People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 21

June 02,2002



Bush Go Home !


THE US president, George Bush's recent trip to Europe met with the sound of thousands of protesters denouncing the “unwanted warmonger” and clashing with riot police on the streets. The biggest such protest took place in Berlin where even opposition MPs joined the demonstrators on May 21, 2002.


Waving red flags and banners that read “We don’t want your war” and “Axis of evil – Washington-Paris-London-Berlin”, nearly 20,000 anti-Bush protesters marched through the centre of the city in a series of demonstrations. The rallies drew protesters from around 240 groups throughout Germany. They included members of the Green Party, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s coalition partners, opposition Communist Party for Democratic Socialism, the anti-globalisation movement Attac and a broad coalition of environmentalist and peace groups called “Axis for peace.”


Christian Stroeble, a senior Green party MP, said: “There are many reasons to demonstrate against George Bush. His plans for a war against Iraq and his government’s refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol on the environment are but a few.”


One protester, teacher Christa Peter, 46, from Berlin said the demonstration “is not against Bush or his visit, but his war policy”. She added: “This theory of the ‘axis of evil’ is dangerous, and allies like Germany need to take this opportunity to warn him.” (...) The scale of the demonstrations obliged city authorities to put Berlin on a near-war footing. An unprecedented 10,000 police were drafted to seal the central area around the Brandenburg Gate and nearby Adlon hotel where Mr Bush stayed. The American president is accompanied by a 600-strong security team.


The coverage given to Mr Bush’s visit in the German press demonstrated growing public concern at his policies. A poll in Der Spiegel magazine showed 76 per cent of those questioned thought Washington “was too involved in the affairs of other countries”. Only 19 per cent thought Mr Bush was doing a good job. 


Two years ago, when Mr Bush’s predecessor Bill Clinton visited Berlin, crowds applauded outside a fashionable city restaurant where Mr Clinton and Mr Schröder dined and swapped cigars.


One of the few signs welcoming Mr Bush to Berlin was from Deutsche Telekom which superimposed a giant image of the White House on tarpaulins covering the Brandenburg Gate which is being renovated.




Several thousand people marched through central Paris on May 25 to protest US president George W Bush’s two-day visit to France and denounce American domestic and foreign policy.


Marchers shouted “Bush, You Are the Terrorist,” and “Yes to Peace, No to War,” as they proceeded from the landmark Place de la Republique to another monument, the Bastille.


French television station LCI reported that 4,500 people attended the march. Hours before, several dozen death penalty opponents gathered near a replica of the Statue of Liberty in Paris to denounce his support for capital punishment. The statue is located near a bridge where death-penalty opponents hung cardboard figures that dangled from string to denote the 152 people executed in Texas during Bush’s nearly six years there as governor.


Michel Taube, head of France’s “Together Against the Death Penalty” Association, said the grim display was a message to “tell the United States to abolish the death penalty, as European countries have done.”


Leftist and extreme left organizations, ecologists and pro-Palestinian groups were involved in Sunday’s demonstration in Paris, where Bush was meeting with French President Jacques Chirac.


Another protest took place in Caen in the Normandy region, where Bush will travel on Monday to honor the thousands of US soldiers who died there during World War II. About 1,000 people attended that protest, LCI reported.


Others taking part in protests include Attac, a Paris-based anti-globalization organisation that helped organise mass protests at the Genoa G-8 meeting in July 2001; and environmental groups, which have sharply criticised Bush for rejecting the Kyoto Protocol that sets limits on greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming.




A small but determined group of anti-US demonstrators followed president Bush around St. Petersburg on May 25 until its leaders were shoved into a van by plainclothes security personnel and driven away, reports Associated Press.


A few hundred communists, nationalists and anti-globalisation activists protested Bush’s visit at rallies in the center of the city. About two dozen people followed Bush to St. Petersburg State University, where some of them broke through a police line and were quickly detained.


As Bush and Russian president Vladimir Putin were addressing students at St. Petersburg University, police kept the surrounding streets blocked to both

cars and pedestrians. Suddenly, a few shouting nationalists and leftists ran past the police toward the university. Blowing their whistles, uniformed and

plainclothes police ran after them, as about 20 other protesters shouted obscenities.


The police dragged protesters, including several who had not attempted to cross the line, to an unmarked van, which drove away. A man in plain clothes who identified himself as an anti-organised crime officer said eight people had been detained. The ITAR-Tass news agency, citing the city police department, said 30 had been detained.


More than 20 people were detained in the evening at a rally outside the Mariinsky Theater, where Bush, Putin and their wives were watching a performance of The Nutcracker, said Olga Kozlova, whose husband was among the detainees. The protesters had been planning to sing revolutionary songs outside the theater as an alternative to the ballet, Kozlova said.


Earlier, about 200 demonstrators, mostly elderly communists, lined Nevsky Prospekt, the city’s main thoroughfare. They held banners reading “US President George Bush is Terrorist No. 1 on Planet Earth” and “Bush: Hands

off Russia!”


A younger crowd of activists—including those who later were detained at the university—rallied against what they called US ambitions of world domination and against Russia’s warm ties with the United States.


“The very ideology of America is anti-Russian,” said 18-year-old Andrei Pepotsky, a member of a nationalist party who wore a hammer-and-sickle arm band.


Earlier, in Moscow hundreds of communist and leftist demonstrators staged a noisy protest near the US embassy in Moscow on May 23, hours before Bush arrived for his summit with president Vladimir Putin. They were waving red Soviet flags and chanted anti-Bush and anti-Putin slogans.


“I’m against Bush and the politics of our government, the political course Putin is taking,” said Alexei, a 73-year-old retiree who refused to give his last name. “It’s destroying our national pride,” he said.


One protester, dressed as the Statue of Liberty, held up a chicken leg, symbolising the lingering dispute over US poultry imports that has clouded US-Russian trade relations ahead of the summit. The demonstrators also protested Russia’s decision to accept nuclear waste from other countries in exchange for cash.