Protesters at the last Democratic National Convention in Denver likened the host city to a police state, where heavily armed officers stood on street corners dressed in riot gear.
For Charlotte in 2012, some fear the security will be even tighter for a Democratic convention almost certain to renominate a sitting president, who'll require more protection than when he was only a candidate in 2008.
Next September's convention will be the most expensive security event the city has ever organized. More than $55 million is expected to be spent on manpower and equipment. The U.S. Secret Service is hammering out a plan in closed-door meetings with law enforcement agencies.
Federal, state and city officials are not the only ones planning. Activists opposed to wars, abortion, the banks and corporate malfeasance are developing their agendas. "We'll be there," said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the anti-war group Code Pink. "We have greater inequality. A huge fiscal crisis. There is just a real movement that's just waiting to mushroom."
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