But most of the buzz before Collins' speech was about the carefully planned demonstration, which featured protesters dressed in black wearing on their backs the number "2,319," the latest tally of Americans killed in the conflict.
While there were no arrests, police -- who had been notified by protesters of their plans -- weren't taking any chances.
The Maine State Police parked their mobile unit outside the event in case they needed to process multiple arrests at the scene. A UM Public Safety officer videotaped the crowd to document any unruly behavior that might lead to an arrest. But police said there were no problems.
The fact that the protestors informed the police ahead of time about their action should have been a pretty good indication that all of the extra precautions were actually unnecessary. They just wanted to confront their elected official, not spend time in the slammer.
I'm also skeptical that the videotaping was only to be used in the case that arrests might be made. If so, the videotape should now have been destroyed, since no arrests were made. I'd wager it's sitting in a file somewhere, to be compared with other events.