Updates on Bush Protest in Calgary

From: Susan S.
Sent on: Thursday, March 19, 2009 9:03 AM

Splitting the Sky Arrested at Bush Protest in Calgary
 Mar. 17
 ____________ _________ _________ _________ ____
 
 [Editor���s Note: an email from Splitting the
 Sky���s wife Sandra Bruderer on Tuesday, March 17th
 that he had called her at 11:44 am to say
 he���d been arrested by Calgary police and was in jail. As
 Sandra said, ���He was arrested this morning in Calgary for
 trying to break the police line and arrest former President
 George Bush for war crimes and crimes against humanity.���
 
 He told his wife that the police could hold him for up to
 24 hours.
 
 She further stated, ���There are people down there trying
 to get him released. One of them just called me to say that
 they have been told that Dac has been released but they
 don���t know where. They don���t see him and
 none of us have heard from him since. So we don���t
 believe that he has been released. The Calgary police is
 saying that he has been released but he hasn���t.
 
 Tony [Hall] just called back to say that Dac is still in
 jail there as someone has been in to see him. He is being
 held till tomorrow and is being charged with assault.
 Dac���s lawyer Ramsey Clark has been notified. Dac said
 there were lots of cameras down there and something should
 be on the Calgary news tonight.
 
 Arrest Bush!!���]
 
 
http://cnews. canoe.ca/ CNEWS/Politics/ 2009/03/17/
 pf-8783241. html
 
 March 17, 2009
 
 Protesters greet Bush in Calgary
 By THE CANADIAN PRESS
 
 George W. Bush will discuss his eight years in the
 Oval Office when he visits Calgary, Alta., Tuesday
 
 CALGARY ��� The rage on the man���s face was evident
 as he berated police officers preventing him from entering
 the building where former U.S. president George W. Bush was
 making a speech Tuesday.
 
 ���There is a war criminal upstairs that has committed
 murder,��� screamed the man, who identified himself only as
 Splitting the Sky. ���If I try to get in there you will
 arrest me. What is wrong with you?
 
 ���I am going in there and make a citizen���s arrest,��� he
 said as he attempt to push past police. ���Arrest George
 Bush. Arrest George Bush.���
 
 A few minutes later he was handcuffed and hustled past a
 long line of Calgary���s business elite waiting to get
 inside the Telus Convention Centre.
 
 
 
 An unflattering photo of Splitting the Sky attempting to
 break through police lines outside the Telus Convention
 Centre
 in Calgary Tuesday March 17th to make a citizens arrest of
 War Criminal George W. Bush. He was arrested soon after.
 ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________
 _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________
 ____
 
 
 Protest organizers say at least four demonstrators were
 arrested at Tuesday���s event.
 
 About 60 Calgary police officers were on duty outside to
 control between 200 and 300 people carrying signs that read
 ���No to U.S. Crimes Against Humanity,��� ���Indict Bush For
 War Crimes��� and ���Canada Is Not Bush Country.���
 
 Another sign read ���Shoe Him The Door��� ��� a reference
 to the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoe at Bush during a
 news conference in Baghdad in December.
 
 Two Calgary men showed up at the
 demonstration to support the former U.S. president. Their
 signs read ���The World Is Safer Because of George W.
 Bush.���
 
 ���Thank you, George Bush. Thank you, George Bush,��� they
 chanted.
 
 ���He doesn���t sit down and negotiate with terrorists,���
 shouted one of the men, who identified himself as Merle.
 
 ���Try doing this in Cuba,��� he said as he pointed to the
 jeering protesters.
 
 There were shoes everywhere during the protest. A young
 woman wearing a hood, orange jumpsuit and a name tag that
 said ���Club Gitmo��� was pulling a shoe cannon along with a
 target festooned with pictures of Bush.
 
 An obviously amused police officer told her to leave.
 
 Some of those opposed to Bush���s visit have said he should
 be arrested as a war criminal because of alleged torture at
 military prisons in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.
 
 
 A protester chants slogans outside
 the venue where former U.S. President
 George Bush was invited to speak to a crowd of Calgary
 business people on
 Tuesday, March 17, 2009. (Jeff McIntosh / THE CANADIAN
 PRESS)
 ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________
 _________ _________
 
 Tuesday���s speech was one of the first public appearances
 Bush has made since leaving the presidency in January with a
 dismal approval rating and much of the blame for his
 country���s collapsing economy. The speech was closed to the
 media.
 
 ���It���s not too late to turn back. Walk away,��� the
 demonstrators yelled to some of the 1,500 guests invited to
 hear Bush speak to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.
 
 A couple of hundred people lined up early to go through a
 special security screening room before entering the hall
 where Bush was speaking.
 
 A few said the former president has to take some of the
 responsibility for what has happened in the United States,
 but also has the
 right to talk about his administration.
 
 ���������������������������
 
 
http://www.ctv. ca/servlet/ ArticleNews/ story/CTVNews/
 [masked]/ Bush_calgary_[masked]/[masked]? hub=TopStories
 
 Protesters greet George Bush in Calgary
 
 Tue. Mar. [masked]:08 PM ET
 The Canadian Press
 
 CALGARY ��� George W. Bush wooed a packed crowd at a
 private luncheon in Calgary with his trademark folksy charm,
 while hundreds of protesters outside hurled insults and
 shoes at the former U.S. president���s image.
 
 
 Former U.S. president George W. Bush, left, speaks with
 former Canadian
 ambassador to the United States Frank McKenna at an
 invitation-only event
 on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 in Calgary. (AP / TinePublic,
 Ewan Nicholson)
 ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________
 _________ _________
 
 Four demonstrators were arrested outside the downtown
 Calgary convention centre where Bush spoke for one of the
 first times since leaving office in January. At the time, he
 had a dismal approval rating and was blamed for his
 country���s
 collapsing economy.
 
