Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Well I never
Well, I never made it to the democracy march yesterday - other obligations intervened - but I was glad to see a good turnout despite the rain. But how good exactly? I have written before about the vast gulf between the organisers' estimates of the number attending protests and the official police estimates. Now it seems the police have a new tactic for underestimating the level of discontent in Hong Kong - they now give figures for a protest "at its peak". Yesterday their figure for this was 66,000. While I treat the organisers' attendance estimate of 430,000 with some scepticism, the police figure is essentially meaningless. Since it was reported that people were still pouring into Victoria Park to begin the march when the first ranks had already reached the end point at the Central Government offices, the peak figure tells us nothing about how many people actually participated, which is what really matters. You might as well estimate the number of people having lunch in a 100-seat restaurant as "100 at its peak" without taking any account of turnover - completely ignoring the fact that each table could be occupied by 2 or 3 consecutive groups of diners during the lunch period.