Police swoop on more than 100 protesters

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The Independent US

Police arrested more than 125 people yesterday as protesters opposed to the Bush administration's policies marched near the World Trade Centre site and blocked streets in the city's financial district on the second day of the Republican convention.

Police arrested more than 125 people yesterday as protesters opposed to the Bush administration's policies marched near the World Trade Centre site and blocked streets in the city's financial district on the second day of the Republican convention.

More than 100 people were put in plastic handcuffs and led to police vans after the War Resisters League began a march from the trade centre site to a planned "die-in" near Madison Square Garden. They were met by overwhelming force from police officers. Seventeen were detained for illegally blocking traffic in the Wall Street financial district and six were taken into custody at a Harlem subway station, police said. Many more arrests were expected throughout the night.

Delegates staying at the Hilton Hotel on Sixth Avenue for the convention emerged from the lobby yesterday to be greeted by a special menu: "Stack of Waffles with Iraqi Bloodberry Syrup and Unilateral Flippin' Pancakes".

"Oink! Oink! Oink!" was the chant from about 30 protesters in pig snouts penned behind police barricades. They were drawing attention to the $18bn worth of contracts secured in Iraq by the Halliburton company, which was headed by Dick Cheney until he joined the Republican ticket four years ago. "They are piggish. They don't care about human lives," said one protester, Jodie Evans.

"They are willing to risk the lives of American soldiers and are willing to kill Iraqi soldiers just to get their money. They are raping a country." Passers-by and delegates were handed fake dollar bills with the image of a sneering Mr Cheney and the word "Hallibacon".

Madison Square Garden witnessed a localised storm on Monday. Michael Moore, film maker, who is a guest columnist for the USA Today newspaper, had been asked by his editors to play it cool and keep a low profile. Some chance. Reporters thronged around the director of Fahrenheit 9/11 </>to get his views ­ as if we didn't already know them. A few passing delegates did not take to his holding court on their turf. "Moore, you loser! Get out!" shouted a Maryland delegate, Dan Willard.

The commotion did not subside when he finally arrived at his assigned place in the press tiers. He was there in time to hear Senator John McCain, apparently ignorant of his presence, directly attack him. Amid a storm of boos, Moore smiled with delight at the further attention his film was attracting.

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