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 user 2013-06-22 at 9:44:10 am Views: 96
  • #2053
    Thousands of Protesters Form 'Unemployment Line'
    Peaceful Demonstration Comes a Day After Police Arrest 1,100

    NEW YORK - Thousands Of protesters waving pink fliers that read ''The Next Pink Slip Might Be Yours!'' formed a symbolic unemployment line stretching three miles from Wall Street to the site of the Republican convention on Wednesday.

    ''I've been unemployed before,'' said Gary Goff, 57, a data processor. ''I'm concerned that unemployment is going up so drastically under the Bush administration. I think Bush is a disaster for working people.''

    The peaceful demonstration came a day after police struggled to contain swarms of protesters with metal barriers and orange netting, eventually arresting nearly 1,000 demonstrators with their sights set on fortress-like Madison Square Garden.

    The ''unemployment line,'' organized by the nonprofit Washington-based People for the American Way, was part of the Imagine Festival of Arts, Issues and Ideas that called for a creative response to party politics.

    ''I can barely survive, and it's because of jobs going oversees,'' said Jerry Nowadzky, 49, of Monticello, Iowa, who claimed that two companies for which he worked had outsourced jobs to other countries.

    Police said more than 1,500 people have been arrested in convention-related protests since late last week. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said police ''have shown great restraint in the face of relentless provocation.''

    Protests flared Tuesday outside the New York Public Library, near the site of the fallen World Trade Center and in historic Herald and Union squares.

    ''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 hours later after he sat in the street and refused to stand up.

    On the stone steps of the library, hundreds of protesters gathered for the march toward the Garden. Verbal confrontations erupted as police moved them from the library's front door and wrapped the entire block in orange netting. About 75 people were taken into custody, most for disorderly conduct, before the crowd thinned out.

    About eight blocks south, demonstrators gathered in Herald Square, only a block from the convention, and lingered near police barricades into the night. One street away, protesters blocked a bus carrying convention delegates from Louisiana until police came in. About 150 people were arrested, police said.

    One of those arrested late Tuesday at a demonstration in Union Square Park was a 19-year-old East Harlem man accused of beating a detective a day earlier. Police said they were charging the man with second-degree assault on a police officer.


    The anti-GOP activism has been largely peaceful, with only a few exceptions.

    Near Ground Zero at the World Trade Center site, police encircled scores of demonstrators with orange netting and arrested them for blocking the sidewalk.

    Outside the Fox News Channel studios in midtown Manhattan, police in riot gear contained around 1,000 demonstrators behind barricades. In what was dubbed a ''shut-up-athon,'' protesters denounced 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.''

    Thomas Frampton, 21, a Yale University student accused of entering a restricted area near Vice President Dick Cheney's booth at the convention Monday night, shouting anti-war and anti-Bush statements, was charged Tuesday with assaulting federal officers and impeding the operation of the Secret Service.


    A woman was detained and questioned by the Secret Service inside the Garden around 10 p.m. Tuesday after she refused to leave a restricted area, authorities said. Medea Benjamin, 51, of San Francisco, said in a telephone interview that she had been waving a protest sign and yelling at Cheney. She said she was a freelance journalist and had entered the convention using her press credentials.

    * Post was edited: 2004-09-03 10:23:00