There was such a large police presence and so many police barricades that anyone passing by would think that terrorists were at large.
There were no terrorists on Broadway—although terrorists would soon be mounting the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. The police were protecting the right of the Opera House to present the Palestine Liberation Organization and their cause as mythically majestic and eternally just.
Here's what was also extraordinary: "The Suits"—men and women in positions of power, both politically, legally, and financially, felt compelled to take to the streets to be heard. Governors, Congressional Representatives, Mayors, Borough Presidents, financial advisors, were not presiding over a press conference in their grand offices. They were on the streets. I suspect this may have been the first time they have ever done so.
Peter Gelb had called the police to make sure that opera lover and former mayor—"America's mayor" during 9/11—Rudy Guiliani, did no harm to the opera house. That convener extraordinaire, Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, a partner in a major financial house, would not destroy the set. That Congressman Peter King and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney would not engage in any acts of petty vandalism. That attorney Ben Brafman, Borough President Melinda Katz, and Attorney General Michael Mukasy would not harass the opera board or the cast.