home > archives > Anti-War Footage 10-26-SF, CA
November 02, 2002
NPR and NYT Corrections-Retractions on Anti-War March Numbers

Times, NPR Change Their Take on DC Protests

Three days after its first report on the D.C. antiwar protests, readers of the New York Times were treated to a much different account of the same event. On October 30, the Times reported that the October 26 protests "drew 100,000 by police estimates and 200,000 by organizers', forming a two-mile wall of marchers around the White House. The turnout startled even organizers, who had taken out permits for 20,000 marchers."

This directly contradicted the Times' October 27 report, which noted that the "thousands" of demonstrators were "fewer people... than organizers had said they hoped for." The October 30 Times report also included much more information about similar protests around the country, and featured quotes from various antiwar activists...

...National Public Radio, another target of FAIR's action alert, has also offered a correction of its misleading coverage of the D.C. protest. The following message is now posted on NPR's website:

On Saturday, October 26, in a story on the protest in Washington, D.C. against a U.S. war with Iraq, we erroneously reported on All Things Considered that the size of the crowd was "fewer than 10,000." While Park Service employees gave no official estimate, it is clear that the crowd was substantially larger than that. On Sunday, October 27, we reported on Weekend Edition that the crowd estimated by protest organizers was 100,000. We apologize for the error.

Here is the full text of the article in case the link goes bad:

http://www.fair.org/activism/npr-nyt-update.html

FAIR Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting 112 W. 27th Street New York, NY 10001

ACTIVISM UPDATE:
Times, NPR Change Their Take on DC Protests

October 30, 2002

Three days after its first report on the D.C. antiwar protests, readers of the New York Times were treated to a much different account of the same event. On October 30, the Times reported that the October 26 protests "drew 100,000 by police estimates and 200,000 by organizers', forming a two-mile wall of marchers around the White House. The turnout startled even organizers, who had taken out permits for 20,000 marchers."

This directly contradicted the Times' October 27 report, which noted that the "thousands" of demonstrators were "fewer people... than organizers had said they hoped for." The October 30 Times report also included much more information about similar protests around the country, and featured quotes from various antiwar activists.

The second Times story may have been a reaction to the overwhelming response to FAIR's October 28 Action Alert critical of the paper's downplaying of the protest. FAIR has received more than 1,100 copies of individual letters sent to the Times or to NPR, whose coverage was also cited in the action alert-- one of the largest volumes of mail ever generated by a FAIR action alert. The newspaper trade magazine Editor & Publisher (10/30/02) suggested that the October 30 piece was a "make-up article" that may have been written "in response to many organized protest letters sent to the Times since the paper's weak, and inaccurate, initial article about the march on Sunday."

The paper has not yet issued an editor's note or correction explaining the different reports, though senior editor Bill Borders sent an apologetic message to many of the people who wrote to the paper.

"I am sorry we disappointed you," he said. "Accurately measuring the size of a crowd of demonstrators is nearly impossible and often, as in this case, there are no reliable objective estimates." Borders defended the Times' overall coverage of the Iraq debate, and thanked activists for contacting the paper: "We appreciate your writing us and welcome your careful scrutiny. It helps us to do a better job."

National Public Radio, another target of FAIR's action alert, has also offered a correction of its misleading coverage of the D.C. protest. The following message is now posted on NPR's website:

On Saturday, October 26, in a story on the protest in Washington, D.C. against a U.S. war with Iraq, we erroneously reported on All Things Considered that the size of the crowd was "fewer than 10,000." While Park Service employees gave no official estimate, it is clear that the crowd was substantially larger than that. On Sunday, October 27, we reported on Weekend Edition that the crowd estimated by protest organizers was 100,000. We apologize for the error.

FAIR thanks all of the activists who wrote to the New York Times and NPR about their coverage of the D.C. protests. Those who did write or call might consider sending a follow-up note to the outlets to encourage serious, ongoing coverage of the growing antiwar movement.

To read the New York Times' new report on the protests, go to:
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/30/national/30PROT.html
(Registration required)

To read the initial NPR story with the correction, go to: http://www.npr.org/programs/atc/transcripts/2002/oct/021026.brand.html

To read FAIR's October 28 action alert on protest coverage, go to:
http://www.fair.org/activism/npr-nyt-protests.html

NOTE: FAIR mistakenly referred to NPR's October 26 report as being part of the show Weekend Edition. That report actually aired on All Things Considered, while the report the following day aired on Weekend Edition.

