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article imageBush greeted with protests by angry Canadians

By Subhabrata Das     May 30, 2009 in Politics
Hundreds of angry Canadian threw shoes on the poster of George W. Bush as the former president reached the country to appear at a joint “conversation” with former president Bill Clinton on Friday, report says.
Former President George W. Bush, who arrived in Canada to appear at a joint “conversation” with his predecessor Bill Clinton on Friday, was greeted with protests from the Canadians. Hundreds of protesters reportedly gathered outside the Metro Toronto Convention where the former presidents talked about their years in white house and also about the domestic and global issues facing United States and Canada.
Protesters including many Muslim Canadians showered shoes on the poster of Bush depicting him in an orange prison jumpsuit with his jail number 03202003 — a reference to March 20, 2003, when he ordered the invasion of Iraq.
Protesters were reportedly shouting "George Bush war criminal" and demanding his arrest. They also opposed Canada’s decision for allowing him to enter this country.
Police on horseback, bicycle and foot erected barriers and patrolled to control the protesters.
Malone Mullins, 17, who held a sign reading "So Mr. Bush, what's the price of oil? Massive murder. Welcome to Canada" said: "I am offended that Bush is in town. We should have nothing to do with his corporatist policies.”
Anthony Hall, a professor of globalization studies at the University of Lethbridge, who came all the way from Calgary to protest, said: "Bush is the most notoriously accused war criminal on the planet. He should not be in this country.”
Many protest groups such as Code Pink, Food Not Bombs, a women's anti-war group, a 9/11 conspiracy group, a war resisters group and a group asking for the repatriation of Omar Khadr, gathered to promote their causes.
Rolf Gerstenberger, local president of Local 1005 of the United Steel Workers, said: "George is our target. Canadians don't support Bush coming here. What are they here to lecture us about?"
Inside the venue, both former presidents were speaking about their past experiences in Afghan and Iraq wars and also about their tenure in office and post-retirement life in front of more than 6,000 people who paid between $200 and $2,000 just to hear them.
Bush termed the get together is kind of family union as he recalled his mother (Barbara Bush) saying that Bill Clinton and former president George H. Bush shared the stage so much that Clinton is like a son to her. He then turned to Clinton and said: "So brother, it is good to see you."
Bush also talked about his upcoming book on his office years. He said: “I'm writing a book. I frankly have to have something to do...some people think I cannot even read a book. Well, I will prove them wrong.”
Clinton in his speech talked about the two wars, and thanked Canada for supporting the mission in Afghanistan.
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