The internet has had a liberating impact for humanity. It allows the average person access to more information faster than kings and presidents of old. It is a platform for everyone from Charlie Sheen to protesters in Egypt to express themselves.
The internet is also unforgiving. The teenage girl who decides to make a few hundred bucks posing unclad in front of a camera may find that image googled during a job interview. The intemperate e-mail sent in anger will find itself forwarded to thousands. And if you choose to make threats, don’t think you will be able to hide behind an assumed name. A great example of this took place on St. Patrick’s day last.
During the late unpleasantness in Wisconsin, blogger Ann Althouse (who lives in the area) and her husband Lawrence Meade provided invaluable coverage, interviewing protesters and providing video that showed what was actually happening. It allowed millions to bypass the MSM who choose to whitewash the protests and their aftermath.
Opponents of Governor Walker, unable to filter Ann’s coverage were unhappy. One in particular, incensed at the videos, posted a threatening outburst so profane it was an effort to find a usable piece:
Upon being locked out of the State Capitol building Republican State Senator Glenn Grotham was mobbed by protesters who proceeded to impede his way.
Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman is chased and trapped by hecklers outside of the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Wis. on Mar. 1, 2011. Thousands of protestors had gathered as Gov. Scott Walker delivered his budget address to the state legislature, capping off two weeks of continuous protests and demonstrations against provisions which would strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights.
William Jacobson of Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion has the story:
Protests in support of Wisconsin public sector unions were organized by MoveOn.org and labor unions today.
Promoters, such as David Dayen at Firedoglake, were predicting a million-person turnout nationwide. But reports as of 7:00 E.S.T. today make clear that other than in Madison, Wisconsin, the crowds were sparse.
The turnout in Madison was sizable, with estimates ranging over from 50-70,000, which included protesters bused in from other states. (Dayen is trying to pump the crowd estimate to over 100,000.) But elsewhere, the crowds numbered only in the hundreds or low thousands.
Other head counts, based on news reports, include: Boston (1000), Portsmouth, N.H. (few hundred), Augusta, ME (small crowd), New York City (“several thousand“), Chicago (1000), Miami (100), Austin (several hundred), Chicago (1000); Lansing, MI (2000), Nashville (hundreds), Los Angeles (2000), Richmond, VA (300), Denver (1000); Frankfurt, KY (several hundred), Jefferson City, MO (several hundred), Harrisburg, PA (several hundred).
While I don’t have a complete count, based on these numbers from some major cities and labor states, total protesters nationwide (excluding Madison) likely totaled under 100,000 combined.
He updated his post saying: