Monday, January 09, 2006

Gazette Reporter "Did Not See The March"

I just received the following email from Ann Carroll, the Montreal Gazette reporter whose coverage of Saturday’s demonstration i criticized in yesterday’s post. Short and to the point, she writes:
I was at city hall at 12:30 and there were a couple of hundred people there at the time. I did not see the march - perhaps it started with many more people than remained at the demo at 12:30.
Ann Carroll

Now before going on i should state that i do not know Ms. Carroll and have nothing against her. I’m sure she’s a nice person and all that. Other than (the incredibly important bit) getting the number of people who attended the demo so very wrong, her article was one of the best (of only four in forty days!) to have appeared in the Gazette in regards to this police killing.

That said, showing up at 12:30, after speeches have been going on for more than a half an hour, and using the number of people you see there as an indication of how many actually attended a demonstration that started at 10:30am – well, it just doesn’t make any sense. I left frozen like a popsicle, after having marched (slowly!) from Place des Arts and then standing in front of city hall listening to several speeches… and I was in the metro on my way home by 12:30.

Even in the nicest of weather, how many people at a demo are going to stick around to listen to all of the speeches afterwards? It’s like judging how many people are going to see a movie not by the box office receipts, but by the numbers who stick around to watch the credits afterwards.

It just doesn’t make any sense...

Yes, it was a very cold morning; but if almost two thousand of us could show up on time, why couldn’t she?

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