NEW YORK - Political activists in pig snouts protested over Halliburton's controversial contracts in Iraq on Tuesday, the start of a day of "direct action" against delegates attending the Republican convention in New York.
The protesters called the company "Hallibacon" and threw fake money up in the air outside a major Manhattan hotel targeted Halliburton's breakfast for Texas Republican Party delegates.
Protestors wearing pig snouts, costumes and a Dick Cheney mask chant and toss 'Hallibacon Bucks' in the air outside the Marriott Hotel in New York on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2004. Halliburton was hosting a breakfast inside the hotel for the Texas delegates to the Republican National Convention. (AP Photo/Dean Cox)
Activists from the A31 Action Coalition have vowed an all-day series of nonviolent acts of civil disobedience including sit-ins and street theater to confront corporations and Republicans over the U.S.-led war in Iraq and other policies.
Critics say Texas-based Halliburton has been favored in winning up to $18 billion in Iraq contracts because of its former ties to Vice President Dick Cheney, who ran the company from 1995-2000 when he joined the race for the White House.
Halliburton strongly denies the charge. Its workers in Iraq do everything from delivering mail to U.S. troops to getting oil fields working again.
"They are piggish. They don't care about human lives," said protester Jodie Evans. "They are willing to risk the lives of our American soldiers and are willing to kill Iraqi soldiers just to get their money. ... They are raping a country."
One protester had a sign that said, "Halliburton thanks the GOP."
There were no arrests at the anti-Halliburton protest.
Since last Thursday, 558 people have been arrested in demonstrations across the city to protest President Bush, who will be nominated for a second four-year term at the gathering. He will face Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts in the Nov. 2 presidential election.
Most protests have been peaceful, but the wild card this week are anarchists who have disrupted major gatherings in other cities in recent years.
On Monday night, a plainclothes police officer was beaten unconscious during a demonstration in an area designated for protests two blocks from the Madison Square Garden convention site.
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