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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
By Michael Tarm
Associated Press

CHICAGO - Chicago authorities are bracing for as many as a million people in downtown Grant Park Tuesday night to cheer on Barack Obama as election returns come in, a potential celebration and security headache.
Police in Chicago and elsewhere around the country say intense interest in the election and the possibility of large crowds in major cities are leading them to take crowd-control precautions usually seen during Super Bowls and World Series. In addition, local police will be providing security at polling stations to keep things running smoothly on Election Day.
Security preparations in Obama's hometown include orders for off-duty firefighters to haul their helmets, breathing tanks and other gear home now until after the election in case of any emergency. All Chicago officers have also had their days off canceled and are required to work Tuesday, Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis said.
"I'm extraordinarily confident that we can keep Senator Obama safe, that we can keep the citizens of Chicago safe and that we can keep the neighborhoods safe." He added later that, "We always prepare for the worst and hope for the best."
Other parts of the country are thinking through security as well.
In Los Angeles, police typically deploy extra squad cars at polling places on Election Day and Tuesday will be no different, said Michael Downing, the Los Angeles Police Department's deputy chief. But he added that nothing suggests "people are going to riot or conduct themselves inappropriately depending on who gets in."
In Detroit, most of the city's 3,000 or so officers will be working Election Day, said police spokesman James Tate.
"That's any presidential election," he said.
Asked if preparations are more intense than in previous years because of the heightened emotions surrounding this election, Steve Martin, chief sheriff's deputy in Franklin County, Ohio, said, "I think we take all of those into consideration."
A permit application for the Chicago event said 65,000 spectators would likely show up, but many more without tickets are expected to arrive for what Obama backers hope will be a celebration of the first black American elected to the presidency. John McCain is planning a smaller election-night party in his hometown of Phoenix, Ariz.
The huge Chicago crowd, unhappy or not, could pose usual hazards. Police have imposed sweeping street closures and parking bans that will effectively shut down the city center late Tuesday.
Mayor Richard Daley told reporters early that he would have preferred the rally at a stadium, where crowd control would be easier. But he said with a laugh, "Could you see me saying 'no' to Senator Obama? Give me a break. I'm not that dumb."
Some church leaders, including the Rev. Albert Tyson, encouraged people to stay away from the event if they don't have a ticket. Faith leaders around the city, like Tyson, are hosting neighborhood viewing parties.
"One of the things that Chicago is known for, besides broad shoulders, is commonsense," he said. "Common sense says if you don't have a ticket, don't show up at the affair."
Daley estimated the cost to the city of helping to stage the event - including adding more police and extra transit trains - at around $2 million, and the Obama campaign has said it will pay all those costs.
The importance of Election Day security was driven home by the recent arrest of two white supremacists accused of plotting to kill Obama and dozens of other blacks, said Hilary Shelton, the director of the NAACP's Washington, D.C. bureau.
"We've unfortunately seen there's a few fringe people who want to create havoc, so it makes sense to have extra security," he said. "The flip side's that is that any heavy-handed presence of law enforcement at polls could be intimidating."
He added that anyone who might suggest Obama supporters in black communities might react violently if their candidate loses in a vote that is initially too close to call - a la the 2000 presidential race - may reveal their own racial biases.
"It does raise some racial insensitivity concerns," he said.
Downing, who heads the Los Angeles department's counterterrorism bureau, put more emphasis on threats of a terrorist attack.
"When you look around the world ... you see al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations want to sway an election," said Downing. "We've hardened iconic targets with technology and people."

Wire Service
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Chicago police get set for Obama rally and global spotlight

A veteran cop's tip for officers: When you get to your post, clear it of anything that could be thrown at you

By Angela Rozas
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO - Bring water. Think about gel inserts. And by all means, never leave your partner alone.
That's some of the advice veteran cops are giving to their younger brethren in preparation for the rally Tuesday night for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Some have been around long enough to see what can happen when momentous occasions, even happy ones, turn ugly. They point to the Bulls wins in the early 1990s and the looting, shooting and car-tipping that occurred afterward as reminders that Chicago police officers working Election Night need to be prepared. Days off for police have been canceled, and all officers are working 12-hour shifts to cover the city.
True, Chicago police have been a part of some pretty big public events in recent years, from traffic-gnarling Immigration marches to million-attendee summer festivals, all of which usually go off with relatively few skirmishes. But this event will cast a national and international spotlight on the city. And of course, on the Chicago police. That has more than a few of them nervous.
"We have so many younger officers that have never been through something like this that they have to be told what to do," one 18-year veteran sergeant said Monday. He worked the Bulls championships and learned a few things.
Things like, when you get to your assigned post, clear it of any rocks, bottles or anything that could be thrown at you, he told me. Bring water, your glasses for eye protection even if you usually wear contacts, and maybe even some gel inserts for what's sure to be a long day standing on your feet. Make a judgment about what you're willing to let slide; protecting people and fellow officers is more important than property. Choose your battles with rowdy crowds, and never chase a looting suspect. Because once you leave your post, you're on your own, and that's not safe. Stay cool, and above all, stick together.
Still, some officers say the doomsayers are overreacting. Beyond the stress of a potentially dangerous assignment and despite the whole world watching, Tuesday night might be exciting, even for officers who favor Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
"It's history," the veteran said. "And we have the front-row seat."

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G

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My question of the day. What would cause more riots in Chicago, a Bulls NBA World Championship win, an Obama win or an Obama loss?
 

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Mark my words, it's going to happen.
I overheard a couple of my neighbors talking about "taking it to the streets either way".
"I'll bring the pinot" one lady said. "How about my crab puffs and spring rolls" said another.
Yep, it's gonna be hardcore in Koz's little conservative hamlet of 4,000 tonight....
 

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Boston and other major cities were a shit show, it was all over TV. Something tells me McCain supporters wouldnt have acted in the manner obamas supporters did. Then again if McCain won obama's supporters would have rioted anyway and probably set fires all over major cities and claimed the American public were a bunch of racists. They act like shitheads either way!
 
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