Posted by Lisa at 09:58 PM
NY Times: Anti-War Protest Oct 26 Take Two

What a funny headline. It leaves out the part about the NYT having most of the information wrong in its earlier articles on the subject.

Luckily the public wrote in over 1,000 letters to help clairfy the situation.
Rally in Washington Is Said to Invigorate the Antiwar Movement
By Kate Zernike.


Emboldened by a weekend antiwar protest in Washington that organizers called the biggest since the days of the Vietnam War, groups opposed to military action in Iraq said they were preparing a wave of new demonstrations across the country in the next few weeks.

The demonstration on Saturday in Washington drew 100,000 by police estimates and 200,000 by organizers', forming a two-mile wall of marchers around the White House. The turnout startled even organizers, who had taken out permits for 20,000 marchers. They expected 30 buses, and were surprised by about 650, coming from as far as Nebraska and Florida.

A companion demonstration in San Francisco attracted 42,000 protesters, city police there said, and smaller groups demonstrated in other cities, including about 800 in Austin, Tex., and 2,500 in Augusta, Me.

Here's the full text of the article in case the link goes bad:

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/30/national/30PROT.html

The New York Times The New York Times National October 30, 2002


DISSENT
Rally in Washington Is Said to Invigorate the Antiwar Movement
By KATE ZERNIKE

Emboldened by a weekend antiwar protest in Washington that organizers called the biggest since the days of the Vietnam War, groups opposed to military action in Iraq said they were preparing a wave of new demonstrations across the country in the next few weeks.

The demonstration on Saturday in Washington drew 100,000 by police estimates and 200,000 by organizers', forming a two-mile wall of marchers around the White House. The turnout startled even organizers, who had taken out permits for 20,000 marchers. They expected 30 buses, and were surprised by about 650, coming from as far as Nebraska and Florida.

A companion demonstration in San Francisco attracted 42,000 protesters, city police there said, and smaller groups demonstrated in other cities, including about 800 in Austin, Tex., and 2,500 in Augusta, Me.

"The rally was like a huge gust of wind into the sails of the antiwar movement," said Brian Becker, an organizer of the Washington protest. "Our goal was not simply to have a big demonstration, but to give the movement confidence that it could prevail. The massive turnout showed it's legitimate, and it's big."

Building on those demonstrations, a coalition of groups called International Answer short for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism is asking people to vote in a referendum called VoteNoWar.org, which organizers hope will serve as a countervote to the Congressional resolution in support of military action in Iraq.

The coalition, which has absorbed several smaller groups around the country, is also planning another protest on Jan. 18 and 19 in Washington, to coincide with the commemoration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and the 12th-year anniversary of the Persian Gulf war. Organizers are also planning what they call a Grass Roots Peoples' Congress to publicize the results of the referendum.

Smaller groups that attended the demonstrations in San Francisco and Washington said they were planning their own protests back home. Protesters plan to march in New Orleans and Tampa, Fla., this weekend; in Charleston, S.C., in mid-November; and again in San Francisco on Nov. 22. A group in Louisiana is planning a peace walk between Baton Rouge and New Orleans at the end of November, and the National Council of Churches is discussing another rally in Washington for Nov. 24.

MoveOn.org is conducting an online petition drive, and has raised about $2 million for candidates, including the late Senator Paul Wellstone, who opposed a war in Iraq.

In California, college students are leading teach-ins against the war at high schools. Richard Becker, an organizer with Answer in San Francisco, said the group was setting up an emergency response plan to accommodate a mass protest complete with sound systems, placards, the requisite permits and even portable toilets on the day United States troops enter Iraq.

"There is not going to be one speech or one demonstration, after which everyone goes home," said Barbara Lubin, the founder of the Middle East Children's Organization in Berkeley, Calif. "This is a movement against war and it's building momentum."

Those who have been organizing and attending demonstrations for several months said the swelling size of the protests showed how much antiwar sentiment had increased as the threat of war intensified.

In San Francisco, a march on Sept. 6 drew 2,500 people, one two weeks later, 6,000, and one on Oct. 6, 10,000.

"People are very emboldened right now," said Mike Zmolek, an organizer with the National Network to Stop the War in Iraq. "We've been in a financial crunch since we started suddenly people are sending checks out of nowhere."

Mr. Zmolek said his organization had attracted 100 new antiwar groups across the country in the last three months.

The march in Washington was planned by International Answer, with coordinators of local chapters working in more than two dozen cities around the country. It attracted homemakers as well as college students, seasoned activists and those who had never attended any kind of political rally before.

"It was beautiful," said Merrill Chapman, 35, who called herself "just a housewife" in Charleston, S.C. "I'm in a very conservative town, and I feel like the lone voice. Being in Washington energized me, by seeing I was not alone."

Ms. Chapman had never been to a protest before the demonstration in Washington, but got involved after organizing a group called Thinking People in Charleston. She is planning a rally for Nov. 16 in her city.

In Houston, Lois Wright, a 46-year-old saleswoman in a drapery workroom, said she felt compelled to take the two-day bus ride to Washington, because the Bush administration seemed "hellbent on going to war."

"It's O.K. to do stuff in Houston, but nobody gets to hear about it," she said. "I felt if we were right in their faces, they couldn't ignore us."

Polls show that about 50 percent of Americans support sending ground troops to Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Antiwar organizers acknowledge some public support for military action, but said that until now, the voices of those who do not support the policy have not been heard.

"I think the president has considerable support," Mr. Zmolek said, "but I think the nation is pretty divided on this."

Certainly, there is still debate. In Austin, the University of Texas student government passed a resolution on Oct. 22 opposing an attack, by a vote of 20 to 17. Some students seek to have that vote overturned, saying it does not reflect the sentiment of the campus's 50,000 students.


Posted by Lisa at 09:52 PM
October 31, 2002
More Footage On The Way...

I've got a ton more footage that I'm editing and compressing that I'll be uploading over the weekend.

I'll also be creating MPEG versions of the footage I've already posted...

(The Eldred stuff goes up this weekend too!)

Posted by Lisa at 07:02 AM
October 30, 2002
More photos of the anti-war march...

This time, courtesy of Jackspace Gallery:


Stop The War Against Iraq Rally - San Francisco, California - October 26th, 2002
(http://www.jackspace.com/gallery/20021026_sf_stop_iraq_war_rally)

Posted by Lisa at 09:56 AM
October 29, 2002
Video Footage of Barbara Lee and Ron Kovic's Speeches


I've loaded up some movies and pictures from the march on Saturday, including quicktime videos of Barbara Lee and Ron Kovic's speeches.

Posted by Lisa at 12:18 PM
October 27, 2002
Ron Kovic's Speech At Oct 26, 2002 Anti-War Rally in San Francisco

Here is Ron Kovic's speech from yesterday's Anti-War Rally in San Francisco
(as transcribed from my video footage, which I'll be posting Monday afternoon):


This is the most important moment in American History. You are a part of an extraordinary moment in the turning of the history of this country. You will take this government back on behalf of the people of the United States.

Because we all know here, each and every one of us who have come to this place on this day know, that the truth is, this country, the power, this country belongs to the people of the United States. We are going to be represented, if we have to take democracy to the streets of every city and town across this country. They're going to listen to us!

This is your moment. You were born to be here at this moment. You were born to take this country back on behalf of the people, on behalf of democracy, to make this nation a true, authentic democracy: "Of the people, by the people and for the people."

And there's an old saying: "Move on over or we'll move on over you." And in the days, the difficult days, and it's going to be difficult, in the difficult days and weeks and months ahead, I encourage you to move with dignity. Move with the spirit of Martin Luther King. And as our numbers continue to grow and we begin to recognize that this is not only an anti-war movement more powerful than any anti-war movement in the history of this country, but that this is also becoming a powerful movement for peoples' democracy in this country. When we begin to realize...

And when the leaders in Washington that are perpetrating this terrible, terrible war. The leaders, the President, those in power right now, who have in fact made targets of terror of all of us because of their policy. They are the ones who have brought on 911. It is their violence that brought the violence to our nation, and it's their violence that we must stop and stop forever!

Never underestimate...Never underestimate who you are! Never underestimate the power of what you represent. Your beauty and your dignity. Your honesty and your integrity. You are going to change this nation. Think about it. This is your moment. Your destiny is to change this nation. Years from now many of you will be able to tell your children that we lived through an extraordinary turning point in American History. And we have the courage to step over that line with dignity, with non-violence and with great determination, and make this is a country that we can all love again and can all be proud of. Thank you so very much. Thank you!

