Short report by Jed Brandt:

I'm putting the size estimate at 2,000, with surges and ebbs along the way. It seemed that around 600 were gathered listening to the speakers, but as the march began crowds of students came in from the West and South sides of Union Square, swelling into the street and stretching for blocks.

Many people joined and fell away from the march as it progressed, with peaks that appeared significantly larger as the march moved through midtown. I have rarely seen this kind of spontaneous joining of protests. This says as much for the mood of the city as the spirit of the crowd.

Walkouts were organized at Midwood, Roslyn, Saunders, Beacon, and Notre Dame high schools. Campus walkouts came from Hunter College, CCNY, Baruch, Westchester Community College, with a lunchtime surge of NYU students at the Union Square rally.

Of the core crowd, 75% were high school and college students who had walked out from city-wide high schools and Manhattan campuses. The crowd was energetic, and noticably distinct from the "usual suspects" of the New York activist left who were conspicuously missing in action as coherent groupings.

The crowd was thoroughly diverse by race, with whites about 50% of the crowd; the rest evenly divided among Latinos, Blacks and Asians. There were no religious groups clustered by distinctive clothing. Unlike many protests in the thousands, there were no observable contingents based on identity or ideology. High-school crews and a horn/drum band created energy eddies in the crowd.

There was a red-and-black flag, a few American flags -- and the omnipresent flash green of the World Can't Wait stickers and placards.

Outernational opened the rally from the stage. Democratic State Sen. Tom Duane spoke, among others.

Currently unverified reports have been received of truancy arrests away from the main protest, the targetting of one activist with a bullhorn by an NYPD jump squad . I also heard one activist with World Can't Wait report that he saw the arrest of Juanita Young, a Bronx mother who became an anti-police brutalist activist after her son was murdered by cops shortly after Amadou Diallo was felled in the same neighborhood. One witness said that she was arrested without cause at the edge of the rally, and wisked away.

The crowd marched west on 14 St. to 8 Ave and then up to Times Square. A heavy police cordon on the side of the crowd, both foot and scooter-mounted. The police generally seemed hands off, with some petty harassment that picked up towards the end rally.


Several groups tabled, but the ideological work in the crowd was being done by Maoists. They had paper sellers and folks who could talk. There was no coordinated literature distribution by any other Marxist-identified group. There were a scattering of anarchist-garbed participants, they had no political presence. Democrats spoke from the state, but the Bill Thompson, the Democratic Party comptroller running for re-election came to the park hours later, totally bypassing the protest. No congressional representitives or ranking Democrats spoke.

Activists associated with the RCP stressed that a full-court press against the Bush faction was necessary. They are certain that the pace is quickened -- and not just in terms of the war abroad.

They are thinking out loud about three things: masses in their millions, constant social resistance and the need for broad organization with sharp politics. The RCP is already known for their explicit communist advocacy and stated revolutionary intent. While not casting revolution as imminent, they clearly believe that a sharp, decisive turn to the right is possible (and with inertia) inside signicant sections of the state. They see in Christian fundamentalism and the anti-immigrant Minuteman militia types the foot soldiers of fascism. They see in the Republican party the danger of qualitative change for the worse. And they are very concerned about the capacities of democratic forces with a small "d" to engage the fight like they really matter -- my paraphrase, not theirs.

WCW co-initiator, and Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade (RCYB) spokerperson, Sunsara Taylor greeted the march from a stage set up on Broadway as the crowd flowed up to Times Square. She stressed that the Democrats could not be relied on to get us out of this mess, and noted the inter-connectedness of imperial foreign policy, domestic repression, the danger to reproductive rights and the rise of the Christian right into the heights of government.

New York and national organizers are in noticably high spirits. They feel this launch action, which was likened to a coming out party, has legs.

An upcoming meeting was stressed from the stage, and with flyers, in an effort to encourage immediate organization among all participants. This was stressed repeatedly and with clarity, in distinction to many larger and intermediate-sized marches.


Full details to follow.

Hot97 Bans World Can't Wait public service announcement with BootsReiley of The Coup:

There are incoming stories of actions around the country coming into the World Can't Wait website: