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Chicago crowd size pics




Occupy Chicago's estimate:

The Guardian:

Crowd estimators use a simple multiplier (area times density) to reach a figure. Herbert Jacobs, a journalism professor at Berkeley in the 1960s, derived a basic rule which has served as a guide since.

He worked out that a light crowd consists of one person per 10 square feet. A more densely packed gathering has an individual every 4.5 square feet, and a tight mob allows for no more than 2.5 square feet per person. ...

I'm sticking with the old method of a seasoned chronicler of protests: take the official estimate of the police, compare with the claim of the protesters, and go for somewhere in the middle.

That would put attendance at protests at somewhere between 3,500 and 6,000.

And the first comment at the Guardian:

I was there and I estimate that leaving Grant Park at the beginning of the march we covered an area at least as large as 34500 sq ft (1380 ft. x 25 ft).

We were densely packed and assuming the per person area was between 2.5 and 4.5 people per sq ft (per Jacobs), there were between 7666 or 13800 demonstrators at the beginning of the march.

So, that's the issue. Dense packing. Eye witnesses?

No votes yet


coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

- I kept stepping on other people's feet and having my own stepped on.

There were other times when it opened up a bit - particularly when we got to the part of Michigan Avenue without a median.

The top picture was taken as people "lined up" at the start of the march. Please note that the group had divided into a couple of sections by that time as speeches (Jesse Jackson) were still going on and part of the crowd was still listening. Others (like me) were anxious to get going so we started to line up as shown in picture 1. And still others where standing under the trees trying to stay out of the sun as long as possible. So if this picture was taken before 2 PM, it doesn't include everyone. This was a very densely packed crowd as all of the contingency groups were trying to establish a position and lots of people were joining from the sides. The wide yellow sign in the front of this photo was not the start - it was about 100 feet back from the start.

The middle picture is once the march got going - just at the first left turn. so it's hard to tell if part of the march has already turned left (and out of the picture) or is still in this photo. I promise you that in this photo everyone is packed in like sardines. (When we got between the building a roar went up because it sounded so great in that area...and there was some shade!) Note that the big wide yellow sign is not in this photo, so I suspect it was taken after part of the group had turned left.

The last picture is when we entered the final stretch of Michigan Avenue and could stretch across the whole street. At this point, there was more room. (You can just make out the wide yellow sign toward the front.)

I went to the Nurses Rally on Friday and I think I heard 3,000 for that event (Daly Plaza holds 5,000 and it was about 75% full according to a spy I had in a building next to the Plaza who was texting me with commentary). If that count is accurate, then I can assure you that the Sunday March was at least 3 to 4 times larger. I personally feel more than that, but at least 3 to 4 times larger.