Beyond the highly questionable attendance numbers organizers and their supporters have been giving for this year’s ‘Moral March‘ protest in Raleigh, American Lens was curious about something mentioned in passing in the Charlotte Observer’s article on the various crowd estimates for the event:
Peter Anlyan produced a crowd estimate for the march’s organizers. Anlyan, a Durham-based corporate consultant who formerly worked as a television producer for Capitol Broadcasting Company [WRAL] and as a general manager with the Durham Bulls, has been responsible for the behind-the-scenes logistics for the Historic Thousands on Jones marches since they began in 2007.
Anlyan called his number of 70,000 to 80,000 “a guess-estimate.”
“It’s not official in anyway,” he said.
Anlyan noted that there were three to four times as many tour buses as there had been at previous rallies.
“Three to four times”? Let’s flashback to 2014, and what organizers said about the number of buses at the rally at the time:
— Angelica Alvarez (@AlvarezABC11) February 8, 2014
So if there were 100 buses in Raleigh in 2014 and “three to four times” there this year, that would mean 300 to 400 buses hit downtown this past weekend for the march. This number, too, seems off, but assuming for purposes of discussion that it’s true, American Lens reached out to Anlyan to ask a related question: How many of those buses were from out of state?
We do not know. It's not like Washington DC where a bus needs a permit. Do not have a number for you.
— Peter Anlyan (@anlyanconsult) February 13, 2017
It’s well known that many in the North Carolina political media can’t be bothered to take seriously questions related to paid/out of state protesters, so they can’t be counted on to inquire. Judging by the organizers’ history of busing in marchers, however, the likelihood of them being there Saturday is strong – the only question is how many.