January 19 2009
An anti-Bush protest outside the White House in Washington
Antiwar, anti-Bush, anti-Obama — advocates of varied causes arrive at the capital to voice opinions, petition and stage political theater.
By Robin Abcarian
Reporting from Washington
Forbes Hill, an animator from Los Angeles, was walking past Dupont Circle on Monday morning looking for an art gallery to visit when he noticed the Raging Grannies — peace activists who set antiwar lyrics to familiar songs — warbling away at a microphone on a makeshift stage.
Then he spied a 25-foot-tall inflatable President Bush figure in a “Mission Accomplished” flight suit. People were chucking shoes at it.
Hill had stumbled across one of the few angry gatherings in a town bathed in good vibes in anticipation of today’s inauguration of Barack Obama. (Well, angry-ish. Everyone who threw shoes smiled and giggled in spite of themselves.)
The shoe hurling, sponsored by several anti-Bush, pro-peace groups, was inspired by Iraqi journalist Muntather Zaidi, who threw his shoes at Bush last month during a Baghdad news conference.
Hill’s sister, Ashley Hill of Durango, Colo., picked up a pair of strappy brown leather sandals from one of the piles of donated shoes strewn around Dupont Circle. Hill pointed his camera phone.
“This is totally cathartic,” Hill said as he snapped a shot of Ashley launching the sandals. “How can you resist?”
The shoes bounced off the midsection of the giant Bush, forcing a local television cameraman to duck as they sailed past his head.
On the stage nearby — behind a neat line of boots, loafers and sneakers — Gael Murphy, co-founder of the antiwar group Code Pink, called Zaidi courageous and thanked “everyone who has stood up and spoken truth to power in their own way.”
“Hold onto your shoes,” Murphy said to the crowd of about 100 protesters. “The struggle is not over.”
Barbara Cummings, a retired government worker from San Diego, solicited signatures for a petition urging Atty. Gen.-designate Eric H. Holder Jr. to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for war crimes. She also sold posters featuring Bush and Cheney’s faces behind bars, with the slogan “I have a dream.”
“Just because we’ve elected a new president doesn’t negate that crimes were committed,” Cummings said. “Obama has said that no one is above the law. Bush and Cheney have admitted proudly they condoned torture. We will never regain our moral standing in the world if we just allow these criminals to say, ‘Bye bye.’ ”
The shoe hurlers planned to march later to the White House, where a few were going to toss their ammunition over the fence.
This year’s protests are expected to be notably mild compared, for example, with 1973’s raucous anti-Vietnam War demonstrations aimed at President Nixon or the angry shouts of “Hail to the thief!” in 2001 after George W. Bush’s disputed victory over Al Gore. A handful of anti-Obama protests — most centered around the abortion issue — were planned for Inauguration Day.
The Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, said his group would carry anti-abortion banners near the swearing-in. “We want to send a clear signal to President Obama from Day One, from the very moment you are sworn in, the pro-life community will be there.”
Obama, who favors abortion rights, has muted some of the criticism by choosing evangelical Pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at today’s ceremony.
Members of the Save Darfur Coalition plan to circulate petitions urging Obama to act on the crisis in war-torn Sudan.
Meanwhile, at the base of the Dupont Circle fountain, the political theater intensified as a gray-haired man in a bright orange prisoner’s jumpsuit prepared to be “waterboarded.” He was thrown to the ground (gently), his face covered by a towel (on top of a clear plastic face mask) and his “torturer” doused his head with a gallon of water.
The “victim,” Steve Lane, a chemist who lives in Bethesda, Md., and writes grants for the National Institutes of Health, looked shaken when it was all over.
“It’s so horrible, this feeling of helplessness,” Lane said. “Even though it’s make-believe, it still panicked me when the water accidentally got in my mouth.”
This was the fifth or sixth time Lane had volunteered for “waterboarding” at an anti-Bush demonstration, he said.
“We were doing a leash thing like they did at Abu Ghraib,” he said, referring to the infamous photographs of Iraqi prisoners being mistreated by American soldiers. “Then this guy I work with on this said, ‘Let’s step it up a notch.’ So that’s what we did.”
