This was such a great march, I was very impressed with everyone on all sides. The cops, freshly neuterd by the courts, seemed to take their loss of "failure to disperse" arrests in stride. Without thoughts of "heard them up, clear 'em out" running through their heads they seemed to be more focused on their actual job. I walked at the front of the line, and the police up there were working to keep traffic out of the march's way.
I swear I saw one sergeant tell off a bicthing commuter who was complaining about the bus disruptions. He told her this was scheduled and actually mentioned that we had a right to do this. Never expected a PPB Sergeant to actually remember WE had rights, and to go to bad for us, even if just verbally.
Also at the front were photographers, dozens of them. Corporate media, indy media, straingers, freelancers and hobbyists roamed in packs between the police escort and the banner. At one point, the "anti-protest protestors" hijacked the entire march by waiting a few blocks from the start, and then simply walking in front. For a while there, it looked like a 10,000-strong pro-Bush march with their signs in front blocking all view. I have to give them credit for being sly, but they seemed to dissapear a few blocks later.
Speaking of blocks, this march was so many blocks long we at the front had a really hard time spotting the back. At one point around NW 6th st we could see the middle of the march heading in the opposite direction a few blocks away. some of us put our heads together and and did some math to figure that the march at that point was at least 15 blocks long. Several riot cops poured out from their hiding spots at the courthouse as we passed, chimping at the bit for action. I believe they were dissapointed, I never heard of a riot at the courthouse today.
Some people were egging on cops for no reason (other than the fact they were cops that is), and there were the usual "I bet none of these protestors missed work to be here" comments from a random office worker (I pointed out all the union banners first, then told the person is was saturday and many people had the day off. He blushed and left).
One guy decorated his truck with the british union jack, the american flag, the POW flag and the marine corps flag, and got through the roadblock to noce right up to the march at pioneer square. He blared really bad versions of "purple mountains majesty" and the star spangled banner (why do people think that singers who otherwise are not worth listening to are somehow more acceptable when they sing religious/patriotic stuff?) The police had let him through because they knew him, and a few transit cops came over to say hi to him while he heckled me about what I should photograph (he felt his truck was more newsworthy than the march because it had flag).
I left Pioneer square around 3:30, there were still smiles all around. Marchers were tired and passing water around, police were relaxed and smiling, the TV reporters were depressed about the lack of "action" (they either wanted the marchers to get out of hand and vandalize things, or the cops to get out of hand and shoot people). There was police horse crap all over the place though, the hourses, riot cops and other assorted police assets were parked mostly out of sight the entire time, sipping bottled water and cracking "cover me, I'm going in" jokes every time one went into a coffee shop.