So, how many people really participated in the Salem march & Rally? Well, our best guess is between 1250-1300 folks.
My job was to count marchers as they left the steps of the State Capitol. My job was made far easier than one might expect because the marchers stayed on the sidewalk and I was positioned in a place where I could see all the folks passing by. In all, I counted 1,038 humans and 17 dogs. Other organizers told me later that up to 200 more folks joined the march as it wound through the streets of Salem. Before the marchers arrived at Jackson
Plaza on the campus of Willamette University, a group of nonmarchers, numbering about 50, was already beginning to assemble. Consequently, I feel confident that the 1250-1300 figure is a good estimate.
As a long time activist in Salem, the size of the crowd genuinely shocked me. The Salem area is far more conservative than our neighbors in Portland and Eugene. We generally have to work ten times harder to get a crowd far smaller than our more liberal neighbors. Prior to the event, several of us were trying to guess the size of the turnout. Our estimates ranged from 250-1,000. (Most of us told the woman who predicted 1,000 that she was dreaming.)
Boy, this is one time I sure am glad I underestimated the resolve of my fellow citizens. The day provided all of us long time workers with a real high. Now, if we can just halt this damn war, I can start to feel really good.