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Rain fails to douse protest of Bush
Question of the Day
Protesters marched yesterday outside the White House in the pouring rain, protesting against President Bush.
Carrying signs reading “Stop the tyranny of King George” and “Worst president ever,” the protesters rallied first at 17th Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest, then moved to the White House to argue against the president’s politics and to ask him to resign.
The hundreds of protesters were most vocal about Mr. Bush’s continuation of the Iraq war, the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court, domestic spying and homosexual “marriage.”
“The Bush government is waging a murderous war in Iraq, a war that is based upon lies,” said Debra Sweet, national coordinator of World Can’t Wait, which organized the event.
Uniformed officers, mostly from the Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police departments, guarded the march route.
Though some officers wore helmets, none was outfitted in riot gear. Streets were blocked through midday. No arrests were reported.
Organizers said they hoped that 5,000 to 10,000 protesters would attend the march.
Mr. Bush was not in the White House, but spent the day at his ranch outside Waco, Texas.
“The world can’t wait for George Bush to care,” said Missy Comley Beattie of New York, whose nephew was killed in Iraq in August. “He never will.”
Miss Beattie read a prepared statement from anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan, who did not attend.
Mrs. Sheehan was arrested Tuesday night before Mr. Bush began his State of the Union speech for wearing a shirt that read “2,245 Dead. How many more?” inside the House chamber.
“On top of losing my son, I have lost my First Amendment rights,” the statement read. “I wore the shirt as a statement. I believe I have the right to do so.”
Police dropped the charges Wednesday.
Mrs. Sheehan, who was a guest of Rep. Lynn Woolsey, California Democrat, said she did not verbally accost the police, nor was she asked to change her shirt or zip her jacket.
“I intended to make a statement, not a disruption,” she said.
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
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