Apparently I don't own anything purple, so there's that act of anti-war solidarity torn.
I don't know who the police think they're kidding with their "eight thousand" figure for the anti-war rally and march yesterday evening. There was no rallying point for the end of the march, just the organisers' plaintive request (plaintive even with the megaphone) that we all didn't stay in the Quay, nor use the nearest train station to get home, so Ernesto, Lardy and I decided to retrace our path along the march route on the way to a well-deserved ale. We were at least two city blocks-worth from the head of the march when we turned; moving past those still coming into the Quay, and walking at the same pace, we didn't reach the end until Chifley Square. In other words, when the head of the march had reached the middle of Alfred Street at CQ the end would have been at the corner of King and George, give or take a block. Feel free to calculate from that - my estimate: "Fuck me dead, there's a lot of people here!" The organisers said twenty thousand; the police, possibly annoyed by the splinter march that had jostled Premier Carr's car, said eight thousand; newspapers take the average and round up, if they're a pwog broadsheet, to fifteen thousand, or round down, if they're a Murdoch tabloid, to ten thousand. And they say crowd counting isn't an exact science.
The eight thousand figure and its effect on the resulting calculations meant that the Sydney rally was reported as smaller than Melbourne's. This is certainly possible, Melbournians being the serious-minded bruisers they are, god love 'em. The Melbourne police estimates were for twenty thousand; the organisers said seventy thousand. But then nobody in Melbourne did anything to annoy the police.
I suspect the best contribution the New South Welsh can make to conveying our feelings to Honest John on this issue, will be when we leave the NSW Liberal Party a broken, tattered thing in tomorrow's election. State issues be damned.