Peace Now! Peace Now!

This is just the beginning! Thank you!

Posted by Lisa at 11:50 AM
BBC On Yesterday's Marches

I think there were something more like 75,000 people here yesterday, than 5,000 like this article reports. But I'm happy to see coverage of the event at all in the popular press:
US peace marches draw thousands


Tens of thousands of people have marched in the US cities of Washington and San Francisco as part of a day of worldwide protests against a possible American-led war against Iraq.


If we launch a pre-emptive strike, we will lose all moral authority... we must have a higher order than a one-bullet diplomacy

Jesse Jackson

A number of other US cities saw demonstrations, while protest rallies also took place in Mexico, Japan, Spain, Germany, South Korea, Belgium and Australia.

In the US, the protests are being hailed as some of the largest in the country since US citizens took to the streets in the 1960s and 1970s to protest the Vietnam war.

Here is the full text of the article in case the link goes bad:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/2364151.stm

BBC News UK Edition

Sunday, 27 October, 2002, 01:27 GMT
US peace marches draw thousands
Protesters in Constitution Gardens, Washington DC holding banners
Thousands converged on Washington waving banners
Tens of thousands of people have marched in the US cities of Washington and San Francisco as part of a day of worldwide protests against a possible American-led war against Iraq.

"If we launch a pre-emptive strike, we will lose all moral authority... we must have a higher order than a one-bullet diplomacy." -- Jesse Jackson

A number of other US cities saw demonstrations, while protest rallies also took place in Mexico, Japan, Spain, Germany, South Korea, Belgium and Australia.

In the US, the protests are being hailed as some of the largest in the country since US citizens took to the streets in the 1960s and 1970s to protest the Vietnam war.

Waving banners and chanting slogans, the protesters called on the US president to abandon plans to topple the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, and to spend the billions of dollars needed for a military campaign on social programmes instead.

The US Congress has granted George W Bush the power to wage war on Iraq - with or without the approval of the United Nations.

Celebrity appeal

The protests took place as US Secretary of State Colin Powell said the protracted negotiations at the UN over the adoption of a resolution on Iraq must move forward; the organisation was entering a key week and could not continue to hold a never-ending debate.

Peace march in 1969
Marchers were emulating the Vietnam protests

"It is time to bring the remaining issues to a head for resolution, if possible," he said.

"And if resolution is not possible, then let's come to that realisation and move forward."

The rally in Washington opened with speeches at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial from celebrities such as musician Patti Smith and actress Susan Sarandon.

Palestinian and Moslem groups also attended the march, along with veteran civil rights leader Jesse Jackson.

"If we launch a pre-emptive strike, we will lose all moral authority," he told the crowd.

"We must have a higher order than a one-bullet diplomacy." Jackson said.

Elsewhere, in San Francisco, around 5,000 people, including several Palestinian pressure groups, converged on City Hall to hear speeches.

Germany was the scene of some of Europe's largest protests, with more than 80 cities holding rallies.

The Federal Peace Committee, which helped organise the protests, told French news agency AFP that up to 10,000 people attended Berlin's rally.

Political manoeuvring

The marches come after an opinion poll conducted for the New York Times and CBS News earlier this month suggested that half of those questioned in the US were uneasy about the prospect of war with Iraq.

Berlin rally
Protesters marched in Berlin and other German cities
Supporters of the march also point to successful internet fund-raising and letter-signing efforts as signs of the support for their cause.

Bob Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches and a former Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania, said he remains optimistic that war can be avoided.

"I don't think that, just because the House and Senate voted, that the barn door is open and we're going to have war," he said.

The US is pressing the UN to accept its resolution on disarming Iraq.

But it is encountering resistance from Russia and France, who can both veto the resolution.

Mr Bush on Saturday reiterated his vow that the US would use force against Iraq if Saddam Hussein did not disarm, whether or not the UN supported such action.

"If the UN won't act, if Saddam Hussein won't disarm, we will lead a coalition to disarm him," he said.

Posted by Lisa at 10:58 AM
Barbara Lee's Speech At Oct 26, 2002 Anti-war Rally in San Francisco

Sorry for only getting the tail end of this! I'll have the video that goes with this up sometime tomorrow afternoon. Ron Kovic's speech is on the way...(yes, the whole thing :-)

Barbara Lee is really starting to shine as a leader in this movement.

