Low Protester Turnout in Savannah - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/10/04

Low Protester Turnout in Savannah

When we first found out the G-8 summit was coming to Sea Island, there were an estimated 5,000 protestors expected. But only a few hundred actually showed up. WTOC spoke to some of the few who did turn out.

All the heightened law enforcement, camera crews from around the world, and months of anxiety all led up to just a few protestors trying to make their presence known in Savannah.

"It's not the quantity, it's the quality," said one protestor, simply known as Bodhi. He's traveled from New York City to protest during the summit.

He says one reason for the less-than-stellar numbers is many protesters realized they have bigger fish to fry. "They want save energy for this fall for the Democratic and Republican conventions."

Kelli Pearson of the Sentient Bean coffee shop says when she found out about the G-8, she was very excited. "This is the appropriate place for power, this is the gates of power, I was excited people were going to be here."

But not many protestors are here. In fact if you go to Forsyth Park, the designated gathering ground for protestors, you can count their number on your hands.

And they all have their opinions on why the numbers are low. "It's a difficult time to organize," said protester Dustin Langley. "Schools are out and Georgia is kind of out of the way."

Pearson blames "lack of organization," adding the "the South is relatively unknown."

But despite the low number of protestors, city officials say all the extra precaution hasn't been a complete waste. "It's been a good drill," said assistant city manager Chris Morril.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com

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