View Full Version : Getting ready for the Republican Convention

27th August 2004, 06:51 PM
Convention Protesters Descend on New York

2 hours, 46 minutes ago

By SARA KUGLER, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK - Energy is flowing among fresh-faced college students, veteran peace activists and anarchists who've been preparing to protest ever since the Republican Party announced last year that it would hold its convention at Madison Square Garden.

Among the protesters is Jason Flores-Williams, who may despise President Bush (news - web sites) but can't wait for him and his party to get here.

"We've been building this up, and we want to hit the streets hard in protest," said Flores-Williams, a law student and protest organizer. "There's a seething hatred for this administration, and we want to express that."

The largest demonstration is expected on Sunday, when as many as 250,000 people are to march in protest of the Iraq (news - web sites) war. After losing a court battle to stage a rally afterward in Central Park, the United for Peace and Justice group isn't planning an official program in the park — but they encourage demonstrators to gather there anyway.

Other left-of-center causes will be well-represented all week — civil liberties, helping the poor, gay rights, women's rights, the environment. While a few conservative groups have scheduled events, the theme is overwhelmingly anti-Bush.

Before Sunday's anti-war crowds disperse, another wave of activists is expected to mob Broadway theaters in the afternoon as delegates arrive for special performances.

Most protesters have little interest in stopping the proceedings inside the Garden, but every intention of capturing the attention of the 15,000 journalists in attendance.

The police, certainly, will pay attention. The Manhattan district attorney has predicted 1,000 arrests per day, with a strong start on Sunday.