August 1st, 2009 by Hafiz Noor Shams
And so, Kuala Lumpur is again the center of a struggle for liberty.
Estimating the number of protesters against ISA is hard but Twitter, specifically from the accounts of The Edge and The Malaysian Insider may be helpful.
The Malaysian Insider reports that there are about 5,000 protesters in Sogo area while another more or less 5,000 gathered near Masjid Negara.
The Edge reports that 1,000 individuals are in Dang Wangi.
Others estimate another 1,000 persons are in Masjid Jamek.
If these numbers are reliable, that makes 12,000 protesters at around 15:00 hours Malaysian time, making it much smaller than Bersih, but large nonetheless by Malaysian standard.
These numbers unfortunately are hard to be aggregated because these sources come from different time points. Crowds in one place may have traveled from one point to another, making double counting a risk. Or, even underestimating because these numbers may swell after time of reporting.
In any case, what about the pro-ISA number? Unknown and likely insignificant.
p/s — as the dust settled, better estimation. It is over 20,000:
News services estimated that the rally on Saturday, which was broken up by thousands of police officers using tear gas and water cannons, drew about 20,000 protesters, making it the largest demonstration in two years. [Malaysia Cracks Down on Protests. Thomas Fuller. New York Times. August 2 2009]