Jason Pye, the Libertarian blogger, has posted this video of today’s state Capitol protest against state legislation to tighten down on illegal immigration:
My AJC colleague Jeremy Redmond says law enforcement put the crowd at 4,000:
Protesters gathered on Washington Street, chanting in Spanish: “Yes, we can!” Several carried posters and banners that declared: “We will not leave” and “No Human Being is Illegal.”
Capitol Police Sgt. Jack West said 4,000 to 5,000 were present at the demonstration, where the Indigo Girls performed. One of the organizers said more than 5,000 attended and that the protesters came from across the state, including Athens, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon and Statesboro.
Numbers are always a point of contention in demonstrations. Here’s the cutting response from Republican sponsors — among them Matt Ramsey of Peachtree City and Rich Golick of Smyrna — of the House immigrant legislation. They were not impressed by the outdoor display:
“Today several hundred supporters of illegal immigration descended on the Georgia State Capitol to rail against legislation aimed at enforcing the rule of law in Georgia.
“In contrast to these angry sign waiving activists, there are millions of Georgia citizens working and raising their families, who no longer are willing to accept the loss of job opportunities to the nearly 500,000 illegal aliens in our state or to subsidize their presence with their hard earned tax dollars.
“We are the voice for these common sense Georgians and this kind of protest only bolsters our resolve to see House Bill 87 signed into law.”
Now, as to the numbers. Today’s marchers — as you can see — pretty much filled Washington Street in front of the Capitol between Mitchell and MLK.
I have stepped off this space before. It measures 515 by 62.5 feet, or 32,188 square feet. A human being, on average, takes up roughly four square feet. (Women take up slightly more, but let us not pick a fight if we don’t have to.)
If today’s crowd was packed sardine tight, participants could have numbered as much as 8,046. But let’s say they were only loosely packed — occupying a space of 6.5 square feet (2.5×2.5 feet). The result is 4,951. The law enforcement estimate would be pretty much dead on.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider