Operations

DNC a Breeze for Some, Trouble for Others

Posted on August 4, 2004 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

BOSTON – With 40 miles of roadways around Boston closed for security reasons during the Democratic National Convention, the city was a ghost town on the first day of the anxiously awaited event.

For limousine and taxi drivers within the city, business was heavy. But for those out in the suburbs, poor access made for poor business.

From empty parking spaces on the chic shopping boulevard of Newbury Street to swan boats left idling without passengers in the Public Garden, Boston seemed to be a town without tourists on July 26.

Boston’s commuters abandoned the streets in droves, leaving them to scores of Boston police officers watching for danger.

Protesters passed out fliers while helicopters hovered overhead.

City officials had warned commuters to get out of town if they could.

The car ride into Boston from Cape Cod took just over an hour, and no problems were reported by North Shore commuters.

But the closer you got to FleetCenter, site of the convention, the more the action picked up.

Boston Common was lined with a dozen satellite trucks, where reporters could shoot segments with the Boston skyline in the background.

Down Tremont Street rolled a white limousine trailing a 12- foot effigy of George W. Bush in a flight suit with flames trailing from the backside. The limo, which traveled around town throughout the convention, was sponsored by the Web site, PantsOnFire.net.

PantsOnFire wasn't the only group ready to express itself.

‘Get on the Limo’

A group calling itself Billionaires for Bush paraded through Boston's streets, facetiously stressing what Bush had done for them. "There has never been a better administration for billionaires. The loyalty to the super-rich is wonderful. The Bush administration is willing to completely disregard the needs of the little people," said Mimi Nottieu, a "spokesbillionaire" for the group. Wearing an evening dress and tiara, Nottieu marched with 150 other "billionaires" dressed in tuxedos, top hats and formal wear. They chanted, "We’re here, we’re rich, get used to it." Billionaires for Bush plan to continue their demonstrations with a swing state tour called "Get on the Limo."

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