 ���There is a war criminal upstairs that has committed
 murder,��� screamed one man, who identified himself only as
 Splits the Sky. ���If I try to get in there you will arrest
 me. What is wrong with you?���
 
 Bush���s affable public persona, subdued by widespread
 criticism of his administration near the end of his time as
 president, was front and centre as he explained his eight
 years in the Oval Office.
 
 In his 35-minute speech, he drew ties between his childhood
 in rural Texas and life in rural Alberta, including the
 common binds of community and family.
 
 Bush poked fun at himself, but also grew serious when
 talking about Canada���s role in providing the U.S. with a
 secure source of energy.
 
 He also admitted his administration spent its final days
 ���bailing water��� trying to deal with the financial
 crisis, and said while there���s no easy answer going
 forward, more government involvement is not the
 solution.
 
 The event was closed to the media, but many of the 1,500
 people who paid $400 a ticket to hear Bush speak stopped to
 offer their impressions. Few seemed annoyed by the fact the
 event started an hour and a half late due to tight security
 screening.
 
 ���He was very, very candid. He was witty and witty in a
 way that you would have to be intelligent to be that
 witty,��� said Calgary Tory MP Lee Richardson.
 
 ���He seemed to have a remarkable grasp of events and
 issues that just didn���t come through as president.���
 
 Brenda Kenny, president of the Canadian Energy Pipeline
 Association, said Bush emphasized the interconnected, open
 markets that tie Canada and the U.S. together.
 
 Peter Yates, a lawyer who has dual citizenship and voted
 against Bush in 2004, admitted the former president is very
 personable and gave an entertaining speech.
 
 ���My feelings are still the same ��� he���s a folksy
 affable guy but I
 don���t agree with his policies.���
 
 Most of the 400 protesters waiting outside showed their
 negative feelings for Bush.
 
 Some of those opposed to Bush���s visit have suggested he
 should be arrested as a war criminal because of alleged
 torture at military prisons in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. Many
 yelled at police officers for not arresting Bush on the
 spot.
 
 Signs read ���No to U.S. Crimes Against Humanity,���
 ���Indict Bush For War Crimes��� and ���Canada Is Not Bush
 Country, as well as ���Shoe Him The Door��� ��� a reference
 to the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoe at Bush during a
 news conference in Baghdad in December.
 
 
 A Protest sign that should have read: ���Go To Jail
 Bush!!!���
 ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________
 _________ _________ _________ _________ ____
 
 Two men showed up to support Bush, however. Their signs
 read ���The
 World Is Safer Because of George W. Bush.���
 
 ���Thank you, George Bush. Thank you, George Bush,��� they
 chanted.
 
 The former president���s speech almost exactly marks six
 years since the invasion of Iraq, said organizer Peggy
 Askin, and it���s not OK to forget what happened in the
 ensuing years.
 
 ���He shouldn���t be able to go anywhere in the world and
 just present himself as a private citizen,��� she said.
 ���We do not have any use for bringing war criminals into
 this country. It���s an affront.���
 
 One businessman in the audience said Bush implied he had
 some regrets from his time in office, although he didn���t
 give specifics.
 
 ���He admitted that maybe there were some things he could
 have done differently, but overall he made some sense with
 the reasons for doing it,��� said George Fink, CEO of
 Bonterra Oil and Gas.
 
 The 43rd president of the United States defended his
 reasons for military action in Iraq and
 Afghanistan, Fink said.
 
 ���He said if we were in his boots in 9-11, a short time
 after he got in, there was a big demand to do something, and
 he had to react and he reacted.���
 
 Kenny said Bush seemed eager to explain his views, and he
 said he plans to write a book to show what happened during
 eight very challenging years.
 
 ���I wouldn���t say apologetic, I would say acknowledging
 that there was not always agreement and, frankly, just
 accepting that as a fact.���
 
 The Globe and Mail reported on its website that besides
 defending his decision to invade Iraq, Bush said ���risk
 takers,��� not government, will solve the world recession
 and that he had positive things to say about current
 president Barack Obama.
 
 ���I love my country more than politics,��� Bush said.
 
 ���He deserves my silence and if he wants my help he can
 pick up the phone and call me.���
 
 On the economy, Bush even though he is a ���free market
 guy,��� he had to step in with a bail-out package in the
 waning days of his administration.
 
 But he said the government can���t do it alone.
 
 ���It���s the risk takers, not the government, that is
 going to pull us out of this recession,��� he said.
 
 In a question and answer session, Bush defended the
 invasion of Iraq and the toppling of Saddam Hussein.
 
 ���The world is better off and the Iraqi people are better
 off without Saddam, no ifs, ands or buts,��� he said.
 
 There were shoes everywhere during the protest. A young
 woman wearing a hood, orange jumpsuit and a name tag that
 said ���Club Gitmo��� was pulling a shoe cannon along with a
 target festooned with pictures of Bush.
 
 Protesters flung projectile footwear from the device at the
 massive photo of a smiling Bush, while others jeered and
 tossed sandals and boots by hand.
 
 One of the arrested protesters was ticketed and released,
 said police. Three others
 were charged with more serious offences ��� one with
 breach of the peace and two with obstructing a police
 officer and resisting arrest.
 
 Seventy-nine police officers were involved, but that
 included traffic members who closed off intersections for
 the president���s motorcade.




 Susan C. Serpa   

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