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The Canadian Press reports: "A raucous group of protesters gathered outside a Surrey, B.C. hotel Thursday, hoisting colourful cardboard placards, shouting into megaphones and looking and sounding much like the masses who have converged for Occupy rallies in cities across Canada. But unlike their counterparts, this group had a single, united objective - to secure the arrest of George W. Bush."

George W. Bush, remember that guy? 07/26/11. (photo: Evan Vucci/AP)
George W. Bush, remember that guy? 07/26/11. (photo: Evan Vucci/AP)



Canadian Protesters Call For Arrest of George W. Bush

By The Canadian Press

21 October 11

 

raucous group of protesters gathered outside a Surrey, B.C. hotel Thursday, hoisting colourful cardboard placards, shouting into megaphones and looking and sounding much like the masses who have converged for Occupy rallies in cities across Canada.

But unlike their counterparts, this group had a single, united objective - to secure the arrest of George W. Bush.

"This is a specific way justice can be served," said Allison Jones, who travelled to the Vancouver suburb to show her disapproval of the former U.S. president and the policies he passed while commander-in-chief.

Bush and his fellow former president, Bill Clinton, drew two distinct crowds to their lunch-hour speaking engagement.

Inside were 500 business people who paid $599 per ticket to the Surrey Regional Economic Summit. Outside, another 200 or so activists stared down a line of police officers while chanting: "Do your job and enforce the law!"

Following protests that galvanized thousands in Vancouver and other cities across Canada last Saturday as part of the Occupy movement, RCMP in Surrey prepared for the prospect of holding back several hundred demonstrators as Bush and Clinton chatted inside. A key critique of the movement is that it has no unifying goal.

Several dozen Mounties blocked off a small stretch of road to traffic and formed a calm, human barricade in front of the venue. Cpl. Drew Grainger said there were no major incidents and no arrests.

Amnesty International, along with several other peace and human rights organizations, contend Bush should be tried under Canadian and international law for war crimes, including torture.

They point to what they call the illegal invasion of Iraq and his administration's admitted use of techniques like waterboarding as evidence of crimes.

Dick Cheney, Bush's vice-president, has defended the techniques, saying the intelligence gleaned saved lives.

Gail Davidson, who founded the group Lawyers Against War, said Watts and the Canadian government are doing something worse than simply turning a blind-eye to what activists see as the Bush administration's crimes.

"The U.S. is Canada's biggest trading partner, therefore, George W. Bush as a former president of the United States is a friend of ours and we're going to use our power to suspend the law and protect him from accountability."

Inside the hotel, Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts told reporters the forum was meant to bring together diverse opinions on the global economy, and the group outside had a right to express their opinions too.

"I don't condone anything," she said of the war crimes allegations.

"I think that you have to realize there is a process and a venue - the international court - he has to be charged, tried and convicted. There's a process to do that and they have every right to proceed with that."

Back outside, a dozen people sang political lyrics in perfect harmony.

"Praise George Bush for an unending war on drugs and terror and the poor. Too bad about a million dead, at least the rich are safe in bed."

Others wore Hallowe'en masks depicting Bush, Cheney, and former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. Some waved a single shoe in the air, a reference to a notorious incident where an Iraqi man hurled his footwear at the former president as a sign of disrespect.

Chris Bennett blamed the world's economic problems on Bush and also pointed a finger at Canada's prime minister.

"Stephen Harper and George Bush are brothers from different mothers," he said. "Stephen Harper has taken Canadians' good name and trashed it in the same way George Bush has done to the United States."

Money spent on wars in the Middle East and bailing out big banks, as done in the U.S. and Europe, should be spent on bringing clean water, the Internet and other technology to developing nations, he said.

While Bush was on Canadian soil, a representative of the Canadian Centre for International Justice asked the courts to approve a draft indictment against Bush. A justice of the peace accepted sworn information alleging he was behind the torture of four men who were detained for years in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

The group said it had 4,000 pages of documents supporting its case for trying Bush under the Canadian criminal code. The move was supported by a letter signed by more than 50 human rights organizations and individuals, including Amnesty International.

"We feel wonderful about being able to finally put these charges before a court," said legal director Matt Eisenbrandt.

