Jul 13, 2011
More than 200,000 at Bersih 2.0
More than 200,000 at Bersih 2.0
jJust received an email from Ruth aka Crankshaft asking about the methodology on crowd estimating and my thoughts on the turnout and so let’s elaborate a bit here on, first of all you need to be observant and an "estimating" consciousness during the rally and after that inspecting the videos and photos of other areas that you could not access or did not visit on that day.
When the crowd is in the stadium than estimation become easy but because there is no fix location and as the government has declared the Bersih 2.0 rally illegal then estimation becomes a bit more difficult as you will have to study other locations that you were not at.
During that day we started from Sentral Station than walk down through the Brickfields area towards Petaling Street to Pudu Raya (Maubank) and to the Merdeka Stadium and return to Brickfields through Pasar Seni.
These were some of my observation:
There was continuous movement of people on the streets and they seem to congregate and amass in to a big crowd at certain point usually when the FRU movrs in to block them and the first big mass of people were at the Pudu Raya Maybank location at about 1.30 PM. Crowd estimate in that area alone was close to 100,000 which is including those at the fringes of the area who dare not venture further to join the main mass of demonstrators, can’t blame them as many were with their families or were first timers.
All these while there were still people strolling in to the city as were stated earlier that there was a continuous stream of people walking in to the area coming in from the Sentral Station as well as Jalan Pudu from Bukit Bintang area and people everywhere in the KLCC area. Unending loose groups of people streaming in even late in to the afternoon people were still coming in. Even when we were walking back we saw many still coming in to the Pasar Seni area.
This is quite clear due to major police blockade preventing traffic from coming in to the City and many were jam up for hours, I have heard complaint of people being caught in the traffic for more than 4 hours and they still made it to the rally although they were late and this explained the many people walking in late even as we were going back around 4.30 PM. The demonstrators were also calling up their friends or twitting calling people to come participate and giving out instruction on how to commute to the area.
The Bersih Rally started quite early although the official time was to be at 2 PM, as an example our group started waiting as early as 10 AM at the kopitiam and the first group of our bigger group started out at 11 AM to the Sentral Station taking the KTM Commuter and by 12PM most were already walking in to the Petaling Street or Pasar Seni area. So the actual Bersih event was a whole day event and right up to 5.30 PM the FRU were still lobbing tear gas.
There were people everywhere many did not join the main body but were at the fringes as you can see from the photos here, they were on pedestrian bridge and all around and some just taking a breather at the corners of stair case and etc.
And so with all these consideration and using the methodology as stated in one of my earlier posting in the Anti ISA rally here. The conservative estimates are that the total number of people who were at the Rally at just about more than 200,000.