When George W. Bush came to town for the Republican National Convention in 2004, the New York City Police Department had to manage thousands of protesters day after day in giant dragnets using plastic netting, even though the vast majority of the protesters were doing nothing illegal. The protesters were “processed” in chemically polluted “holding cells” hastily set up on Pier 57 by the Hudson River, known now as Guantánamo-on-the-Hudson—a procedure that normally should take at the most a few hours. Many developed alarming skin rashes from the chemical waste on the floors on which they had to sleep. Others acquired systemic bodily disturbances. But the streets of New York City were maintained free of protest for the duration of the convention.
Keywords: Republican National Convention, NYPD, protesters, Hudson River, Guantánamo