- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 4, 2006

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.

During the rally, chants of “Bush Step Down!” echoed repeatedly. The crowd cheered as a 30-foot-tall effigy of Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney was knocked to the ground.

Some shouted into megaphones as others chanted, danced and banged on drums. A small group of protesters briefly set a mock U.S. flag afire.

At the White House, the crowd was met by a handful of counterdemonstrators in support of Mr. Bush.

The protesters exchanged hostile and obscenity-laced taunts, but police kept the groups separated, and the march continued without incident.

Doris “Granny D” Haddock, a 94-year-old activist who ran for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire two years ago, called for Mr. Bush to be “tarred and feathered.”

“America’s values lie in tatters as a result of President Bush’s sociopathic behavior,” Miss Haddock said.

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