POLITICS

Frederick County businesses, residents, police prepare for G-8 Summit

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Frederick County expects a boom in business and protesters next week, when the G-8 summit comes to town.

Business owners say they're ready for the crowds.

When the G-8 summit convenes at Camp David in the mountains above Thurmont, particpants will be completely out of view of the public. The two state park campgrounds nearby will be closed creating an even bigger buffer.

The two hotels in Thurmont are booked by reporters. The restaurants expect an uptick in business from the press.

But it seems protesters have decided Frederick, 20 miles to the south is the place for them.

"Because we have the largest area for restaurants, housing, hotels, that kind of thing we have gotten information that they'll be down here in Frederick," says Lt. Clark Pennington of the Frederick Police.

He says officers have been monitoring Occupy movement websites and Twitter traffic. They reveal plans to bring as many demonstrators as possible to downtown Frederick and Baker Park for a series of rallies starting next Friday near Frederick's iconic belltower.

Pennington says police will be ready and he suggests the community get ready, too.

"For your safety and everybody's safety around you, take in loose items. Yard ornaments, sandwich boards if you're downtown," he says.

But an organizer of anti-G-8 events pledges all will be peaceful.

"We just want to talk about a system that works for a few and works terribly for the vast majority of people around the world," says Gary Staples.

Residents say they'll be welcome.

"I think we're ready, we're prepared," says Pam Hexter.

"I may not agree with their cause, but I certainly agree with everybody's right to protest," says Doug Cooper.

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