magic, security blues, rebels with a hundred causes (New York
New York, Sep 25 (IANS) As over 170 world leaders and hundreds
of diplomats descended in New York for the 63rd session of
the UN General Assembly, the district of Manhattan, epitomising
the city's infectious can-do spirit, morphed into a high-security
Hundreds of New York Police Department (NYPD) white-and-blue
cars flaunting the motto 'Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect',
sharply dressed policemen wielding high-tech surveillance
gadgets, menacing sniffer dogs and squads of secret police
personnel swarmed all over, determined to ensure that this
global jamboree goes without a hitch.
Entire blocks, specially the hotels which are hosting heads
of state and government, have been cut off from traffic.
Hotel Waldorf Astoria - perhaps the world's most expensive
piece of real estate, where US President George W. Bush networks
with visiting leaders - is strictly off limits. Traffic could
be really messy and it may take more than an hour to traverse
a couple of blocks which otherwise would have taken no more
than five minutes.
But even as this sprightly city mounts spectacular security
build-up for the UNGA, the powers-that-be in the city have
ensured that it's business as usual in the city with minimum
New Yorkers, famed for their innate talent for blending business
with pleasure, can't resist the temptation of having a good
time. Broadway is buzzing with theatre enthusiasts and Times
Square is swarming with revellers, defying the gloomy talk
of financial meltdown that has gripped the almighty America.
Carnival of the oppressed
It's carnival time for professional revolutionaries and agit-prop
artists. Rebels with dime-a-dozen causes ranging from the
Russian invasion of Georgia and continuing carnage in Iraq
to human rights excesses and the persecution of the Falun
Gong have parked themselves outside the UN Headquarters in
the Turtle Bay area, shouting and singing to convert the distracted
passer-by to their mission.
Dressed in colourful clothes, this bunch of cause-peddlers
distribute pamphlets and try a hundred tricks to make sure
that you join in this carnival of the oppressed.
Ahmadinejad taunts Bush, rails against bullies
Surprisingly, US President George W. Bush, often the butt
of diatribes of the persecuted, has tried to steal their thunder
by calling on the UN to challenge tyranny and extremism. In
his last speech to the UNGA Tuesday, Bush tried to pose as
a revolutionary. "Like slavery and piracy, terrorism
has no place in the modern world," he said.
True to his reputation, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
played the iconoclast and railed against "bullying powers"
and "murderous Zionism" in his fiery speech to the
"The American empire in the world is reaching the end
of its road," he prophesied. Clearly, it takes all sorts
to make a revolution.
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