NYC police arrest some 400 GOP protesters
Police wrapped demonstrators and an entire midtown Manhattan block in orange netting Tuesday to control anti-GOP protests, arresting more than 400 people across the city as activists massed in the streets for marches to the site of the Republican convention.
Outside the New York Public Library, in the streets near the famed Herald Square and at the site of the fallen World Trade Center, demonstrators pointed themselves toward Madison Square Garden and promised to get their message across that they want President Bush out of office.
There were no immediate reports of violence, but it appeared by late evening that the planned march had deteriorated into blocks of human gridlock in several parts of the city.
People are trying to question the policies of a corrupt government. They take to the streets and don't ask permission," said protester Gan Golan, 30, a graduate student from Boston who was arrested after he sat in the street and refused to get up.
On the library's stone steps, hundreds of protesters gathered for the march. Verbal confrontations erupted as police moved them away from the library's front door and wrapped the block in orange netting, and about 75 people were taken into custody before the crowd thinned out.
Near the convention site, a bus carrying convention delegates was blocked by protesters until police arrived. About 150 people were arrested, police said.
The protests occurred as Manhattan began to resemble a crazy-quilt of barriers, heavily armed police and street-corner activists. About 1,000 people have been arrested in convention-related protest activity since late last week. One of those arrested late Tuesday at a demonstration was a 19-year-old man who was seen on a videotape assaulting a detective a day earlier, police said.
Near Ground Zero, officers encircled scores of demonstrators with orange netting during a protest before march. Detained protesters were loaded onto an off-duty city bus, and police put the count at about 200. The demonstrators insisted they were following police orders.
An Associated Press photographer was detained briefly in the cordon before being released; a photo messenger working with the photographer was arrested and taken into custody.
Outside the Fox News Channel studios in midtown Manhattan, police in riot gear used barricades to contain around 1,000 demonstrators staging a "shut-up-athon" to denounce what they called the network's right-wing slant. One woman held up a sign that read: "Republicans are really stupid. They watch Fox News and believe it." Police said there were no arrests.
Police also announced the arrest of a 21-year-old Yale student after he entered a restricted area near Vice President Dick Cheney's booth at the convention Monday night, coming within 10 feet of him and shouting anti-war and anti-Bush statements. Cheney was never in any danger, and no weapon was found on the man, authorities said.
Outside the midtown hotel where Texas delegates are staying, about two dozen protesters, depicting employees of "Hallibacon," grunted through plastic pig snouts Tuesday and wallowed in stacks of fake $100 bills bearing the images of Bush and Cheney.
The protesters accused Cheney and Halliburton, the company he once led, of profiting from the war in Iraq and its aftermath. They chanted: "We love money. We love war. We love Cheney even more."