One million... at least!
How many demonstrated today (Sunday January 13)? We don't know for certain, but what everybody knows now is that the police figure of 340,000 is ridiculous. Twitter, comments at blogs, forums, letters to Le Figaro all concur that there were a million people marching today, at least.
From Le Figaro readers:
- 340,000 is just ridiculous. There were more than a million of us! Some day independent agencies should do the counting… The organizers themselves are below the true figure. All it took was for you to have been to the two rallies: this one and the 1984 rally for free schools. This one was bigger than 1984. From 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. marchers in three separate parades never stopped pouring into the Champ-de-Mars.
Note: In 1984 the Socialist government of François Mitterand wanted to nationalize private schools. A huge demonstration put an end to that plan and triggered the resignations of the Prime Minister and Minister of Education Alain Savary. They say about two million marched back then, although Le Figaro says it was only one million. It's not likely today's rally surpassed the other one, but final figures are still pending.
- One million three hundred thousand according to the gendarmerie, three hundred thousand according to the police. Who is following orders?
- Without doubt more than a million. Between one and one and a half million. Most of the major Parisian arteries around Porte d'Italie, avenue des Gobelins, boulevard de Port-Royal, boulevard Montparnasse, boulevard des Invalides, avenue de Tourville, avenue de la Motte-Piquet, place Denfert-Rochereau, boulevard Pasteur, avenue de Suffren, Porte Maillot, Porte Dauphine, boulevard de l'amiral Bruix, boulevard Lannes, avenue Henri Martin, avenue Georges Mandel were blocked from noon on, and they were invaded by demonstrators and packed with people in continuous movement from 1:00 p.m to 7:30 p.m. Unprecedented! Then the Champ-de-Mars was filled with a human tidal wave! Police figures are two to three times under-estimated. Orders from above?
And to further prove a point, Le Salon Beige has posted the video below, showing three and a half hours of marching at Place d'Italie compressed into four minutes. A great idea. One reader suggests the video be given to the police so they can do a recount. Note that Place d'Italie was just one of three major starting points. So to assume at least a million demonstrators is not an exaggeration.