ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

So tape PAs, get that Clinton nomination speech ready for a split-screen.

Note that our colleagues at WABC broke an exclusive story last night on how there are 56 convention protesters under surveillance by the NYPD. "While international terrorism remains a concern, this operation's focus is primarily on anarchists, and how they plan to disrupt the convention. This week the NYPD began instructing officers on intelligence on this threat," reported Marcus Solis. LINK

The New York Times ' Diane Cardwell wraps the day in court for lawyers of United for Peace and Justice, who "filed a complaint in State Supreme Court in Manhattan seeking to force the city to grant a permit for 250,000 people to rally in Central Park on Aug. 29, saying its refusal to do so violates the state Constitution." LINK

The Washington Post 's ed board — whose city knows a thing or two about protests — argues in favor of letting the caged (in Boston) birds sing — and close to the convention. LINK

". . . something precious is threatened when demonstrators — even rowdy, obnoxious and possibly misguided demonstrators — are kept at such distance from the objects of their protest. What's at risk is democracy, and it deserves a bit more respect. . . . City police should not be deployed in a fashion that ensures that the infomercials do not suffer from any technical glitches, unruly moments or dissonant voices."

USA Today 's Jim Drinkard reports that Al-Jazeera "will have a sign hanging outside its skybox and above the delegates." LINK

In a Q & A interview in the New York Times magazine, film maker Vincent Gallo LINK tells Deborah Solomon he wants to speak at the RNC. "I would like to, they haven't invited me yet."

With a story so nice, it was reported on thrice James Gordon Meek, Michelle McPhee and Maggie Haperman of the New York Daily News report the FBI fears some protesters are "plotting bloody confrontations" during the Republican National Convention.

"'We have reporting that people who are going to a site to protest [in New York] may be planning to do more than protest,' said FBI counter terrorism chief Gary Bald." Similar threat scenarios surfaced before the DNC. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: casting and counting:

The Washington Post 's David Broder generally endorses the ever-spreading phenomenon of early voting, which makes "Election Day into election weeks," and Notes the generally high level of participation among early and absentee voters, encouraged by efforts like the one by the Business Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC) — though it doesn't eliminate all sides' efforts to manipulate results. LINK

A coalition of civil rights groups that plans to send thousands of lawyers to problem precincts across the county on election day in November has scheduled a full rehearsal of their activities for the Aug. 31 primary in Florida.

The Election Protection Coalition, spearheaded by the Washington-based Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law, People for the American Way Foundation and Unity 04, will have hundreds of volunteers in place across the state in two weeks. It's a preview of their massive program planned for election day in November, which will feature a nationwide toll free hotline and nearly 30,000 lawyers spread across the country ready to help voters if problems arise.

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