Bushes last day in office, several hundred protesters marched from Dupont Circle to Penn Ave. In solidarity with Iraqi shoe thrower Muntada Al-Zaida, protesters then threw shoes over the barricade fences between Penn Ave and the White House.
The march arrives
Shoes thrown over barricades
More shoes thrown over White House barricades
Area of impact
WHY shoes are thrown at Bush! Photos: Indymedia
The event was held to demand that George Bush, Cheney, et all be prosecuted for war crimes-and that Obama deliver on his promises to end the war and shut down Guantanimo Bay.
Few if any shoes cleared the main White House fence(the final fence out of several), but the image of shoes flying towards the White House is long overdue! On the approach march, protesters held shoes aloft, just like in anti-Bush protests in so many other nations.
Several speakers both in Dupont and in front of the White House reminded everyone present that Muntada al-Zaidi has been held in custody and tortured ever since!
Prior to the march, activists demanding the closure of Guantanimo Bay re-enacted a waterboarding session, in the context of security officials trying to unravel a plot against the Inauguration itself!
Anti-war protesters throw shoes at White House
Anti-war protesters were throwing shoes outside the gates of the White House on President George W. Bush’s last day in office.
About 500 people marched to the White House and threw about 40 pairs of shoes at the gate while tourists looked on and took photos.
Supporters say they acted in solidarity with Muntadhar Al-Zeidi (MOON’-tuh-dahr ahl-zay-EE’-dee), the Iraqi reporter who threw his shoes at Bush during a news conference in Baghdad in December.
The event was sponsored by several peace groups. Organizer Jamilla El-Shafei of Kennebunk, Maine, says the event allowed protesters to express their anger over Bush. She says he is “leaving with no accountability for eviscerating our Constitution.”
Washington notebook: One final round of shoe-throwing Video
International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration
Obama Has to Hold Bush Accountable for the Laws He Broke
Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invaded Iraq “1,307,319”
Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America’s War On Iraq 4,229
The War And Occupation Of Iraq Costs
$588,201,053,050 See the cost in your community
A father carrying his Daughter.
This little girl is just one of the million George Bush has been responsible for killing.
The British helped as did other countries.
The worst offenders are George W Bush and Company and Tony Blair and Company
This was a war for Oil not to free the people of Iraq.
There were No Weapons of Mass Destruction.
That was all propaganda.
They Both want to control the Middle East.
Promoting Democracy and Freedom was not part of their agenda.
What was done in Iraq was Genocide pure and simple.
Any country involved in the war in Iraq should be hanging their heads in absolute shame. The masterminds of it should be charged.
They should be imprisoned for their crimes.
Justice must be served.
I was reading this yesterday.
France, UK pushing EU sanctions for Iran
January 19 2009
France and Britain are reportedly making attempts within the European Union to slap new round of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear ambitions.
French daily Le Monde reported on Monday that Paris and London have been pressing the EU to expand its embargos in a bid to prevent Iran from obtaining equipment and technology for its oil industry.
“Having failed in their attempt for now due to the lack of a European consensus, French and British officials seem to be focusing on another objective – banning the activities of Iran’s Saderat and Mellat banks from the EU’s territory,” Le Monde said.
The news comes as the United States has earlier imposed its own sanctions on both Saderat and Mellat banks.
Le Monde report added that Britain and France are also working on adding to the list of Iranian organizations targeted by EU sanctions in order to make it harder for Iran to evade international sanctions.
In an attempt to pressure Iran into halting uranium enrichment, the UN Security Council has so far imposed three sets of sanctions on the country.
Washington, Tel Aviv and their European allies claim that Tehran has plans ‘to build a nuclear weapon’ and argue that the use of military force is a legitimate option in retarding Iran’s nuclear progress.
Iran argues that the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) – to which it is a signatory – gives the country the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, adding that nuclear energy is essential for meeting its growing energy demand.
Seems to me, if they should be Sanctioning anyone it Should Be Israel and the US.
What the US or Israel have said or done is irrelevant as they are both rogue states.
Both have used Nuclear weapons on innocent civilians and if anyone is not to be trusted it would be those two especially. Both have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. Britain participated in an illegal war along with the US and France has been in great part responsible for the Demise of Haiti and it’s people over the years.
They might want to take a look in their own back yards and clean up their messes before condemning Iran.
They all have “Nuclear Weapons” and should not posses them any more then anyone else.
