Spanish publication La Razon reports that more than 2 million people participated in yesterday's pro-family demonstration in Madrid, sponsored by Spanish bishops. The article includes photographs showing people filling the streets of Madrid. Vatican Radio reports 1.5 million. Euronews reports 2 million. Catholic World News has good coverage with the 2 million number.
However, the Associated Press reported that "tens of thousands" of people participated in AFP also reports tens of thousands. French blogger Lahire at Le Salon Beige expressed astonishment at the AP and AFP estimates -- 200 tens of thousands would be 2 million, but the MSM estimates imply much lower numbers. The New York Times estimated hundreds of thousands, and mentioned the estimate of 1.5 million. As it seems common in the U.S. for the mainstream media to underestimate numbers at pro-life and pro-family events, the actual count is probably much higher than suggested by AP and AFP.
The protest was organized in response to new Spanish laws recognizing homosexual unions and making divorce more readily available. Participants spoke in favor of the right to life, the defense of marriage as an indissoluble union between a man and a woman, and the right of parents to educate their children in accordance with their consciences (a response to new Spanish Socialist public education policy which, among other things, treats gay unions as the equivalent to marriage). According to Sylvie at Le Salon Beige, participants came from Spain, Portugal, France, Germany and Austria in response to the call from the Archbishop of Madrid.
E-Deo reported that the demonstration clearly denounced gay marriage, abortion, and laws facilitating divorce. While it was open to all who defend life and support the natural law, it was explicitly Catholic.
BBC News posted its television news report, or part of it, on YouTube. They disabled the embedding feature, so I cannot post the video here. The BBC report mentioned an upcoming March election, in which the Socialists have a 2% lead. The New York Times article also emphasized the upcoming election. The bishops, however, denied that the protest was political. Rather, it was clearly a Catholic demonstration based on Catholic family values and religious rights, attended by people from several countries in Western Europe.
La Razon also has other articles on the event in Spanish (see links at the bottom of the page).