Giving Peace a Chance

Low-key is the polite way to describe the feel of Manhattan at this moment, at least at midtown.

Like a big blue tourniquet, cops are already prepared to stanch the flow of protesters toward Central Park: The north side of 34th Street is packed with uniforms. And to the west is the restricted "green zone." That means that protesters coming anywhere near the Garden would probably have to detour several blocks to the east to find a northward path to Central Park if they're going to rally there. Broadway just looks too funky a route, for now.

The peaceful tone may have been set a couple of hours earlier by, of all people, Michael Moore, who asked a crowd of protesters at 23rd Street to "greet the Republicans" and joked that Bush has only a couple of months to go anyway.

This mellow mood could be broken by confrontations, of course, but the size of the gathering crowd of protesters looks surprisingly small at this point, according to observers along the route.

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