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Inauguration: Police Brace for Biggest Demonstrations Since 1973

Aired January 18, 2001 - 1:32 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: The latest now on the inauguration, perhaps the big moment less than 48 hours away. And while party officials plan official parties, the fun stuff, police are bracing for the biggest inaugural demonstrations they have seen since 1973.

CNN's Kate Snow covering all of it for us today. She joins us now -- Kate.

KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good afternoon, Natalie. That is at least what the protesters are saying, that they think they will have the biggest demonstrations since 1973. In fact, some of those protesters in court this afternoon, at this hour, fighting to get more access to the parade route.

Let me show you why. We are right on the parade route here. In fact, I'm standing on the top row of the bleachers. These are the paid seats. Look behind me here. This is Pennsylvania Avenue running right behind us from the Capitol. That's where Vice -- President, rather, President Bush will come on his inaugural parade. He'll go from the Capitol, down Pennsylvania Avenue right past us.

Now, if you paid for seats, you'll be in these bleachers. You paid somewhere between $15 and $100 for the right to sit up here. If you didn't pay and if you're of the mind to protest, then let me show you where you'll be. You'll be over here. One group has a permit to be here. They're called the International Action Center. But they'll be down here below the bleachers, and that is exactly why they have filed suit in federal court. They're asking that they be on the other side. They feel that they're not going to be seen or heard back here.

Now, that International Action Center is a group that's more like an umbrella group. They represent a wide variety of causes, including anti-death penalty causes, also some corporate globalization issues. They're against corporate globalization, they say. They call what they believe in as "social justice" -- that's their term -- representing all kinds of views, but also prompted in part by what happened in Florida. In fact, many of the groups planning to protest this weekend are groups that plan protests because of what happened in Florida. There are at least 10 different groups planning to be out here on Saturday to, in their words, to give a message, to send a message to George W. Bush.

Now, security this weekend will be at its highest ever for an inaugural event. Police and the Secret Service are working together. They're going to have 16 security checkpoints out around the parade route here that people will have to pass through whether they're going to be protesting or not. Those security checkpoints a new thing. We'll be watching all of these developments on Saturday for the inaugural parade -- Natalie.

ALLEN: OK, Kate Snow, thank you.

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