Went to the park across UN on both days (23rd and 24th). It is hard to tell how many people showed-up, but rather small park was full on both days. The crowd was dispersed into the streets and onto several locations. Turn-over was pretty fast as well. But all in all – I estimate about 10,000 in a 4-hour period attended the rally each day.
My main observations:
– Average Jews (not the Orthodox Jews) and the Country of Israel strongly support the people of Iran in their struggle against IRI – they were full of praises for the people of Iran and how ready they are for Democracy. Even their guest speaker Rudy Giuliani had nothing to say other than praises for the people of Iran. All together, I could see the effect of the last 2 months at least on the NY Jews. About 5,000 of them showed up in the 24th rally, mostly in the early hours.
– Unlike past rallies, presence of our youth was pretty significant.
– I saw great solidarity between Iranian leftists, monarchists, Green and Republic seekers. If MKO was there, they did a great job of not pushing for their agenda. Hezb komonist Kargari was there with their red placards – their messages were only anti IRI. Monarchists did not hold-up any Reza Pahlavi photos (with one exception (and that case was resolved pretty quick). I did not see any Mossadegh or Rajavi photos either. All placards were focused against IRI. Some old fools were holding the proposed flags for Kurdistan and Azarbayjan – but they were shouting slogans about a united but federal Iran.
– Some 1000 people gathered late night at Inter-Continental hotel chanting: “Ashghal Bia Biroon”. The rumor was, Inter-Continental accepted AN under the condition that they’d be paid in full in damages caused by IRI’s confiscation of their Hotel in Tehran early after the 1978 revolution.
– I circulated my flyer – especially to all of the over 100 journalists with camera crews out there. Couple of them also interviewed me. My message was basically: NO IRI. Can’t build a democracy on an anti-human rights foundation.
– Towards the end of the Second day – about 20 Jewish Orthodox kids (I think they were all under 20) showed up and displayed their signs. They had to be cordoned off by the police, not out of fear of Iranians, but from the average Jews who showed how much they really hate them, especially after their alliance with Ahmadinejad and other hard-line Moslems. Their biggest mistake was that there was ONE placard praising Ahamadinejad (Saying AN is not against Jews he is against Zionists). As a result hundreds of Iranians joined the Jewish shouting not so friendly messages at them calling them “Jireh Khore” Mullahs.
– I have to also make a comment about Pars TV – Next time there is a rally please stay out of it. Once again you proved how good intentions can be ruined by ignorance and lack of proper management. Your operation involves too many fossils – get more Iranian youth involved.
All together – I think Iranians did great.
I distributed about 4000 of these flyers – especialy to news media.