Twit Pic Review of 912dc / teaparty protest in Washington, DC – crowd size?

Best twit pic #912dc Source:

I never gave this group or their cause much interest. But since they’ve “rained out” my ultimate frisbee game today by protesting on the turf I would usually run all over (in front of the national mall), here’s a photo summary of what twit pic is showing of the group. Oddly, the 912dc homepage doesn’t have photo galleries or much live anything on it.

Other pics at

It has been hard to get many good wide shots for determining crowd size. Tweets at 2pm on 9-12-09 from protesters claimed 1.2 million and 1.5 million protesters, but photos look to be smaller crowds than that. The top two (sic – links disappeared later same day) are of Pennsylvania avenue and have been tweeted around heavily, but none are from actual protesters. The last one here is from the ground (sic – original disappeared but re-linked below). It is much more useful, since this shot isn’t far away from the spot on the mall I play ultimate, so maybe I’ll bike down and play now.

I found that traffic across DC was unusually light this morning (912dc). For an extra “million people in town,” I got from Adam’s Morgan to Upper Marlboro, MD to pick sorrel leaves for my african dinner party tonight in only 45 minutes. That’s essentially no traffic.

#### UPDATE at 11pm EST ####

Two of the four twitpics I linked here at  2pm have disappeared. That’s odd.

While I’m digging into why photos that were on twit pic early today, here are some other twit pics with the #912dc hash tag on twitter:

Here is the part of the mall I’d be playing ultimate frisbee on 9-12-09. About 100 yards from the capitol.

More from

JACKPOT! Above photo was taken around noon on 9-12-09, according to Daily Kos, a left-leaning blog.  This photo is especially useful to me, because this whole obsession about 912dc crowd-size began with trying to estimate whether my ultimate frisbee came would be disrupted by the million teabaggers march. My buddies’ bikes and bags are sitting in their usual place, about 100 yards from the capitol (lower left of above photo).

Daily Kos bias alert again (source of above photo, but probably not a mock up).

[photo dissappeared again]

Note the South Carolina state flag (left). “Youlie” guy is the new Sarah Palin of 2009, who was the new Joe Plumber. Also note: the guy iphoning the photographer in consistent with photographer being not a “friend,” as his own twit pic caption implies.

Putting today’s 912dc twitpic collection together:

Above photo was one of the original 4 twit pics posted at 2pm today – but disappeared. Now reappeared elsewhere on internet.

What’s the lesson? Crowd perception can vary tremendously, depending on your point of view. Pennsylvania avenue (above from CNN and similar to what conservative blogs highlighted) is a much narrower space than the national mall space (which was highlighted on Daily Kos).

Crowd size? Having personally attended anti-war protests in 2003, 2004, and inaurguration in 2008, this crowd was probably at least 100,000 but certainly not 1,000,000. The impact on local traffic was minimal – for one guy who drove down Pennsylvania avenue to Upper Marlboro and back that morning. When I ran 3 buses from State College PA to DC in Feb, 2003, our crowd was smaller than this and were counted around 50,000. I also see this field every week. These are my frames of reference for crowd-sizing.

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