Writing at Brussels Journal, Thomas Landen cites an interesting case against the (mis)reported massiveness of the numbers of counter-demonstrators who shut down the anti-islamization rally in Cologne last weekend. In the run-up to the event, initial reports said police were expecting 40,000 such counter-demonstrators. (I cited that figure in my column last week.) Far fewer actually seem to have turned up--somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000, according to German news sources.
Landen quotes a Norwegian correspondent who writes:
Some counterdemonstrators tried to gather beside the Cologne Cathedral, which in many ways represents the core of the struggle. The Muslims of Cologne want to build a giant mosque with a dome and two minarets. Most of the Cologne citizens oppose this, but the project is supported by most of the politicians and it is embraced in the name of multiculturalism. But although Dagbladet reporter Marte Michelet writes that “tens of thousands of people were gathered in a giant counterdemonstration in front of the Cologne Cathedral on Saturday,” photos show that no more than maximum 1,000 persons were gathered here. Flags and clothes of the demonstrators also clearly show that most of them are members of typical left-wing subcultures. Not even here there were many people defending Islam in Europe.
This may explain why the counter-demonstrators grew so violent, leading police to shut down the planned rally: The counter-demonstrators simply didn't have the more or less peaceful People Power to do it. This is good news and bad news: good news in that the counter-demonstration didn't lure so very, very many people; bad news in that the government and police were that more eager to abdicate their civil responsibilities to anti-free-speech street thugs.