Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

State Delegates Praise Security; Some Scoff; Many Defend War Decisions; at Least One Rails at Protesters

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

State Delegates Praise Security; Some Scoff; Many Defend War Decisions; at Least One Rails at Protesters

Article excerpt

Byline: BRIAN BASINGER, The Times-Union

NEW YORK -- As the Republican National Convention got under way here Monday, most Georgia delegates offered high praise for the four-day event's tight security, while a few scoffed at the protesters who jammed the city streets one day earlier.

"We're having a wonderful time. Everybody in New York has been great," said Richmond County Republican Party Chairman Dave Barbee, sitting on the floor of Madison Square Garden during the convention's opening ceremony. "The people have been gracious and they're happy to see us. It's just amazing."

Sunday afternoon saw more than 100,000 protesters descend on Manhattan, forcing massive road closures while the crowd rallied against President Bush and the convention's presence in a city still healing from the wounds of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

However, most Georgia delegates said they saw very little of the activists.

"We've seen a few. But they haven't really impeded any [event] that we've had," Barbee said. "They have the right to show whatever they want to show or do whatever they want to do. But they're not going to stop what we're doing. I mean, it's just not going to happen."

Most of Sunday's protesters targeted their efforts on assailing the war in Iraq, while also faulting the president, whom they say falls short on balancing the federal budget, protecting women's reproductive rights and promoting American foreign policy, among other issues.

Republican leaders responded by pointing to their successes under Bush, which they say include safer, more secure societies in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as a growing U.S. economy.

Andrew Dill, an Athens resident and president of the University of Georgia College Republicans, said he ran into a group of anti-war demonstrators at the World Trade Center site over the weekend.

"It seemed very peaceful and there seemed to be no hostility," Dill said. "I respect their constitutional right to protest what's going on. They have a right to be here."

The Georgia delegation skipped having a breakfast meeting on Monday, unlike most states, so members could leave early for the convention's morning session, which began at 10 a. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.