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    Occupy Wall Street turnout a major fail

    Occupy Wall Street turnout a major fail

    Saturday was to be a nationwide turnout for the Occupy Wall Street movement, with large protests across the land.  From media coverage which portrays the movement as growing, one would have expected a large turnout, at least as large as the April 15, 2009 Tax Day Tea Parties.

    In Ithaca, I noted that the crowd for the “mass peaceful demonstration” was about 12 people.

    Apparently nationwide the protests did not fair much better, according to Nate Silver of The New York Times:

    This exercise is meant, in part, to provide a comparison to the crowds that gathered for the first widespread Tea Party protests on April 15, 2009, for which I adopted a similar approach and came up with an estimate of at least 300,000 protesters across the country.

    Saturday’s Occupy protests were probably smaller than that. Over all, I was able to find estimates of crowd sizes in about 150 American cities, ranging from the thousands of the protesters that turned out in New York to the roughly 10 who turned out in Juneau, Alaska — or the one protester who represented the movement in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

    Nevertheless, based on the median estimates for the cities, I arrived at an overall total of about 70,000 protesters who were documented as having been active on Saturday throughout the United States.

    This reminds me of the supposedly huge national protests in support of Wisconsin protestsers, which was a complete flop as documented in my post 50-State Union Protest Falls Far Short Of Predicted Turnout.

    Yet the media coverage made the rallies seem much larger than they were.  As Silver points out, only in Europe were the crowds truly large; which should make one wonder why Democrats want a European-style economy.

    The Occupy Wall Street movement momentum is a media creation.  As Walter Shapiro wrote a few days ago, the reality of relatively small crowds does not justify the “whole world is watching” coverage.

    Yes even small crowds can generate the impression of momentum, particularly when the President of the United States finds it convenient to use them for his own political purposes.


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    ssns4ever | October 17, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    I live a block from Wall Street. I have actually not seen ANY OWS’ers except for two walking up Wall Street toward Zuccotti Park about a week ago. My wife demanded that we go see the freak show, so she dragged me to Zuccotti Park and we stood around and looked at the useful idiots for about a half hour, then we left. I’d estimate their numbers at about 200 or so. About twenty of them were sitting in a group banging on some kind of drums and singing a weird song. And I would say at least 20 of them were Paulians handing out Ron Paul literature and chatting people up.

    I’ve followed Nate Silver for a long time. He’s an exceptional liberal for this day and age. I often disagree, but his opinion is always worth considering, especially on quantitative topics.

    Kerrvillian | October 17, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    The OccupySanAntonio was pretty lame. For every “occupier” there were at least 5 people just there to take cell phone images of them.

    As they congregated in front of The Alamo they were not even bolstered by the people staggering away from the Beer Festival at Hemisphare Park two blocks away.

    When you can’t attract belligerent drunks what good are you?

    Sure, there were the “bad boys”. One covering up half his face with a black turtle neck gone wrong and the other in a Guy Fawkes mask. Good thing we have movies to tell our outlaws how to dress.

    It was a freak show, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    Callous Disregard | October 18, 2011 at 6:14 am

    You have to listen to the Stern show send their “reporters” down to ask questions. It is hilarious.

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