I'm so happy to have been able to capture yesterday's experience for all the people across the country and around the world who couldn't be there to see for themselves.


...to re-dedicate ourselves to moving forward aggresively to making sure that this silent, they say minority, which it is a vocal majority, is being heard in Washington DC -- and that is you!
Keep the peace process moving forward! Keep it moving forward!

And I just want to thank you for all of your support. I want you to know that your emails and your rallys and your marches and your voices are being heard very loudly in Washington DC. We're gonna stop this madness! We're gonna, yes, rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. We're gonna rid the entire world, including our own country, of weapons of mass destruction! That's what we're gonna do! That's what we must do! That's what we must do!

How can we tell our children that violence is not an option, when they see our government supporting first strikes! How do we explain that to young people? How do we tell them "no" to violence?

So let me conclude by just saying: Let today be the first day of taking back the White House in 2004! That's what we gotta do! Thank you!

Posted by Lisa at 08:30 AM
October 26, 2002
Photos From Today's Peace March

Just got back from having a totally incredible experience at the Anti-War March today!

Barbara Lee and Ron Kovic (the Vietnam Veteran and war hero/anti-war hero of "Born on the 4th of July") both spoke at the rally. I'm in the process of transcribing their speeches now -- I filmed their speeches and shot a bunch of great footage.

I was able to grab some stills that will have to tide you over until I upload the movies:
My Pictures From the October 26, 2002 Anti-war March in San Francisco

Posted by Lisa at 08:30 PM
October 25, 2002
Huge Anti-War Rallies in DC and San Francisco This Saturday

I'll be there at Justin Herman Plaza with my video camera!

See you there!

STOP THE WAR AGAINST IRAQ BEFORE IT STARTS!

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26

NATIONAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON DC
Rally @ 11 am
Constitution Gardens adjacent to the
Vietnam Veterans War Memorial
21st St. & Constitution Ave. NW

**March to the White House**

JOINT ACTION IN SAN FRANCISCO
11 am at Justin Herman Plaza

Here is the full text of the page in case the link goes bad:

http://www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/o26/o26endorse.html

The Bush administration is rushing towards war. The time to act is now. The people of the United States can stop this madness.

World public opinion and almost every government opposes Bush's planned war of aggression. But it will take a mass peoples' movement--in the streets, workplaces, communities, campuses and high schools--to stop the coming war.

On Saturday, October 26, 2002 -- the first anniversary of the signing of the so-called Patriot Act -- anti-war, civil rights, labor, student and other forces are joining together to launch a massive international mobilization in opposition to a new war against the people of Iraq. Mass marches and rallies will be held in Washington DC and San Francisco in the U.S., and in many other countries.

As the Bush administration violates international law it has been systematically engaged in a campaign of division and repression in the United States including a wholesale assault on the Bill of Rights, institutionalization of racial profiling, and aggregation of near dictatorial powers to the Executive branch.

In articulating the so-called doctrine of preemptive war, the Bush administration is preparing to violate all existing international law and the UN charter which forbids countries to carry out war except in the case of self-defense. Preemption is merely a slogan to justify a foreign policy of armed aggression and military adventure.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and company are planning to send tens of thousands of young GIs to kill and be killed in another war for Big Oil. Simultaneously, the Bush Administration is diverting billions of dollars to feed military conquest and away from jobs, education, healthcare, childcare and housing.

The so-called debate that is opening now to public view from within the political establishment presents a necessity for all anti-war forces to become a major factor in generating an authentic opposition to U.S. war plans in the Middle East. The October 26 National March in Washington DC and joint action in San Francisco come just one week before midterm Congressional elections.

There won't be a real national debate on a planned invasion of Iraq until the people are in the streets. We can't leave it to the military establishment to decide when and how they will go to war and to define the debate. We must tell Bush and his corporate and Big Oil patrons that we will not allow this to happen.

This war can be stopped. Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz and company can be stopped. But the essential element must be the mobilization of a massive new anti-war movement in the streets. We call for civilians and soldiers alike to exercise their political right to speak out against an illegal war. On October 26, there will be a National March in Washington DC, a West Coast march in San Francisco, and protests around the world.

ONLY THE PEOPLE CAN STOP THE WAR!
JOIN US ON OCTOBER 26, 2002!

Posted by Lisa at 01:53 PM