Fortress-Like Republican ConventionOpens

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NEW YORK - (08/31/04) – More than 50,000 delegates,lobbyists, journalists and assorted politicos arrived to theRepublican National Convention over the past few days to find thestiffest security detail ever assembled for an event in the U.S.The neighborhood surrounding Madison Square Garden, just blocksfrom the cite of the September 11 terrorist attacks at the WorldTrade Center, was cordoned off for blocks, while buses, trains andcars were searched for potential security breaches. More than10,000 security personnel were brought in to join New York’s37,000-person police force; bomb-sniffing dogs and automaticweapon-toting guards were ubiquitous, as officials sought toprevent either attacks by terrorists or disruptions by hundreds ofthousands of protestors targeting the convention. “It’slike a fortress here,” one convention-goer told The CreditUnion Journal. The security didn’t stop the protestors, whomarched peacefully in droves around the convention cite forprotests against the war in Iraq, for abortion rights, and forincreased aid to the poor.

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