I'd estimate the crowd at somewhere around 10,000. One of the pictures included in this report clearly shows a long shot of a wide street fairly tightly packed for many, many blocks.
At the beginning the youth took the stage for a few brief speeches, some hip hop, and some really heavy metal music. The field below was far from filled, but steadily increased as the Rally unfolded. By the time the March began thousands thronged the area preparing to march the 2 miles to downtown Seattle.
Magnificent puppets, creative signs, spirited chants, drumming, singing from a chorus, and yes, some inspiration from three hecklers who dogged the march for much of the time, making some of the soldiers who had served in Iraq and elsewhere angry, and larger number of the cops equally nervous.
In downtown Seattle the crowd gathered for more speeches. Also present were the "Eyes Wide Open" exhibit, a heartbreaking number of boots symbolizing the Oregon soldiers killed, as well as prayer flags bearing the name of soldiers killed in this illegal and debilitating Occupation.
The police minded their manners, which I understand isn't always the case in Seattle. As far as I witnessed, the day was peaceful. Perhaps the hecklers might disagree, as they were very vocal about the infringement on "their" rights to freedom of speech when they were overwhelmed by the crowd or reprimanded by the police.
Well worth the drive to Seattle on a beautiful Autumn day. Touching lives who came from all over to touch others who stood strong against what will certainly go down in history as the biggest blunder in American military history.
At least a blunder for the American people and Democracy. For the corporate elite, for those who traffic in machinery of death, for those in the media who justify and excuse the hunger for Empire, there is celebration and a temporary rain of abundance.
Yet, this abundance has neither lasting significance nor security. And the people see what their leaders refuse to acknowledge: that people are more important than profits; that the treasures of Community trump wealth attained at the expense of those intrinsic values; that God does not sanction war or take sides one against another.
As one sign said, "open your heart."