In 1979, at a sold-out concert of The Who with approximately 18,000 fans in attendance, the force of the crowd at the entrance caused 11 people to be crushed to death.
In 2008, a crowd of around 2,000 Black Friday shoppers flooded into a Long Island Wal-Mart, fatally trampling 34-year-old employee Jdimytai Damour.
At the turn of 2013, a surge of people leaving a New Year’s Eve fireworks display at an Ivory Coast arena trampled 61 people to death and injured over 200 others.
Bottom line: under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t voluntarily place yourself in front of a large crowd of people moving in the same direction unless you had a death wish.
Why am I bringing this up?
Last week, an estimated 200,000 pro-lifers took part in the March for Life in Washington, D.C.* As they arrived at the Supreme Court building, counter-protesters from the radical pro-abortion group “Stop Patriarchy” were standing in the way. The March came to a halt for until police arrested the counter-protesters.**
|Above: the March for Life pauses outside of the Supreme Court on Thursday. The woman in
the red coat is Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America, who led the crowd in a chant
of “We! Are! The pro-life generation!” while waiting peacefully for police to clear the path.
The members of Stop Patriarchy do not have a death wish. They want to live to see the Communist revolution. (Really.) But they didn’t appear to be at all concerned for their safety when they stood in front of a moving crowd far, far larger than the ones that trampled people at a Who concert, a fireworks display, and a Wal-Mart.
Of course, their confidence was objectively well-founded. But I can’t understand why they felt that way. After all, we hate women and stop caring about human lives after birth… right?
*Unfortunately, the National Park Service no longer provides official crowd size numbers. I was there and the 200,000 ballpark figure strikes me as reasonable, but I was toward the front and couldn’t see everyone, so attendance may have been higher.
**They did an encore presentation of their stunt at the Walk for Life in San Francisco, which brings in a smaller crowd than the D.C. march.