Photos

By Rod Boshart – The Gazette’s Rod Boshart took some photos in Denver on the first official day of the Democratic National Convention.

Below: A street painter applies paint to a mural in downtown Denver on Monday close to the site of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Below: Demonstrators and passers-by engaged in peaceful but sometimes confrontational discussion of religious philosophies Tuesday in the pedestrian mall near where the hotel housing Iowa’s delegation to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. The gathering took place under the watchful eye of Denver police officers in riot gear.

Below: Virtually every corner of the downtown area of Denver where Democrats are staging their national convention are reaching out to delegates in their own way this week, including this business celebrating “Discobama” as the time approaches for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama to accept his party 2008 presidential nomination on Thursday.

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Protestors, traffic and security

By Evan Anderson – Who are the real protestors? Denver police certainly believe the Clinton supporters are, despite the fact that the majority of those Clinton supporters walking boisterously along the ped-mall so close to the Iowa delegation’s hotel were women merely trying to voice their justified concerns over the primary process.

Yelling “No secret ballots! No secret war!” These protestors trudged the length of the shopping district as the smug DNC delegates laughed and took pictures, almost goading them on in their smiles.

The opening of the DNC convention is less than half an hour away and yet the bedlam around the hotels will likely continue until well until the evening. Police in black riot gear cling to the sides of their SUVs and Escalades as they roam alongside the protestors, making no more noise than the occasional grunt or yell to watch the traffic lights.

The pro-life protestors just huddle together like a swarm of twirling butterflies around a Butterfly Bush, chanting and occasionally yelling at the Obama delegates, “You were human before you were Christian!”

The Denver police watch these protestors with an appraiser’s carefully honed stare but make no move to corral them. The traffic situation is horrid beyond the scope of surely what Denver had anticipated.

Due to the protestors, as well as police ringing the hotels with cars and dogs, buses have all but been reduce to charging the gauntlet at a snail’s pace. The gaveling in of the convention at three is the first misstep of the convention, most of the Iowa delegation is still crawling through traffic.

The security is so tight around the Hyatt that bomb-sniffing dogs, mirrors to look under cars, magnet wanding and the like reduce any plans to infiltrate the hotel in the noble quest of autographs and candid photos of the DNC elite to vaporous empty sighs.

As the convention begins, we hope that the calm tenor of Obama’s voice eventually brings a little solace back to the agitated boiling on the streets in Denver.

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