They for all intense and purpose they are hypocrites. Practice what you preach or shut the hell up. They should clean the nuclear weapons out of their own closets. We know for a fact they have them. Iran just wants nuclear power plants.
Iran to date has not been a waring state.
The others however would think nothing of dropping a Nuke on Iran and killing again millions of people so they can control yet more of the Middle East.
This is just pathetic. They of all people have committed more crimes and killed more innocent people over the years then one wants to remember but it is true.
Iran has done nothing wrong and do not have Nuclear weapons. The sanctioning is just to starve innocent people. Gaza is a good example as was Iraq. Sanctions kill.
Seems the warmongers are at it again. This is the beginning of a war even if you don’t realize it. Like Iraq they sanction them, make them weak and then go in for the kill. Killing over a million people as they did in Iraq however was also pre- meditated they planed it long before the invasion ever occurred.
Many of the wars perpetrated by some countries are pre planned just like Israel pre planned this last rampage in Gaza. They have systematically exterminated a few million Palestinians over the years. This type of behavior in all countries must end. Seems those who are the richest, are the ones who are the greatest Criminals and Thieves.
That is what they are nothing more nothing less.
They want the natural Resources of weaker countries. They have been repeatedly doing it over and over for years.
It all began way back in time. They explore they find they steal , kill, murder, maim and enslave the populations of countries.
They did it to the people in Africa and sold Africans to the US as slaves.
They conquered and killed the Aboriginals in many countries. Australia, Canada. the US, South America etc etc.
History must not keep repeating itself.
They have been doing it for years. They stole there land and their lives.
One would think in 2009 the world leaders and people would realize this must stop.
How sad the so called civilized world are really the savages. Not the innocent people they slaughter.
Poverty and death is created and imposed on the less fortunate countries, by the rich and powerful countries.
The rich and powerful countries also do the same thing to their own people. They really should clean up their own back yards.
The Financial Crisis was caused, by those so called Rich and powerful countries as well.
History is a great teacher just a pity they never learn anything from it.
War must never be an option. Of course those who make and sell weapons love war. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Those who invest in these companies love. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Those countries who conquer weaker countries love $$$$$$$$$$$
They want the land the resources and will do anything to steal them including war. Including lieing, including killing innocent people and manufacturing enough lies to hoodwinked, their population into believing it is for a just cause, which 9 times out of ten it is not. Could be 100% of the time. Their lies and deception must be brought to the fore front.
The planet cannot sustain war. The pollution left behind will kill for years to come. You included. War is killing all of us on the planet.
War is like the plague. Cancer causing, disease creating, plague.
The weapons they use cause deformities, in unborn babies.
They cause mental illnesses, mentally challenged, and the list is extremely extensive. I would have to write all day to do the list of illnesses caused by weapons of mass destruction.
Radiation alone causes so many long term problems. In any form it is horrific. When they say your illness is caused because it’s in your Genes well it is. But the cause of the Genes deformation in the first place, would be radiation. This became all to obvious after the Nuclear bomb testing in the US and other countries. Cancers started to pop up. Babies were born deformed etc etc. The mentally challenged didn’t just magically appear on the planet. The Bomb testing was the actual cause. The wind blows it goes as with most of their weapons. Chemical toxic slop. Agent Orange is till affecting those in Vietnam and the war veterans.
Radiation Fall out in the US.
When I said they would kill their own. They did. They are still doing it. Only now they are killing all of us.
The legacy of them will live on for billions of years. Is this what we want for our future.
War is exterminating everyone on the planet. Seems the leaders in some countries, just don’t get it. Well before they kill us all they had better get a grip on reality.
War for Peace is, like F$@#$ing to get your Virginity back.
It defeats the purpose when the slop you leave on the planet kills everyone. You and I included, or our children, or our childrens children.
The “warmongers” are the problem, not the innocent victims they murder.
They create the wave of wars. They create the circumstances. They create the weapons. They make the profits. They enslave the people.
They are killing all of us for power, land, natural resources and money.
They use our sons and daughters , friends and families to fight their filthy wars. Not for Peace, not to protect us, but for Greed, Power and domination..
They kill millions of innocent people.
They would kill you too.
“War Pollution” is devastating to the planet.