Thursday, September 2, 2004

Protest arrests set record

By Shannon McCaffrey,
Miriam Hill and Tony Pugh
Knight Ridder News Service

Cheney goes on offensive
Senator, wife heap praise
Speeches elicit responses
Young voters get own event
Bush enlists Buckeye aid
Protest arrests set record
Notes from New York
Election special section
Convention blog watch
Convention photo gallery

Remarks by:
Rob Portman
Elaine Chao
Mitch McConnell
NEW YORK - Chicago in 1968. Miami Beach in 1972. Add New York 2004 to that list.

New York hasn't seen the same unchecked violence on the part of either police or protesters, but when it comes to sheer numbers, it's now surpassed them both.

New York police have arrested more than 1,700 people, more than at any other U.S. political convention. And the GOP convention still has a day left, and President Bush's appearance is almost certain to drive protesters to the streets again.

"In the history of political conventions, there have never been so many people demonstrating opposition to their government," former Chicago Seven member Tom Hayden told demonstrators Wednesday.

Police report 1,765 convention-related arrests since last Thursday. At the Republican convention in Miami Beach in 1972, there were 1,129 arrests. Chicago's notorious 1968 street riots resulted in about 588 arrests.

Part of it, protesters say, is that more people have showed up to protest in New York than did in Chicago or Miami.

Organized by the Internet and driven by opposition to the war in Iraq, as well as by economic and social issues, protesters have arrived here in droves. Heavily Democratic New York also has contributed to the protesters' ranks and provided a friendly base of operations.

And after watching the new breed of anti-globalization demonstrations turn violent in places such as Seattle, New York police haven't shied away from making arrests.

Wednesday's protests were generally calmer and smaller than Tuesday's. Eighteen were arrested, 12 of them AIDS activists who made it to the floor of Madison Square Garden where they disrupted a speech by White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card to a Republican youth rally. Some of the demonstrators scuffled briefly with the GOP youth, injuring at least one of the Republicans.

Cheney goes on offensive
Senator, wife heap praise on Bush
GOP speeches elicit strong responses
Young voters get own event
Bush enlists aid of famous Buckeyes
Protest arrests set record
Notes from New York
Remarks by Rob Portman
Remarks by Elaine Chao
Remarks by Mitch McConnell

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