Thursday, September 02, 2004 - Protest groups 'empowered' by large turnout - Protest groups 'empowered' by large turnout: "NEW YORK - They didn't change the Republican platform, prevent the nomination of President Bush or even make a lot of noise about voting for Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry. But the half-million or so people who protested during the GOP convention this week didn't come for that.
On Thursday, demonstrators prepared to rally for a final night outside the Republican convention as Bush was to speak inside. Protesters said they'd shown the world that not all Americans agree with Bush and that those who disagree can speak out. 'People are recognizing they need to vote with their feet. They need to be out in the streets,' said Tanya Mayo, 36, national organizer of Not In Our Name, an anti-war group.
The demonstrations were believed to be the largest ever at a U.S. political convention.
On the convention's last day, an AIDS group staged a brief protest in Grand Central Terminal during rush hour, and organizers of Sunday's massive demonstration planned a candlelight vigil during Bush's acceptance speech.
Organizers felt the week's protests were successful in focusing attention on the anti-war sentiment in the country and providing a boost to a movement they say will continue long after the Republican convention."


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