If you hold a rally and no one comes, does it make a sound?

As I reported two days ago, the U.S. Supreme Court just ruled to maintain the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA), in a 6-2 decision. And as predicted, the anti-vaxxers are not too happy about it. So what was their great plan?

Last night, my friend Michael De Dora, Executive Director of the NYC Branch of the Center For Inquiry, relayed a link to me via Dr. David Gorski on Facebook. This link. It seems that the co-editors of the recently released anti-vax polemic “Vaccine Epidemic” tried to organize a last minute rally today in NYC to protest the Supreme Court decision…and Bill Gates for completely unrelated reasons. This follows a book launch party they held at NYU, which I attended and have begun a 4-part series reporting about over at the Vaccine Times.

Now I was unable to attend this rally, but from what I can tell from the announcement linked to above, the theme of the event was the exact same as the NYU event:

If you can’t join us in NYC tomorrow, buy a few copies of Vaccine Epidemic and commit to loaning them or giving them to people who will read them. You can always donate a couple to your local library.

There is no “standing still.” Either we move forward, or we fall behind.

It is a formidable act of advocacy to put copies of Vaccine Epidemic in people’s hands. Knowledge is powerful. To open your eyes is to find your voice. And at just $14 each, it won’t break the bank.

Which I guess is understandable since, given that the Supreme Court has already ruled on the subject, what else could they have possibly hoped to accomplish with this rally other than use it as an opportunity to move merchandise?

Of course, it didn’t quite work out that way it seems. Numbers are a funny thing. For instance, in that announcement for the rally, they proudly boast about their 300 attendees at the NYU event. And what’s so funny about that is that five days before that event, the Center For Inquiry and the NYC Skeptics held a Darwin Day event in the very same auditorium, Tishman Auditorium. On that day, I’d asked Michael De Dora what the full capacity of that room was, and he told me 450. which is confirmed on their website.  And indeed, I noticed when attending the “Vaccine Epidemic” book launch that, unlike the Darwin Day event, the anti-vaxxers failed to fill the room to capacity.

But that’s nothing compared to what happened with today’s rally from what I hear. Apparently, their big last minute rally turned up a whopping 18 protesters, which fell slightly short of their predicted turn-out of tens of thousands. Oops.

[UPDATE 2/26/11 – Age of Autism finally posted an entry on the rally. Notice they never mention the size of the turn-out and the only about 10 or 11 people can be seen in their photo. Draw your own conclusions]


And on an unrelated note, happy second birthday to my nephew!

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2 Responses to If you hold a rally and no one comes, does it make a sound?

  1. If all 18 protesters were children, then Wakefield could do another fraudulent study, with enough kids left over to draw blood at a birthday party.

  2. reasonablehank says:

    Gathering to flog a product. That was my first thought as well. Pity the product is a dead horse.

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