What was the participation of the DP in the protest?

What was the participation of the DP in the protest?
This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper and www.afp.al

By Eduard Zaloshnja

On Saturday, from his Facebook page, Berisha announced the news that over 600 thousand Albanians were gathered in the protest organized by the DP. And during his speech in this protest, Basha reconfirmed Berisha’s news.

Meanwhile, during the time Basha was speaking, several TV networks and portals published a video of the protest filmed from above. Based on the above, they made several calculations, concluding that there were only 7600 people participating in it. In other words, they estimated that there were almost 100 times fewer protesters than Berisha and Basha claimed.

In fact, Berisha and Basha didn’t share the calculations that they had made with the public on how they had reached to the figure 600 thousand (an old custom of all Albanian politicians). However, the figure 600 thousand is not credible, because it would mean that a crowd as large as the population of Montenegro had gathered in the Martyrs of the Nation Boulevard.

On the other hand, even the figure offered by the abovementioned portals seems very low-their calculations had not taken into account the fact that the majority of them had gone under trees to escape the heat of the sun.

Below, I have made a numerical analysis (which aims at clarifying the abovementioned rebus) with the help of Google Earth Pro.

Google Earth Pro is a computer program by the famous company Google, which offers, 3 dimensional satellite photos of every corner of the world in real time. Also, this program enables zooming in and the division of a photograph into different sections and the calculation of the area of each section in square meters. By using this method offered by Google Earth Pro, I conducted a numerical analysis of the protest that was held on Saturday by the Democratic Party.

This analysis shows that the area where there were protesters, at the time when Basha started his speech, was around 28000 square meters. The most extreme points of this area were “Freedom Tent” in the south, Ministry of Interior in the north, the Pyramid in the east and the little park with the Frasheri Brothers in the west.

Maximum density was in the sector near the tribune-4 protesters per square meter (1 lift with an area of 1 by 1 meter cannot carry more than 4 grown up people inside, in spite of how much they push each other).

The largest density was near the Ministry of Interior-1 protester per 7 square meters. As I mentioned above, with the exemption of the area near the tribune, density was smaller where there were no tree shadows.

By combining the square meters of each sector of the protest with the respective density, I concluded that the number of protesters participating the DP’s rally was 25 thousand.

But were they more protesters than on 18 February?

In an article published on 21 February by Albanian Free Press (http://afp.al/news/2017/02/motivimi-2859/), Apollon Baçe estimated that in the DP’s protest of February 18 there were around 25 thousand protesters.

However, although the analysis of Dr. Baçe followed a methodology similar to the one above, it was not based on satellite photos by Google Earth Pro.

And now, let us go back to the declarations issued by Berisha and Basha that there were 600 thousand protesters participating on Saturday’s rally. For this figure to be accurate, in the area of this rally (28000 square meters), we should have had a uniform density of 21 protesters per square meter!!! To understand how impossible this is, imagine a 1 by 1 meter containing 21 adults in it…

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 Note: The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Albanian Free Press’ editorial policy

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