People were kept out of the city centre except for invited guests and more than 2,200 drain covers and other receptacles were sealed as a precaution against bomb threats.
With more than 12,000 police drafted in for the Bush trip and any area he visits sealed off and turned into a fortress, many [Stralsund, Germany] locals grumbled that the barbed wire reminded them of life in the communist east.
yep, that's what happens when bush comes to your town...
see i grew up in divided berlin. and when i was in elementary school we would visit the wall. we would climb up the stairs of the observation decks and peer over the wall into the desolate east. our side had observation decks, the east had gun towers. and the east was desolate. the streets were empty and the buildings looked dank and colorless -- i now recognize that they lacked the advertising and billboards of the west. capitalism = color.
being 7,8 or 9 i would ask why they were over there and we were over here. i was told various things that i can remember. i vaguely remember inferring that they were to be pitied because they had a bad government. why? because they weren't free. they couldn't speak freely (so far, we can do that in government sanctioned areas, stay tuned to this free speech zone), they weren't free to choose where they lived (as a military brat i found that ironic even then), they couldn't choose what they wanted to be when they grew up (as a teacher i see the very real limitations imposed by economics and racism there), and they couldn't even choose when they could go to a doctor -- hello? any of you have insurance? if you do, do you get to use it the way you would like? do you know that if you ever have to leave one insurance carrier for another that you won't be covered for anything you've been treated for for the past ten years??
and now our "good" government wants to build our own wall. and i don't think our side will have the observation decks. even my politically middle-of-the-road mom finds this unbearable. she can't imagine living on the side with the gun towers.