY Times)

Two years after the American-led invasion of Iraq, relatively small crowds of demonstrators - the home guard of the antiwar movement - mobilized yesterday in New York, San Francisco and cities and towns across the nation to condemn the war and demand the withdrawal of allied forces.

Thousands joined similar protests in European cities. On both sides of the Atlantic, the protests were passionate but largely peaceful, and nowhere near as big as those in February 2003, just before the war, when millions around the world marched to urge President Bush not to attack.

The American crowds ranged from about 350 in Times Square to several thousand in San Francisco. And in contrast to the vociferous rage of demonstrations two years ago, yesterday's protests were mostly somber and low-key, with marchers carrying cardboard coffins in silence to the beat of funereal drums, with rally speakers alluding often to the war dead and subdued crowds keeping behind police barriers. [...]

President Bush did not comment on the protests, which seemed unlikely to have any significant effect on national policy or on the glacial movement of public opinion in America.

What an odd sentence.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 21, 2005 12:56 PM

Saw two protestors huddled together on the steps of city hall yesterday, holding a sign saying "This Is Free Speech."

It was a good thing they had the sign.

Posted by: David Cohen at March 21, 2005 1:20 PM

I like watching protestors in inclement weather, especially when I'm warm and dry. During the run up to the war protestors would gather on the corner of Main St and (whatever) in Hanover. It was cold, cold, Lawd have mercy it was cold! 20 below if you were lucky. And I'd sit in my car waiting for the light to change with the heat blasting, a cup of hot tea and laugh laugh laugh. Protestors are funny!

Posted by: Governor Breck at March 21, 2005 1:27 PM

Mr. McFadden resents the public's heretical resistance to media shepherding.

Posted by: ghostcat at March 21, 2005 1:38 PM

It was a pretty warm day in the City, if a bit damp. 250 protestors is nothing. You can get more to protest 'New Coke,' let alone the Mayor's decision to enforce parking regulations more severely. There is probably no clearer sign that the war is over and won.

I guess we'll always have these protestors, like the Nazis one sees from time to time. American Conservative and The Nation will continue to publish to their small coteries of true believers and the remaining 99.99% of Americans will just have to move forward without them.

Posted by: bart at March 21, 2005 1:38 PM

There were a couple dozen at the Army recruiting station in a strip mall near where I live. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I showed my disagreement digitally through the sunroof as I passed by. Several cops, who were keeping an eye on the demonstration, saw it and started laughing. I slowed down, thanked them and asked that they keep these characters in line. One of them cracked back, "Got a grenade?" Gotta love Chicago's finest.

Posted by: Rick T. at March 21, 2005 1:46 PM

President Bush did not comment on the protests, which seemed unlikely to have any significant effect on national policy or on the glacial movement of public opinion in America.

The Times ought to be thankful for global warming, since that ought to increase the glacial movement of public opinion in America.

Posted by: John at March 21, 2005 3:35 PM

A study published in the influential British medical journal the Lancet estimated the number of protesters at 100,000.

Posted by: jeff at March 21, 2005 4:48 PM

" . . . glacial movement of public opinion in America."

Wait 'till gasoline hits 3 bucks a gallon nationwide before opining about the speed of American opinion. ANWR will be a speed bump on the road to invading Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at March 21, 2005 10:22 PM