Legal Insurrection: Protests in support of Wisconsin public sector unions were organized by MoveOn.org and labor unions today.
Promoters, such as David Dayen at Firedoglake, were predicting a million-person turnout nationwide. But reports as of 7:00 E.S.T. today make clear that other than in Madison, Wisconsin, the crowds were sparse.
The turnout in Madison was sizable, with estimates ranging from 50-70,000, which included protesters bused in from other states. (Dayen is trying to pump the crowd estimate to over 100,000.) But elsewhere, the crowds numbered only in the hundreds or low thousands.
In Washington, D.C., only about 500 people showed up (go to link for good photos of crazy signs). (Note, WaPo says 1000.)
In Columbus, OH, where you would expect a big crowd given a similar controversy, only "several thousand" people protested.
Other head counts, based on news reports, include: Boston (1000), Portsmouth, N.H. (few hundred), Augusta, ME (small crowd), New York City ("several thousand"), Chicago (1000), Miami (100), Austin (several hundred), Chicago (1000); Lansing, MI (2000), Nashville (hundreds), Los Angeles (2000), Richmond, VA (300), Denver (1000); Frankfurt, KY (several hundred), Jefferson City, MO (several hundred), Harrisburg, PA (several hundred).
While I don't have a complete count, based on these numbers from some major cities and labor states, total protesters nationwide (excluding Madison) likely totaled under 100,000 combined. [MORE]
I am not surprised that the numbers failed to materialize. The reason why the left has trouble getting people to come out is because the left is comprised of grievance groups. There are minority groups, women's groups, gay groups, unions etc. Each group has their own grievance and it is hard to get them fired up over someone else's grievance (in this case unions). Despite the left's best efforts to paint union's grievances as the middle classes' grievances, it simply isn't true and everyone knows it.
The TEA Parties on the other hand have an over arching theme of reigning in government. Under that theme, you will find all sorts of other conservative groups, neocons, social conservative, pro-lifers, etc.
Unfortunately for the left, the over arching theme for all of their grievance groups would be "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme" and that would be absolutely unsightly to display in public.
Below are some pictures from the protests in North Carolina sent to me by one of my readers. They include both the pro-union protesters and the TEA Party protesters (click to enlarge).
Via: Legal Insurrection