A process hearing is set for Jan. 9.

Final approval for such a prosecution goes to the federal Attorney General, who the group admitted has not responded to any of their requests for assistance.

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Comments  

 
+43 # MainStreetMentor 2011-10-21 11:15
Nancy Pelosi, as Speaker of the House, (and probably under "orders" from President Obama), lost my respect when she refused to allow the invesitagion of former President George W. Bush for actions he approved and/or enabled while he as the President. When you allow a suspected criminal to continue, unabated, that person can commit, or cause to be committed, more less-than-desir able actions. The Canadians of the above article most assuredly have my support.
 
 
+1 # unclewags 2011-10-23 21:10
Nancy Pelosi's refual to allow the investigation of suspected criminal former President George W.Bush brings to mind the behaviours of a few Catholic Bishops who refused to allow pedophile priests of their diocese to be brought to criminal justice.
Ms. Pelosi, where was the Christian-Catho lic ethos of "Ad Majorum Deum Glorium" in your inaction?
 
 
+42 # cadan 2011-10-21 11:22
Our Canadian friends are coming through.

If they could get Cheney or Bush or Rice arrested for their war crimes they would be doing everybody a big favor.

I wonder if behind the scenes the US govt is exerting pressure to make sure they get nowhere? (Didn't that happen with Pinochet?)
 
 
+6 # NanFan 2011-10-22 12:08
I have been praying and writing and making videos for this to happen for nearly 10 years!! I have been, along with so many others, BEGGING for the arrest of Bush/Cheney/Rum sfeld/Rice and others and predicting that if the US did not pursue this, the World court would.

I will kiss the ground of any country and the feet of any group that gets this job done, for THEY have created the world we must try to live in today.

They MUST be held accountable.

At YouTube, I am TheyAreGuilty.

Thank you to our Candian brothers and sisters who stand tall and fearless in their efforts to bring justice about.

N.
 
 
+34 # Capn Canard 2011-10-21 11:47
Yes, let's surrender George W. Bush to Surrey, BC, protesters. I would say that there is no need to arrest him, just send him to the protesters without any security whatsoever. If that isn't too your liking then send him to East St. Louis MO to live a quite life among the disenfranchised poor. Let him make it on his own in the wilderness of humanity.
 
 
+24 # Archie1954 2011-10-21 11:50
In Canada as in certain other countries the rule oflaw is tenuous. Harper and his right wing crew are not going to support international law or even Canadian law when it comes to arresting and prosecuting a notorious war criminal such as Bush and his even worse sidekick in perversity, Cheney. Harper himself leans to the side of extremism when dealing with poor third world countries and our relationship with them. He would rather beat them up then lend a friendly hand to help them in their poverty and dysfunctional societies. What a morass he and his ilk have helped create in the world. He blindly follows the US empire like a puppy dog looking for scraps and boy where the US goes in the world, deadly scraps are certain to follow.
 
 
+19 # lin96 2011-10-21 12:00
If Bush believed anything would come of him being arrested, he wouldn't be there. Obviously, the power of GHWB goes long a wide. And...we have former President Bill Clinton, who GWBush calls the 4th brother, because he spends more time in Maine with his father than he does. Does Clinton think Bush should be indicted? Probably not. So, how do we feel about the honesty of Bill Clinton?
 
 
+16 # Doubter 2011-10-21 12:26
Wait!
Just a minute!
Blood pressure almost back to normal.
O. K. now I can say it:
"AND THROW THE KEY AWAY!"
(and I hate writing in capitals)
 
 
+20 # Billy Bob 2011-10-21 13:04
Once again, Thanks Canada for doing our work FOR us. It's good to know there are people who still believe in America.
 
 
+13 # seeuingoa 2011-10-21 15:11
I would love to see him doing the perp-walk.
 
 
+14 # futhark 2011-10-21 18:18
George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney may want to spend the next long, hot summer being cooled on a water board until they are ready to tell what really happened at Cheney's Energy Task Force in 2001 and how its consequences affected American foreign policy through the rest of the Cheney/Bush Administration.
 
 
+8 # michelle 2011-10-21 19:37
Merci Canada!
 

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